Employee engagement is crucial for organizations of all sizes and industries. In a competitive marketplace with a variety of job prospects available to your key team members, keeping them onboard and committed to your business is trickier than ever. This is especially the case for younger employees who seek a vibrant company culture as well as a corporation that cares.
Millennials now make up 38% of the job market. With 10 million of them open to new job opportunities, according to a recent poll from Gallup, it’s no longer enough to provide a candidate with a secure job. If you want them to care about your business, you need to make them feel valued, respected and recognized for notable achievements and skills they bring to the table.
This might seem like a difficult task, but with a robust employee engagement strategy, it can be achieved on an organizational level both smoothly and efficiently.
Why Should You Care About Employee Engagement?
It should come as no surprise that employee engagement is often the key to a dedicated, secure professional team, from senior management to back-office support. In fact, businesses that actively and strategically invest time in their employees see a number of benefits in return.
More Efficient Process
If you can foster employee engagement and keep your employees feeling valued, they’ll be less likely to leave, in turn costing you less on rehiring and training fresh team members. Lower attrition rates mean more expendable budget to dedicate to your key business initiatives, and a more stable work environment for all.
Increased Employee Loyalty
Typically, an engaged employee is more likely to experience higher satisfaction with their job, and a better understanding of how their role fits into the business. They will want to help the company in ways above-and-beyond their typical scope of work, providing you a team you can count on. A satisfied employee will be more loyal to your business and less likely to jump ship when the going gets tough.
Spike in Productivity
An engaged employee will often be more committed to working harder to achieve their personal goals, as well as to contributing to the wider success of the business. As employee engagement rises, so does motivation, leading to your team getting more done within the same amount of time.
4 Tips for Successful Employee Engagement
There are several key ways that you can sustain a successful employee engagement program. With some time investment and a strong focus, these strategies will be simpler to implement than you think and improve company culture.
1) Offer Ongoing Training
It might seem like a given, but by offering your employees ongoing training, you’re showing them that their skill sets are valuable to the company and that there is room for advancement.
COMPREHENSIVE INDIVIDUAL TRAINING
Show new employees the ropes by setting a clear path with a comprehensive initial training package for any back-office services and skills specific to their role in the business. Give them the opportunity to ask questions and interact with members of management as opposed to just giving them a training manual and expecting them to carve a path themselves.
ONGOING SKILL DEVELOPMENT
One of the best ways to keep your team invested in your business? Simple – invest in them. In addition to onboarding, help them to hone their professional skillset by offering them ongoing training. This can either be for brushing up on current knowledge or learning new skills. It’s a top way of demonstrating how valuable an employee’s input is to the business.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be fresh skills – it can also stretch to core strengths such as organization, which is particularly prevalent in millennials. Research has shown that only half of millennials understand how to correctly prioritize tasks in the workplace, compared to 71% of their older generation counterparts.
By investing time into helping your employees develop these skills, you’ll see a payout in both engagement and productivity.
2) Social Events to Keep Spirits High - Employee Engagement
If you want your employees to engage with your business and enjoy coming to work each day, give them something to look forward to. Social events aren’t only a great incentive – they also give employees the opportunity to build relationships within their teams, further solidifying employee loyalty and a strong company culture.
At Personiv, we run a number of social events each year, including summer outings and holiday parties, which we’ve found help our teams to effectively maintain motivation. By allowing employees to be a part of the planning process, we ensure that their desires are fulfilled, while the planners act as representatives of the employee group as a whole.
If you’re reluctant to take people from their desks, think about running a monthly themed day. These can be as simple as allowing staff to come into work in pajamas on the first Monday of the month, or as varied as a costume contest, with prizes for top contestants. No matter what you go for, they’re a great way to mix things up, keep office life interesting, and drive employee engagement. A fun work environment is a productive one.
3) A Focus on Health & Work-Life Balance
Showing you care about your employees is one of the key principles of employee engagement, yet businesses can be inflexible when it comes to their employees’ health and family needs.
By offering employees time to take care of themselves and their families, you’re communicating that you’re committed to their wellbeing – both personally and within the workplace.
