There’s a lot of talk these days about employee engagement, and for good reason. Companies that focus on employee engagement also see better employee engagement. They also see higher productivity, increased retention rates, fewer accidents and more profits. Who wouldn’t sign up for that?
But what does the term “employee engagement” mean? And, how can you know if your company is doing it effectively?
Engaged employees are more valuable employees
Research shows that having disengaged employees is a challenge in the workplace. Unhappy workers leave their jobs, and they are less productive. They also create an environment that makes it hard to recruit quality talent.
This is where employee engagement comes in. An engaged employee feels like he or she matters at work. They feel like their contribution is meaningful. The company recognizes them as a valuable member of the organization. Their superiors listen to and address their concerns and challenges. When people feel like this at work, they are far more likely to work harder. They also stay longer and create a supportive, positive work environment.
Employees are people, too
These days, more companies are going beyond the idea of just engaging their employees. These businesses are looking more at them as “whole people.” This means looking at them as more than just people who work. They are also people who live, have hobbies and are complete individuals in and out of work.
This kind of employee engagement allows them to experience their lives in full. Health and wellness apps and recognition programs can aid employees to stay engaged. Self-service HR tools, ongoing education and training, career counseling can also help.
What are some ways to engage?
Recognition and rewards are powerful engagement tools. Think about it. Who doesn’t like rewards and recognition for a job well done?
But you have to do it right; otherwise, you risk disengaging other employees. A well-planned recognition program should be ongoing throughout the year. It is also fairly applied and offers incentives that are appealing and meaningful. More importantly, it should follow the workflow of every employee.
How to tell if you’re doing it right
The best way to tell if your employees are engaged is to ask them. Employee feedback is a critical tool in any engagement program. One way to do this is by using an employee feedback software program. This allows your company to gather real data so you can respond to it appropriately.
The more ways you offer your employees options for feedback, the more data you’ll collect. Offer them surveys and quizzes and suggestion boxes. The more data you have, the more you can translate the data into actions that engage your employees.
What to do if your employees are disengaged
If your employees lack engagement, you have to address it immediately. In real time, if possible. As the old saying goes, “It’s not the mistake that’s the problem. It’s how the mistake is handled.” If your employees are unhappy, the faster you correct the problem, the less damage it will do. In fact, it can actually increase morale if they see you took disengagement seriously. and made actionable changes based on their feedback.
In sum, employee engagement isn’t some awards ceremony you hold once a year. It should be an ongoing, fluid effort that is carefully crafted to connect with employees in meaningful ways every day of the year. Doing so will offer huge payoffs for both companies and employees.
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