Engaged employees demonstrate higher levels of performance, commitment, and loyalty. To build an engaged workforce, there are all sorts of things you can use to inspire employees. Watson Wyatt studies show that an organisation with highly engaged employees typically achieves a financial performance four times greater than a company with poor employee attitudes.
It’s not rocket science – it’s about leadership and values and optimising performance through investing in and developing your people. 10Eighty have some suggestions that any company can apply in their own workplace.
1. Get the hiring process right
Employee engagement starts with the recruitment process. It’s better to find employees who are aligned with your organisational mission than it is to change their motivation and values once they have their feet under the table. Be on the lookout for candidates with a sense of purpose, interest, and passion, use the recruiting process to discovering a candidate’s interests and check their online profiles.
2. Measure employee engagement
If you want to foster employee engagement you need a robust process to evaluate it. Use regular staff surveys and focus groups to check that employee wellbeing and engagement are at optimum levels. Engagement surveys consistently show that key drivers for employees are career opportunities closely followed by learning opportunities.
Regular surveys are the best way to identify issues among your employees. Use what you learn to tailor benefits, tackle staff issues and improve communication with all employees, getting to know their concerns and problems. It will boost morale which should increase in productivity.
3. Share the ‘big picture’
Engaged employees are proud of their role within the organisation so communicate with the workforce about the organisational vision and strategy. It has a significant effect in improving engagement when everyone has an overall sense of the organisation’s goals and progress. Engaged employees are proud of their role with their organisation and this is facilitated because they have a line-of-sight to the organisation’s mission and goals.
Effective communications help each worker connect with strategic organisational goals while making the most of their own potential. Demonstrate to all employees that their insights are important as this will build loyalty and engagement as well as effective collaboration. People thrive and perform to full potential in a culture that aligns with their own values and aspirations.
4. Build a culture of collaboration
One of the pillars of employee engagement is collaboration. Encourage employees to share knowledge and ideas, use your talent to unleash latent creativity and help the organisation to foster innovation and growth while meeting customer needs.
Some organisations lack the culture of openness and trust that enables effective engagement; organisational leaders tend to be more at ease discussing customer relationships rather than discussing relationships with employees.
5. Use feedback
Facilitate career management by providing regular performance feedback. Ensure that employees feel a connection with the culture of the organisation, that new employees are welcomed in and feel part of the team quickly. It’s also important to recognise and celebrate success, achievements, progress and accomplishments.
Train managers to use focused career conversations with staff for a deeper understanding of the team’s motivators, drivers and talents; effective career conversations mean employees work harder, stay longer and exceed expectations.
6. Build good workplace relationships
Initiatives you might consider include:
- Coaching and mentoring, to help managers with ideas for engaging their employees
- Celebrate employee birthdays and employment anniversaries
- Help managers hold career conversations with their team members
The relationship between employee and manager directly affects engagement levels. If you can improve this your employees will be more comfortable, effective and productive. Trust is the foundation of working relationships and facilitates communication and collaboration; it’s essential for creating an environment where innovation and creativity flourish.