’Employee Engagement’ is a term often bandied about in the business world, but: What is ’Employee Engagement’ and should we care about it?
’Employee Engagement’ has been defined by multiple recognised authorities however CIPD’s definition states that ’Employee Engagement’ is:
An ongoing process to recruit, reward and retain productive and effective employees by enhancing understanding of organisational practices and employee priorities, attitudes, behaviours and intentions
Even though the above may not make Employee Engagement seem ’important’ or ’worth caring about’ however Gallup have found that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% and that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work. These un-engaged employees aren’t focussed on driving the business or, in many cases, their career forward. They are simply at work to go through the motions and get through the day.
Case study after case study will support the value of having an engaged workforce (too many for this article unfortunately) but how can you keep your employees engaged?
1) Hire well!
The first and the most important thing is to hire the ’right’ people!
Make sure that your hiring and interview process is centred around your businesses’ core values and be very clear in what you are looking for from a candidate. Remember a superstar in one business won’t always be the ’right’ fit for your organisation… (see below).
2) Empower your team
No matter what level, make employees feel like business partners as if they’re invested in the business. If you give your team ownership and genuinely care about their careers then they will perform at a much higher level!
3) Be transparent
Always be as transparent as possible with your team and implement an open door policy where possible. Make sure your team know what is going on in the business, within other departments and give them a chance to contribute ideas. Who knows your business better than those on the front line?!
4) Trust them!
If you’ve ensured that you’ve hired the right person, who fits in with your core values, then don’t be scared to give them responsibility and trust them. Again, if they’re the right person then they will carry out tasks in line with your organisation’s values and surprise you with what they’re capable of…
5) Respect your team and take a genuine interest
This sounds like an obvious one but is also something which is rarely done. As a leader within a business, make sure you treat your team with dignity and respect. Get to know them on a personal level and don’t just treat them as a number but as a human being.
6) Get hands on
Be a role model, don’t just put together a training plan with one of your managers and then fade into the abyss. Ensure that you’re on the front line, living the values of your company culture and always have your finger on the pulse.
To summarise, there is an employee engagement crisis at the moment with only 13% of the global workforce classed as ’engaged’ which is detrimental to any business. However with any challenge there is opportunity and if you’re able to maintain a highly engaged workforce in the modern day then you will achieve things that you didn’t even know were possible.