Employee engagement is something we should always be looking to improve. It’s proven to have a direct link to strong business performance when a workforce is more engaged, and it’s good for employee well-being too. But according to Gallup, in their State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of workers worldwide are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. 67% of these are the ones who are actively disengaged, and while they may not be the worst performers, they may give you their time but they don’t give their best effort or their best ideas.
- Lower absenteeism: For those who don’t know, absenteeism is basically staying away from work without good reason. Engaged employees are more invested in their work, meaning that they’re more likely to show up and take less time off in sick days. Gallup’s survey showed that highly engaged workplaces saw 41% lower absenteeism – because workers are eager to show up and contribute.
- Improved employee retention: Nothing screams disengaged workforce like high employee turnover. If your employees keep leaving after short periods of time, you have to start questioning what is missing. When it comes to engaged employees, they’re much happier in the workplace and are therefore less likely to move elsewhere.
- Greater productivity: More engaged employees are more likely to be more productive at work and have a higher output than others, due to being more motivated and committed.
- Greater quality: Not only will there be an increased output of work, but the quality of work is likely to improve too. Employees tend to show more of a creative spark and produce more innovative ideas when they’re highly engaged.
- Higher profitability: If the previous points didn’t get your attention, I’m sure this one will. The Gallup survey also showed that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. The success of any organisation is built by its people, so making sure they’re happy can result in better business performance.
Engaged organisations have strong values and a strong level of trust and respect throughout different teams, where there’s a shared goal that people feel empowered to work towards. It’s not something that can be achieved through robotic approaches which don’t fully commit to improvement.
Employee engagement should emphasise employee well-being and performance, and it’s something that can only be truly achieved by creating a culture shift throughout the organisation. So, what should we be looking at if we want to improve?
Is everyone in the right role?
It’s not uncommon for people to be in one role, even though they have the skills and mind-set that would make them much happier and more successful in another. If someone doesn’t seem to be working out, it might be because they’d be more suited to doing something else.
Provide excellent training
Employees are more likely to become disengaged when they’re stressed in their role, and they can become stressed when they haven’t had adequate training. The more confident a person is that they can perform in their role successfully, the more likely they are to be engaged.
Give meaningful work
When an employee feels like what they’re doing is making a positive contribution to the vision and goals of an organisation, they’ll feel an internal reward in completing their work and will become more engaged than if they were doing small, tedious tasks all day. It’s important to put trust in your employees and allow them to make positive contributions.
Implement well-being strategies
Even if someone might not be the happiest in their role, if they feel like their organisation is looking out for their well-being and putting things in place to make sure they’re happy, they’re more likely to be highly invested in the organisation. Even the simplest of strategies that take care of your employees can help!
Look at your managers and team leaders, too
It’s not just about lower level employees. When it comes to managers and team leaders, they can have the biggest impact on the engagement of their team. If their management style isn’t agreeing with employees or if they’re disengaged themselves, it’s going to reflect through everyone. Not everyone can be a great manager, and that’s okay. We just have to make sure that we select the right people for leadership.
Work on your culture
It’s all good and well preparing your new engagement strategy, but unless you create a culture that reflects what you’re trying to do, it’s probably not going to work. We need to ensure that we put everything truly into practice, by creating a positive and inclusive culture. If our organisation shows any traits of a toxic working environment, it’s going to bring some very unhappy employees.
Be a mentor
One of the main things you can be doing to help improve employee engagement is ensuring that you’re being a mentor. Being on hand to help and provide support where needed can go a long way in creating a sense of trust, especially if you’re there to help solve any issues that are making employees unhappy.
Improving employee engagement does not have to be an expensive process, but it’s something that may require time and commitment to get right and maintain. It all comes down to fair treatment of all employees and effectively managing performance. Whether that’s achieved through employee surveys or something else, it’s time to start putting strategies into place!