This doesn’t necessarily mean offering unlimited vacation or work from home options – it can be as simple as giving your team a weekly window for any required medical appointments and allowing them time off to care for a sick child.
PROMOTE THE IMPORTANCE OF A BALANCED LIFE
Overworked employees aren’t the healthiest, nor the most productive. Making health and balance a part of your company culture can go a long way in not only attracting great employees but keeping them along the way. A good start? Promote healthy living through diet and exercise.
Give your employees the opportunity to stretch their legs as part of a weekly running club, with managers showing their faces and getting actively involved. Better yet, invite families of employees to participate. Offer healthy snacks in the break room or start a team sport. Your employees will see you as invested in their health and their family, and what’s more important than that?
4) Recognize and Reward Success
One of the key catalysts for employee disengagement is a lack of recognition. Non-recognition is the killer of productivity. For example, if your team completes a large project or launches a successful campaign, and their work is ignored, they are less likely to work that hard again in the future. On the other hand, recognizing success breeds more success. Employees like to know you care, and simple recognition goes a long way.
MONTHLY AWARD CEREMONIES
A major disconnect between leadership and employees is that companies often think that giving monetary rewards is the only way to show them that they’re appreciated. Sure, performance-related bonuses can be an effective means of incentivizing success (and you won’t find many people turning them down), but simple recognition in front of their peers can be as beneficial at boosting motivation and increasing employee engagement as cash.
For top performers, you can reward them and simultaneously inspire others by presenting them with non-monetary rewards, such as half-day off tokens, or a cinema pass for them and a friend or partner, or even a plaque recognizing achievement.
By showing your team that what they do matters, you’ll give them a reason to keep up the hard work. You’ll encourage lower achievers to work towards realistic goals and who knows – you might even spark a bit of friendly peer competition.
What Benefits Will You See From Employee Engagement?
Having a highly-engaged workforce will let you wield certain benefits that you don’t want to miss out on that extend beyond employee satisfaction.
You’ll Win More Clients
This one might not seem obvious, but think about it – the better you treat your employees, the better your potential clients will think of you. Just like employees want to work for a company that cares, clients want to work with a company that cares. A strong company culture with happy employees can be the thing that puts you above your competitors.
Marketing your services doesn’t always start externally. Engaged employees are more likely to actively promote your business, acting as brand ambassadors to drive additional sales leads and foster new interest.
You’ll Boost Your ROI
Simply put, increasing employee engagement can have a significant impact on your bottom line. From a more efficient hiring model to an edge in the market, the cost benefits are numerous.
For one thing, productivity is bound to make a difference. The more engaged your workforce is, the more effort and energy they’ll commit to completing tasks. This boosted motivation, in turn, translates to more work getting accomplished, meaning you see more of a return on the money you invest in staff salaries.
You’ll Develop Your Company Culture
Although more of a long-term benefit, a developed company culture isn’t something you should overlook.
By increasing employee engagement through a variety of tactics such as social occasions, awards ceremonies, and group activities, you’ll create an environment where employees want to succeed.
While this works wonders for employee retention, it’ll also benefit your future hiring process. In the modern market, word travels quickly. If you’ve got a positive culture, new talent will hear about it giving them one more reason to apply to vacancies that could otherwise be difficult to fill, and bringing the best talent to your front door, which brings us to our next point – innovation
You’ll Breed Innovation
This is a little-known benefit of employee engagement, but it could well be one of the most valuable to your business. Whether it’s a reward or simply recognition in front of their peers, employees who feel that their professional input is valued will be far more likely to go the extra mile when it comes to new ideas.
If these employees also feel that they can collaborate with upper management and other teams within the business, a basic idea could be developed into a project that significantly drives overall organizational growth. There’s nothing better than growing organically and engaged employees are essential to overall progress.
Improve Your Employee Engagement & Watch your Business Flourish
Employee engagement is more than just pulling together an event once a year. It takes a concerted effort and plenty of planning. But, it is definitely worth it. Whether you are looking to increase productivity, build company culture or simply do the right thing for your employees, follow our advice, and you’ll be amazed by the results.
Interested in how we work? Contact us today to find out how our engaged employees make our clients productive every day.