Employees are the lifeblood of a company. After all, they are the ones who are responsible for a business’s growth and success. This is why it’s important to hire employees who are passionate about what they do and engaged in the workplace. Employee engagement in the workplace depends on inner motivation and work environment.
Without a happy and healthy company culture, even the most motivated and driven individuals can lose interest in their job. In this employee engagement guide, we explain why employee engagement is important, what the drivers of employee engagement are as well as tips to improve employee engagement in your workplace.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement refers to an employee’s satisfaction with their job and/or organization. Engaged employees are motivated and committed to organizational goals, while disengaged employees have little interest in their jobs. Employees who are highly engaged in their job tend to be happier at work and perform better.
Engagement can be measured in terms of how much time employees spend on tasks that they enjoy, how satisfied they feel about their work, whether they have opportunities for career growth and advancement, and whether they believe their contributions make a difference. Engaged employees have high levels of commitment, satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
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Why is employee engagement important?
Employee engagement is crucial for an organization to succeed. It helps employees feel valued, appreciated, and respected. Not to mention that engaged workers are happier at work, less likely to leave their jobs, and more productive overall.
Engaged employees are motivated to perform well at work and are also likely to be more productive. They tend to take initiative, show up for work on time, and ask questions when confused or unsure of what needs to be done. A higher employee engagement is associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment which positively impact productivity.
Positive work environment
Having a workplace full of people who enjoy their work and actually look forward to coming to work every day creates a positive work environment. When employees are engaged at work they feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. They also feel empowered to make decisions about how they want to be treated. When people feel valued, they tend to treat each other with respect.
Organizations who have a positive work environment reap the following benefits:
- Increase in productivity
- Growth mindset
- More collaboration
- Improved employee morale
- Open communication and feedback
- Increased employee happiness
- Increase in customer satisfaction
- More creative and innovative workforce
Better customer satisfaction
Employee satisfaction directly correlates with customer satisfaction. Employees are often the face of an organization, so if they are happy, customers will be too. If employees are dissatisfied, this may translate into unhappy customers who leave negative reviews. All in all, employee engagement increases productivity and higher productivity translates into better service and value for customers. This promotes the continued success of the business.
What are the drivers of employee engagement?
Each of the engagement drivers below affects how people feel about themselves, their colleagues, and their employer. However, each person has different preferences for engaging with others.
Here are 12 key drivers of employee engagement:
- Recognition: Employee recognition is the most important driver of employee engagement. It’s the easiest way to make employees feel appreciated and motivated to give their all.
- Feedback: Employees want to speak freely about what matters to them. They want to give honest feedback about what’s working and what isn’t. In fact, 90% of workers say they would be more loyal to an employer that listens to employee concerns. When leaders make it safe for team members to express opinions, people are much more likely to participate.
- Corporate culture: An organizational culture that encourages innovation and creativity breeds an engaged workforce. Employees who feel valued, respected, and appreciated for their contributions to the success of the business will be motivated to give 110% every day.
- Teamwork: You know you’re working on a great team when you love coming into work. Friendly, supportive, cooperative, and encouraging colleagues make work fun and energizing. Encourage collaboration and share ideas openly so everyone can learn from each other. Keep team members engaged through regular communication and encourage them to take ownership of projects they care about.
- Empowerment: Employees should not only be given the opportunity to grow within their current role, but also be empowered to take on new responsibilities. Give them the tools and resources they require to perform their job effectively. Train them so that they know how to do things correctly.
- Professional development: Professional development is a worthwhile investment. Offering employees the opportunity to participate in online courses, enroll in business school, or attend seminars featuring experts in the field demonstrates that your company cares about their long-term success.
- Work-life balance: Burnout is an emotional drain, and avoiding it should be a top priority. Employees must maintain a good work-life balance so that they can spend time with family and friends, take vacations, and participate in activities outside of work. A flexible schedule, additional time off and establishing wellness initiatives help keep employees happy and healthy.
- Expectations: You can’t perform effectively if you’re not given enough feedback to improve. Leaders at all levels must be able to clearly communicate goals, set realistic expectations, and maintain openness at all times… even during crises.
