Did you know that only 36% of employees are engaged in the workplace? Yes, this is a small number because we always focus on the end goal, the revenue, the profit, the deadlines but we forget that our employees own a big part of our success.
Employee engagement is quickly becoming one of the most important indicators in gauging work satisfaction. But, what is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a Human Resource (HR) concept that describes the relationship between an organization and its employees. It’s about improving your workplace and culture such that employees feel more connected and dedicated to your company’s goals and values. Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity, and communication between an organization and its members.
And why is it important?
Productivity is a major focus in most companies around the world, and I bet you are working on increasing productivity in your company as millions of others are doing. But did you know that employee engagement is as important as employee productivity? Why? Because they are linked! High employee engagement leads to higher productivity, higher job satisfaction, more sales, and higher revenue.
According to Harvard Business Review, engaged organizations have double the rate of success compared to less engaged organizations.
Now, why does engagement matter for people at work?
Companies often miss the core issues related to employee engagement because they assume that it is directly linked to salary and compensation. Most leaders figure employees leave the company due to the lack of promotional opportunities or the lure of better job packages elsewhere. But in most cases, this is not their only issue.
Being engaged with their job, company, and teammates matters for those working every day as it plays a critical role in their overall satisfaction and experience. They become more energized, efficient, and tend to go beyond what is expected of them. This also influences their own mental health at work and can positively influence those around them.
Since we have a better understanding of what employee engagement is and its importance, you are probably wondering how you could improve your employee engagement.
This is where your role as an HR comes into play. Firstly, you need to establish an environment in which employees naturally want to be involved and care deeply about their work. If you want high levels of involvement, motivation, trust, commitment, and empowerment, you need to start by investing your efforts in improving employee communication.
Everybody knows that communication is key to everything. But not all people know how to use communication in an effective way. As an HR, you have the tools and services in place to help your team communicate better. You need to understand the needs of your team, take their opinion, include them in decision-making discussions. All that is done by communicating with them. This can build a strong bond between your company and your employees. In another matter, proper employee communication can allow them to identify themselves within the company’s vision, mission, values, and goals. They are then motivated to accomplish better and become more involved in all aspects of their professions.
When thinking about your team/employees, you also need to think about your remote or deskless workers/employees that are the most vulnerable to feel disconnected from the company. Treat every worker/employee equally, whether they work from home, or spend a lot of time out in the field, you should pay particular attention to what you can do to make sure your communication efforts reach those people.
So, how can you use communication to improve employee engagement?
- Create clear internal communication channels and execute the strategy efficiently within the firm.
- Improve organizational transparency by enabling and encouraging proper communication.
- Encourage employees to share their ideas
- Effectively convey business plans and strategies to all team members.
- Inform them when changes occur when there is good or bad news when there is an event. Invest in keeping your people informed and they’ll feel more invested in your company.
- Express genuine care for your employees and their concerns.
- Create a safe channel for employees to share honest feedback, and their opinions are heard.
- Help your employees by letting them have open communication with their peers.
- Acknowledge the efforts made by employees when needed and reward them well. Employees feel engaged when they know that their colleagues, managers, and leaders are appreciating their work and effort. Thus, recognizing it will make them happy, hence they will get motivated and perform better. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all reward or recognition. To maximize your efforts and consider their personal preferences, it is critical to learn how your staff wants to receive an acknowledgment.
Last but not least, there are other tips that can improve employee engagement:
Measure Engagement Frequently:
Measuring engagement is a good step to improve employee engagement. It could help you know the state of your employees and check where you need improvement among the company. You can measure engagement by:
- Creating short frequent surveys
- One-to-one meeting with employees
- Doing an exit interview when an employee leaves
- Checking employee turnover rates/ absence rates
- Analyzing data in tools that you use to measure engagement rate
Live your mission, vision, and values:
As an HR, know the company’s purpose, what the company values, and incorporate them into the company’s daily life. A lot of companies write on their website their vision and mission and values but not all of them incorporates them into their everyday work lives. To get your employees engaged, you need to integrate your company’s vision and values into the business functions. Employees are more likely to feel inspired and engaged when they understand the company’s core principles and how they affect the organization.
Emphasize work-life balance and encourage positive health and wellness:
Employee engagement is not a one-man show. You need to push your employees to get more engaged. But when they are drained from work, they can’t engage efficiently. Allow them to have coffee breaks where they can connect with fellow colleagues, let them create a work environment that they are comfortable with, and allow a flexible work schedule, encourage focusing on productivity rather than hours, regularly review workloads to avoid burnout, reconsider time off, etc. Another way to help your employees is to promote healthy eating at work, creating wellness programs, and destressing short activities at work. Proper work-life balance and positive habits are essential for keeping employees engaged and happy.
Help them in their career growth:
Every person wants to grow their career. Encourage employees to grow within your company instead of giving them reasons to seek growth opportunities somewhere else. High-performing organizations understand that unleashing employee potential is dependent on management development support.
As an HR, you need to encourage leaders and managers to:
- Learn and care about their employee’s aims, passion, and career goals
- Look for chances for employees for cross-training or development
- Mentor and coach their employees
- Make sure new job opportunities are publicized within the organization
- Incentivize for their employees’ advancement, even if it means reorganizing teams.
- Help and give them advice in their education and career