What is Employee Engagement and why does it matter?

Exploring Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Employee engagement is attributed to the quality of life of employees and employers at work. The result is an output of productivity and performance engaged employees leads to workers offering their absolute best. As well as a deeper connection between the employee and organisation. Employees that are engaged will fulfill and contribute to the organisations mission, goals, and values within their work. And additionally, contribute to the growth and wellbeing of the employee allowing them to reach their full potential. Impeccable Employee engagement should be an integral component within the work environment.

David Macleod states in Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement a government report: “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”. 

Whilst the value of engaged employees may be obvious nevertheless, it is overlooked within the workplace. Unarguably the trust and respect created by employee engagement will have an everlasting impact within the workplace. Employees will feel comfortable and committed to their role. Leading to experienced and productive staff with little thought of quitting their job. This has been confirmed by studies: a positive employee engagement model means that staff perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave their workplace. If your organisation struggles with staff retention improving your employee engagement may be the key to unlocking a reliable and stable pool of staff.

Employee Engagement Teamwork

Do you feel Engaged in the Workplace?

If you are engaged in the workplace then you will most likely be jumping out of bed in the morning with the mindset of looking forward to the working day ahead. You will feel like a valued team member and that your ideas and productivity is being utilised but not being treated unfairly.

Furthermore, if you are an engaged employee, you will understand what the organisation expects from you and in return what you expect from the organisation. You know your role inside and out allowing you to reach higher for better roles with increased responsibility and challenge. You are a cog in the machine, but you don’t feel mechanical you feel valued as the working environment involves your employer drawing upon your knowledge and concepts to improve services and products.

The following are indicators of an engaged employee based on the 2020 Employee Engagement Trends Report by Quantum:

  • Trust in senior leaders to lead the company to future success.
  • I see professional growth and career development opportunities for myself here.
  • The senior leaders of this organisation demonstrate integrity.
  • I believe the business will be successful in the future.
  • If I contribute to the business’s success, I know I will be recognised and rewarded.

The Role of an Engaged Employee

Whilst all these factors can be indicators of an engaged employee one of the biggest indicators is whether an employee is working for more than just their paycheck. Furthermore, a business practicing an employee engagement strategy will rely on their employees to:

  • Provide honest, candid, and actionable feedback on business services and procedures.
  • Own their performance and development.
  • Devise creative solutions that address their concerns in the business.
  • Engage in meaningful relationships with their teams and managers.
  • Practicing generosity in the workplace
Employee Focused on work

From the Employers Perspective

Employers that conduct employee engagement promote positive attitudes and behaviour within the workplace which leads to an improved structure that reinforces better business outcomes.

Employee engagement for the employer is all about striving to make your employees feel formidable in the workplace. Your actions will leave your employees feeling confident and empowered to take on their daily tasks. The employer will make sure that the organisations actions consider the employees. Correspondingly Employee engagement is all about the employer's promises as well as explanations as to why some cannot be kept.

Role of Managers to promote Employee Engagement

Managers interact with employees more than any other staff member in an organisation. It’s their responsibility to create a working environment where employees can reach their potential and ultimately create engaged employees. Managers can do this by:

  • Help employees develop, grow and maintain wellbeing at work.
  • Provide continuous performance feedback.
  • Build good relationships with every employee.
Employer

Employee Engagement is NOT Built Overnight

The strength of engagement amongst employees comes from strong work relationships and personal understanding between employer and employee. A strong foundation of respect and trust is required by both parties to achieve employee engagement. However, this does not happen overnight it takes time to form trust and respect. Therefore, attempted shortcuts along with a cold mechanical approach will be detrimental in reaching employee engagement. Disengaged employees are more likely to fall below targets and care about their position it's estimated that disengaged employees cost US organisations $450-550 billion, every year.

Employee Happiness

Although an employee may be happy these are not indicators of an engaged employee. Staff discounts on products and services are fun and contribute to the happiness and value of the employees’ role. It does not necessarily mean that they are working hard.

Employee Satisfaction

Equally employee satisfaction does not mean that an employee is engaged with their work. Many businesses praise themselves on employee satisfaction surveys and forms. However, while it may be evident that an employee is satisfied with their 9-5. They may not be willing to go the extra mile in supporting their co-workers, reaching their potential, and giving that extra effort. These employees are more likely to move on from the business for better pay and benefits.

Focus group for employee engagement

5 Great Ways to Promote Employee Engagement Strategy

  • Create Employee Surveys that encompass indicators for the opportunity to improve on weaknesses as well as make the most of company strengths. Make sure to pay attention to themes and patterns. Recommend managers to review the survey results with their teams.
  • Choose Focus Areas after reviewing the survey data choose 2-3 areas that need improving in the workplace. It is recommended to work on the areas that are impacting the business the most.
  • Brainstorm Solutions with a focus group and assign them to each focused area. In doing so you will be carrying out employee engagement strategies to promote employees to take on board responsibility and value within the business.
  • Make Commitments the business must make commitments utilising key take always from the solutions devised by the focus groups.
  • Communicate progress of commitment amongst staff monthly to see if improvements have been made as well past mistakes don’t creep back in.

FAQs

The objective of employee engagement is to make sure that employees are committed to their company’s goals and values. Allowing for the employee to improve their wellbeing and for the organisation to benefit from their personal development in productivity.

An employer or employee can develop their engagement skills by working on the following:

  • Listening
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Continuous learning
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Teamwork in a culture of respect for fellow co-workers and customers.

 

There are many activities employees can engage in within the workplace to promote employee engagement. Team building activities are a great way to bond employees and make them feel more comfortable working together as well as realise each other’s strengths and weaknesses. An employer could host employee games, tournaments, and competitions to spark friendships. Additionally, sports events would both promote health and wellbeing and further build working relationships between employees making them feel connected.

While employee engagement takes place after significant time practicing correct employee engagement strategies in the workplace. Employers will find it harder to develop a disengaged employee. Providing clear expectations by making sure you offer employees clear direction. Utilise the disengaged employees’ strengths and recognise when a job has been done well. As well as build on the employee and manager relationships.

Disengaged employees are detached from their team and work. They have lost sight of the company’s mission and vision. Their negativity for their workplace and job is toxic and contagious. It is estimated that disengaged employees are costing the UK economy £340 billion every year in lost training and recruitment costs, sick days, creativity, innovation, and productivity.

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