- Purpose: Few things motivate employees like a mission they feel connected to. With a set of core beliefs that employees can relate to, teams will be inspired to work toward common goals. Core values should not only inspire employees; they must also be shared by leaders and communicated throughout an entire organization.
- Role: When your job title doesn’t align with your values or strengths, it’s hard to remain motivated. However, when your work is a natural fit, success follows naturally. To double down on intrinsic motivation, give employees the jobs and responsibilities they desire so they can reap the rewards of an engaged workforce.
- Manager support: Employees often feel more engaged when they report to managers who are committed to them and their success. Managers can also learn how to better manage themselves.
- Leadership and strategy: Leaders at every level need to be transparent, practice good decision-making, and champion recognition across their organizations.
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How do you measure employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a hot topic right now. Let’s look at some of the different metrics used to gauge employee engagement:
- Employee engagement survey
An employee survey is a tool that allows management to gather feedback from employees regarding their workplace culture, performance, and overall satisfaction. Surveys typically ask questions like these: How satisfied are you with your job? What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest weaknesses? Do you feel valued by your organization? Are you engaged in your work?
- 360° feedback
360° feedback is a method of measuring employee engagement that involves asking employees to provide anonymous feedback on themselves and others. You can also collect feedback directly from managers and supervisors.
- Organizational culture assessment
Organizational culture assessment measures the values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes shared among members of an organization. It’s a critical part of creating a high-performing team.
- Performance management system
Performance management systems allow organizations to track individual performance and progress toward goals. They can be used to identify areas of improvement and reward employees based on their performance.
- Job descriptions
Job descriptions give employees clear expectations of what they must accomplish. They also serve as a guide for managers when making decisions about promotions, compensation, and training opportunities.
- Employee satisfaction surveys
Surveys are another tool that can be used to measure employee engagement. These surveys usually focus on specific aspects of the company, including leadership, communication, teamwork, recognition, career development, and benefits.
- Employee turnover rates
Turnover rates are measured by looking at how many employees leave a particular company within a certain period of time. High turnover rates indicate low levels of employee engagement.
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6 tips to improve employee engagement
Engagement is essential to every organization, but it’s especially critical when you’re trying to attract and retain talented workers. When you engage your team members, you build trust, loyalty, and commitment. These things lead to higher productivity, improved morale, and increased retention. However, engaging your workforce doesn’t happen overnight.
Here are some tips to help you boost employee engagement:
- Set clear expectations
It’s important to set clear expectations for your employees so that everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to accomplish. For example, if you expect your salespeople to sell $100,000 worth of products per month, make sure they understand that number before they begin selling.
- Provide opportunities for growth
Give your employees’ opportunities to grow professionally and personally. Allow them to learn new skills and acquire new experiences. Encourage them to share their ideas and opinions.
- Give feedback regularly
Provide regular feedback to your employees. Tell them what they did well and what areas they need to focus on. Don’t wait until problems arise; instead, address issues early on.
- Recognize employees who go above and beyond
Make sure your employees know that they’re appreciated. Reward them for doing extra work and going above and beyond.
- Be flexible
Be flexible with your schedule. Let your employees know that you value their time and encourage them to ask for flexibility whenever possible.
- Listen carefully
Listen carefully to your employees. Ask questions and listen to their suggestions. Show interest in their personal lives and let them know that you care about them.
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Employee engagement best practices
In order to help you create a harmonious workplace, we have listed some employee engagement ideas for you:
- Constantly check in with your employees
- Reward good work
- Provide any help that may be needed
- Set a good example
- Set clear expectations
- Accommodate your employees’ needs
Finding engaged employees is essential if you want your business to succeed. Although engagement can be brought out later in the game, if you want a head start, you need to start thinking about employee engagement during the hiring process. It is essential that you hire the right people who align with your company values.
At Spartanium, we understand how demanding the hiring process can be. With so many job seekers saturating the market, it often appears impossible to pick out that one special candidate who is the perfect fit. This is where we come in. We are an employment agency dedicated to matching the right potential employee with the right potential employer.
We take all the guesswork out of the hiring process by aligning you with potential candidates who possess all the qualities and experience that you are looking for in an employee. Are you an insurance, legal or accounting company? Our agency specializes in recruiting employees for you.