Every company has the goal of attracting, retaining, and empowering talent. Yet, in today’s rapidly changing work environment, doing so has become a major challenge for employers. Younger generations want to work in companies that inspire them and share the same values.
Therefore, employee engagement has become a focal point for organizations. Why? The benefits of employee engagement are endless. Having more engaged employees means having happier, more productive, focused, and committed employees.
A more committed team directly impacts organizations’ ability to reach their strategic goals, boost their profitability levels, and decrease employee turnover rates. Therefore, improving employee engagement has become a priority for leaders and managers.
Quick Facts About Employee Engagement and the Value Behind It
How often do you hear the phrase “the weekend flew by” at your office? Generally, it’s always said by the dreaded employee who despises clocking in at work. Yet, the reality is that people dreading work are not alone.
According to Snack Nation, there’s a large number of workers that feel uninspired at work. Statistics show that about 35% of employees start looking for something new after two years in a job. Work redundancy can often lead to even the most enthusiastic employees becoming unmotivated, unenergized, and simply complacent.
The costs of employee turnover rates are hard for companies to overcome. Here are just a few of the statistics shared in the study.
- Unmotivated and unproductive employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion in lost productivity every year in the US.
- Only about 34% of employees in the US feel completely engaged at work.
- The cost of employee turnover rates is between 6 to 9 months of the departing employee’s salary.
- Disengaged employees report that their jobs negatively impact their physical and mental health.
The statistics prove that building a workplace where employees are empowered and valued will improve employee performance and retention rates. Regularly losing employees can quickly become a burden for organizations. With high employee turnover rates, organizations lose valuable individuals with high organizational knowledge that can empower businesses to thrive.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to promote employee engagement. The key is to do so in a way that contributes to the company’s culture and matches the interests of employees.
Before diving into how to promote employee engagement, we’ll discuss what exactly it entails.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement measures how motivated, passionate, and invested employees are at work. The higher their levels of engagement, the more present, motivated, and focused they’ll be. Typically, employees committed to the success of their organization would go above and beyond for the good of their organization.
The more engaged employees come to work for more than just a paycheck. They are genuinely interested in bettering their organization’s public image, reputation, and operations.
Managers seeking to better their organization should capitalize on the benefits of employee engagement. It’s not only an excellent short-term investment. It also ensures that the organization has both committed employees and emerging leaders in the pipeline for the long term.
The Benefits of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is a fundamental principle of organizational success. Without it, a company may find itself rut with disengaged, unmotivated, and unhappy employees.
Here are just some of the many benefits of employee engagement.
1) It Boosts Productivity
The higher the engagement levels in employees, the more productive they’ll be. When employees find meaning, purpose, and are committed to their jobs, their performance increases. When employee productivity and performance increase, so does the profitability of the organization.
Companies should strive to have employees passionate about their jobs and able to picture how their roles impact the overall organization. The more encouraged employees are to share their ideas and perspectives about their company, the more engaged they’ll be and the higher the quality of their work will be.
2) Reduces Employee Turnover Rates
A happy and healthy relationship can surpass the test of time. The same happens in the workplace.
Happy and committed employees are loyal. They won’t be looking for something else somewhere else. Better yet, they won’t just do the bare minimum and rush out the door when it’s time to leave.
When employees feel empowered, appropriately treated, compensated correctly, valued for who they are, and recognized for what they do, they become more likely to commit to their organization. With reduced employee turnover rates, companies can save a ton of money on an annual basis.
3) More Opportunities To Attract and Retain Top Talent
Younger generations today want to work in an organization that embodies values similar to theirs. We are seeing more and more protests, boycotts, and employees leaving their organizations due to the way leaders are running the business.
Whether it’s choosing a political candidate, neglecting to take social action, supporting controversial influencers, or disregarding the environment, employers that fail to act ethically will face negative employee sentiment. All of which will lead to employees looking to invest their time somewhere else.
It’s not only social and environmental causes that drive employee engagement. It’s also a work-related task. Top talent wants to be challenged. Committed and devoted employees want to be given more responsibility, move up the ladder, manage a team, and grow their skillsets.
Companies need to make sure their employees are engaged by the organization’s purpose and career opportunities. A combination of them both will allow them to attract and retain their best employees. Thus, it’s one of the most significant benefits of employee engagement.
4) It Improves Communication and Collaborations
Employee engagement can heavily influence the company culture. It’s common for an organization’s departments to work independently – in isles. Having more engaged and committed employees can empower an organization to work as a more cohesive unit.
Collaboration grows when employees feel valued and find meaning in their work. The should be for departments to be on the same page, for teammates to be in constant communication, and for challenges to be tackled collectively.
A lack of engagement often leads to poor communication, which causes misunderstandings. When the direction the company is going isn’t clear, then mistakes can become costly. Therefore, it’s management’s role to build and promote employee engagement.
