Struggling to engage employees in your workplace? If so, you’re not alone! It is estimated that almost 80% of Australian workers are disengaged in some aspect in their jobs. Due to this, businesses are feeling the pinch with lost revenue... It is said that if organisations get employee engagement right, it is treated as the miracle drug for workplace challenges!!
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to their organisation. It basically means that they care about their employer, their goals/values and how they personally contribute to the success of the business, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being. When an employee is engaged they tend to invest extra time, effort and initiative to contribute to the success of the business. To achieve this, employers need to make sure that they keep their employees motivated, challenged and ultimately happier in the workplace. As they say, ‘happy employees equates to happy bottom line’! It also needs to be based on trust, integrity, two-way commitment and communication between an employer and its employees. It’s a workplace approach that more and more businesses are adapting which has many benefits.
Two key benefits of an engaged workplace
In addition to having more motivated, committed and loyal employees, there are many other benefits for employers when they have engaged employees in their workplaces. The two main fundamentals are greater profitability and being able to retain employees a lot longer.
Employee engagement increases profitability whilst decreasing turnover. It is estimated that highly engaged organisations have 21% higher profitability than their peers. However, it is important for businesses to reinvest a chunk of the profit back into the business to ensure that engagement levels continue to keep them on a steady and upward trajectory.
When employees can’t utilise their strengths and don’t feel challenged enough, they will get bored and won’t enjoy their work anymore. This is when they will start looking around for a new challenge. The benefit of having an engaged workforce is that they don’t have a reason to look elsewhere, so employers can enjoy having them around for a lot longer.
Key strategies in keeping employees engaged in the workplace
When organisations understand that people are their greatest assets, they are the ones which reap the benefits of an engaged workforce. Below are some of the key strategies in keeping employees engaged in the workplace;
- To successfully keep employees engaged in a business you will need to start with strong leadership. Having leaders in a business whom invest time and interest in employees will send a solid message that the business genuinely cares about the needs and aspirations of its employees. It’s crucial to touch base with the employee on a regular basis including in non-work environment to see how their experience in the workplace can be improved as it’s important to know what motivates your employees. Sometimes employees can be reluctant to share all the information with the leaders directly, therefore employee or satisfaction surveys can be an effective way to measure and understand what exactly employees want to be able to create a rewarding environment that they can thrive. Employee surveys allow businesses to obtain critical feedback to the benefit of the company, work environments and bottom line. Satisfaction surveys on the other hand allows businesses to gather information on a variety of work-related issues such as job satisfaction, compensation, hours work of work, etcetera.
- Without any doubt, all employees want to be given the opportunity to grow and excel in both their professional and personal lives. Therefore, to create an engaged workplace, it is crucial to provide opportunities for employees to adequately use their skills and encourage them to learn new ones to progress. It’s important for employers to talk to their employees about their career plans and discuss what learning/development they need to expand in their positions. Perhaps they need to work on a different project to expand their skillset or undergo a secondment.
- Compared to 5-10 years ago, today many more organisations are now onboard and understand the value of work-life balance. Encouraging employees to balance work with their personal life does not only increase productivity and quality of work, it also dramatically improves employee engagement. Perhaps consider talking to employees about remote work arrangements and/or flexible hours.
- All human beings thrive on being able to add value and being recognised for it. Employers on a regular basis should reinforce the importance of what their employees do and how they contribute to the overall company success. Trust, respect and allow your employees to be part of the decision-making process.
- Being recognised by your employer is no doubt a great feeling, however to keep the employee engagement flowing, it is also important to reward employees. A regular ‘thank you’ demonstrates your awareness of their efforts and hard work. This in return will provide encouragement and no doubt, boost their performance. A small gift or a thank you lunch can go a long way.
This article is prepared to only provide general information about the topic. It is not intended to be used as advice in any way.