It’s generally accepted that if we have an engaged team, they’ll show up to work happy, wholeheartedly give discretionary effort to help the company succeed and very importantly, they will stay with you. They will also do things like recommend your company as a great place to work to their family and friends. However, we don’t always make the link to the other benefits such as lower sickness and absenteeism, greater productivity and profitability, happier customers with an increased retention of those customers, and of course all of this contributes nicely to our bottom line.
So here are 10 ways you can increase Employee Engagement in your company.
1. Make engagement a part of your strategy
Because we know that engagement has a significant impact on so many things, retention, productivity and achieving desired business results amongst them, it makes sense that it should be a major and ongoing part of your overall business strategy not just a “fluffy” initiative that is flavour of the moment.
2. Define your company’s mission and values
Employees perform at their best when their values line up with the values of the business.
Extrinsic motivation (motivation provided by external factors, like receiving a salary or health benefits) is only important to a certain extent. However, intrinsic motivation (motivation from internal factors, like a personal desire to do good, to go above and beyond) is necessary for our higher-level needs. And come with jobs that provide meaning.
Your company's mission and values need to be well communicated and mean something to your employees. When your team knows what your company stands for, they will find it easy to know whether or not that aligns with their own values.
3. Encourage transparency
In a transparent business everything is shared and spoken about, especially things that traditionally might have been kept secret like current business performance, growth expectations and policy creation and people at all levels are consulted and involved in decisions. When there is transparency at work it fosters trust, which leads to a true sense of belonging and stability. It also helps employees truly understand how their own role connects with the wider team and business goals and objectives.
4. Focus on feedback
Feedback goes hand in hand with transparency. Giving timely and meaningful development feedback and praise is just the way things are done. It’s important and a priority that everyone understands both how they are doing and where they stand. However, that also means as a leader you need to role model both asking for and taking feedback from your team and be genuinely prepared to show your own vulnerability, development areas and opportunities for growth.
5. Recognise contributions and celebrate success
One of the most powerful factors that predicts employee engagement levels is recognition Companies that practice feedback regularly will appreciate the importance of giving positive feedback and recognising contributions, effort and success. Highly engaged companies are far more likely to recognise employees for a job well done than those who don’t value engagement. .What mechanisms do you have to celebrate success and a job well done?
6. Promote employee wellbeing
Employee wellness, includes both physical and mental wellness and is also a powerful factor in employee engagement.
Does your company culture and benefits work together to create a welcoming and supportive environment for your employees? Do your employees know how to spot signs of stress and anxiety in themselves and others and do you have a support mechanism and structure in place to sign post them to the appropriate solution if they need it?
Wellness is crucial to helping employees bring their full focus and engagement to their work.
7. Encourage innovation
It's also necessary to encourage and develop creativity and innovation in your team.
Welcome learning from failure, delegate wisely, communicate well and support a culture that celebrates experimentation. Encourage reflections after key events and projects and foster an improvement mindset. Develop continuous improvement mindsets and processes that ask “We did that really well and how could we do it even better for next time?” rather than accepting we did a good job and leaving it at that.
8. Create or invest in leadership development programmes that are designed to improve your leaders’ ability to engage your team
Teaching your leaders how to shape and manage culture, build trust, give and receive feedback, and communicate clear expectations can really help them learn what engagement looks like, sounds like and feels like so they can proactively create an environment with their team that supports employee engagement.
9. Encourage professional development
Whether its developing within a current role or for a future role, having a robust training, development and coaching offering along with opportunities for advancement is very important to employees. If you don’t have a programme in place where employees can see how they can grow and improve and ultimately progress through a business they will leave you and go somewhere that does.
10. Measure your engagement levels
If you don’t know where your engagement levels are to start with you will find it difficult to know where to improve let alone know even IF you have improved. Once you start measuring engagement you also need to act upon what it’s telling you because doing nothing will decrease trust, morale and be hugely detrimental to your team’s engagement and ultimately your business results.
I use Harrison Assessments which measures engagement at individual, team and organisation level and covers 8 engagement factors along with a fulfilment score:
- Development Expectations
- Renueration Expectations
- Authority Expectations
- Social Expectations
- Appreciation Expectations
- Communication Expectations
- Personal Expectations
- Work Life Balance Expectations
For more information on how to measure your employee’s engagement and ensure your policies, rewards and benefits align with expectations please contact me.