For many years, employers’ main focus was largely customer satisfaction; however, the day has arrived where employee satisfaction is now equally important. By increasing visibility and transparency, social media has turned company cultures inside-out. Corporate decisions, once kept in the dark, are being disclosed and heretofore—unknown issues, like disengagement, have found the light.
Companies are noticing a gap widening between engaged workers and their disengaged colleagues. One recent Gallup poll reported only 13 percent of the world’s workplaces were “highly engaged.” With engagement levels falling, it is imperative that organizations recognize the need for a new vision: one that is centered on employees and culture.
New Ways to Play
- Survey the field –
Before jumping into any program, it is important to have as much information as possible. To collect this much-needed information, surveys are a wonderful tool. When anonymous, this helps analyze how engaged your employees truly are. Finding out what they believe will spur productivity and improve the organization’s culture. Although this step sounds obvious, many executive leaders disregard it and rely only on their own gut feeling. However, an effective survey will gather relevant, realistic data that can be used to develop a course of action. If carried out properly, surveys can produce a measurable impact not just for HR and management, but also for the employees as well.
One reason surveys develop a bad rap is how some companies use them. Organizations tend to gather opinions, and then don’t reflect on the key data points. While it is unrealistic for businesses to promise the moon, it is crucial that this data be measured and seriously contemplated by executives. When upper management pays attention to survey results – or at least acknowledges them – employees feel that their opinions and hard work are valued.
- Select managers who care –
The best managers realize that company growth is a top priority. Managers with this attitude understand that personal successes, an employee’s growth and the company’s progress are all intertwined. Successful leaders encourage workers to focus on their strengths, taking them to the next level. This type of management style empowers employees, making them feel valued. In turn, employees recognize their worth, feel engaged and seek to propel the organization forward with innovation and effort.
- Provide feedback –
As a product of the millennial age, I can attest to the value of consistent feedback. Whether this is channeled through scheduled one-on-ones or the occasional office visit, employees feel engaged when management takes time to give constructive criticism, even when the feedback is negative. Face-to-face meetings are not only an excellent opportunity for employers to build confidence, but also a time for managers to communicate where improvement is needed. When employees feel that time and energy are being invested in their development, it’s much easier to stay engaged with their organization.
Employees are usually an organization’s most important asset, but this is true only if they are engaged in the workplace. With the spotlight moving toward their satisfaction, it is crucial for businesses to adjust their overall vision and goals regarding employee retention. By implementing these three methods, organizations can revitalize their employee engagement levels and maintain a competitive advantage within their region and industry.