The Importance of Employee Engagement
"Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.” Timothy R. Clark
What is employee engagement? Employee engagement is the creation of a workplace environment that results in a culture in which all employees are committed to carrying out the company’s mission and values and to giving their best effort on a daily basis leaving them to feel good about themselves and their contributions.
In reality, employee engagement is one of the most important factors in the success of your organization. It is critical to retaining employees, increasing profitability and improving efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction. When employees are engaged and have a sense of purpose, they are happier and contribute at higher levels.
So why do companies get it wrong? Quite often when leaders make decisions critical to their success, they place emphasis on shareholders and customers and not on the individuals that are accountable for carrying out their mission. Without the inclusion and buy in of their employees, performance outcomes will be less than desirable.
3 Strategies to Create an Engaged Culture
1. Communicate the importance of employee engagement starting with the executive
2. Understand the basic principles of engagement
3. Find ways to formalize and measure employee engagement levels
Tips to Help Improve Employee Engagement
Engage your employees regularly, not just when convenient. Most company's use annual surveys to gather feedback and ideas from their employees. This method often provides inaccurate or tainted data because employees tend to respond based on how they are feeling in that moment or based upon the issues that are occurring during that timeframe. When feedback and engagement occur on a regular basis, employers will receive more balanced feedback and gain better insight on how to best move their organizations forward.
Think of creative ways to engage your employees. One of the most common mistakes that employers make is assuming that engagement tools have to be formal. In contrary, engagement can be simpler than you think. Employee engagement can be exercised during team meetings, town halls, one on ones and reviews.
Make employees feel comfortable when asking them for their input. Provide them with a safe environment and flexible tools that will allow them to provide you with feedback anonymously and confidentially. This will enable your employees to give their honest views and not what they think you and their peers want to hear.
Display the results and take action. When feedback is given, identify areas where action can be taken immediately for quick wins. Display and keep them informed on how you are progressing on long term items. Make sure that your employees are aware of how their feedback and involvement in decisions has helped the organization. This will keep them engaged and motivated.