5) It Builds Trust in Relationships
It’s often said that you don’t work for an organization; you work for your boss. There’s a lot of truth in that statement. How more enjoyable does work become when you build a trusting and honest relationship with your direct manager?
When managers take the time to build open and truthful relationships with their staff, employees feel more valued and appreciated. No one wants to feel like a number at work. We all want to be seen for who we are and what we do.
By recognizing their work, celebrating differences, encouraging ideas, managers can capitalize on the benefits of employee engagement. As a result, employee turnover rates will diminish and trust will fill the room.
6) It Improves Employee Wellbeing and Job Fulfillment
Unhappiness at work often leads to poor physical and mental health. On the other hand, when people feel fulfilled and valued at work, their overall health increases.
Whether it’s at work, sports, or school, our well-being directly impacts our performance levels. A healthy state of mind contributes to our willingness to learn new skills and be fulfilled by what we do.
Companies can increase employee engagement by offering career advancement, skills development, training, and an empowering work environment. As a result, their job fulfillment will also increase.
7) It Cultivates Company Culture
When managers actively and permanently pursue it, the benefits of employee engagement diffuse into the entire organization. Company beliefs and employee behaviors are what defines company cultures. If the company’s beliefs are genuine and the employees are devoted towards their company, there’s less risk of conflict.
By increasing team morale and employees’ investment in the company, managers can decrease employee turnover rates. As a result, employees will form stronger relationships with each other.
How to Promote Employment Engagement
Teams that laugh together often communicate more effectively. Plan some of these activities for your company or work team. Make having fun a priority for yourself and your team. The following are a few employee engagement ideas and activities.
1) Emphasize Work-Life Balance
Achieving a work-life balance can appear to be an impossible task at times. It is challenging to strike the right balance between work and personal life to feel satisfied that both areas receive adequate attention. Yet, it’s key to promote employee engagement.
Work-life balance will mean different things to different people. As a manager, the best route would be to consult with your team to see what you can do to improve it. A flexible work schedule is frequently the simplest way to help people feel more balanced between work and leisure.
2) Office Trips and Activities
How employees relate to each other greatly impacts their levels of commitment to their jobs. Simple events such as happy hours, team dinners, or team-building games can go a long way.
Being around your co-workers outside of the typical work setting allows your employees to connect on a more personal level and genuinely get to know one another. Employee loyalty and company morale can both benefit from office trips. It can be a method for employees to relieve stress as a group.
3) Celebrate Achievements and Recognize Top Performers
A contagious way to promote employee engagement is to ensure employees know they are being seen and appreciated. It’s never a good idea for managers to assume employees feel that way. Taking the time to celebrate employees’ hard work and recognize when objectives are accomplished can boost their motivation to perform.
Having employees willing to take the extra mile is one of the most significant benefits of employee engagement. Whether that’s working more hours or taking on extra tasks, that dedication can set the standard for other employees. Therefore, creating a culture that where employees and managers celebrate each other is a valuable investment.
4) Give Feedback, Even If It’s Hard
Giving feedback and being open to it is perhaps one of the qualities that set the greatest managers aside. Why? Employees crave it. Employees want to know the areas they are excelling in and where they can improve upon.
The key when giving feedback is making it a two-way street. That would foster a culture of honesty and mutual growth. Managers that take the time to check-in and share their feedback will have the most engaged employees.
Friendly competition can help alleviate stress. Team building games can promote employee engagement by boosting team morale and encouraging collaboration. Organizing activities where employees compete in a fun, yet competitive way can empower teams to get to know each other better and strengthen their relationship.
6) Have Problem-Solving Meetings
Everyone approaches problem-solving uniquely. Scheduling meetings where team members collaborate to approach a significant issue confronting the company can boost employees’ investment in the organization. Allowing employees to explain how they would solve the problem will make them feel more committed to the company’s success.
These meetings can take many forms. Managers can hold off-site jam sessions or power lunches in the office. They can keep it structured by outlining the entire event or diving right in and seeing what happens.
7) Offering Volunteer Opportunities
Employees feel proud to work in organizations that care about their community’s well-being. A study by Deloitte found that when companies offer volunteering opportunities, team morale improves significantly.
Salesforce, for instance, is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work. Employees love being part of the tech giant. One of the things Salesforce does differently is it commits to donating 1% of its employee time to volunteer in the organization of their choice. Employees at Salesforce are given seven days a year (outside their PTO) to give back to their communities. As a result, they feel more engaged and committed to their organization due to its involvement in their community.
Managers, Make It Your Mission to Promote Employee Engagement!
The benefits of employee engagement are vast. It benefits not only the employee, but the organization as a whole as well. Managers looking out for their company’s best interest should take the time to strengthen employees’ commitment to, first and foremost, each other and then to their employer.
That way, productivity will go up, hiring costs will decrease, employee turnover rates will minimize, and the company culture will attract and retain top talent while making everyone happier and more fulfilled.