Focusing efforts on engaging employees can be a slippery slope. Even employers with the best of intentions can find themselves spending their resources on free lunches and on-site gyms to make employees happy, only to lose sight of what true engagement means, why it matters and what fully engaged employees can do for their business.
What would higher levels of engagement do for your organization? Would it improve productivity and the quality of products and services? Would those improvements increase customer satisfaction levels, sales and profits?
Learn how to leverage employee engagement to drive actual business results in your organization with the following engagement strategies:
- Hire the right people.
If a candidate is the wrong fit, no matter your engagement efforts, you can end up with a completely happy, unproductive employee or a productive employee who is disenchanted with the organization and gone in six months. Learn who your best candidates are by creating profiles of your top-performing, fully engaged employees to identify the characteristics that would make the best fit for future hires.
- Share the vision.
If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to define or refine your values, vision and mission statement. These should be the guiding light behind your business strategy, goals and objectives. Your success depends on knowing where you’re going and why you’re going there. Only after this foundation is laid for your organization will you be able to engage your employees successfully in the company mission.
- Connect the dots.
Effective communication, ongoing training and leaders committed to the goals of the organization are important in helping employees understand and identify with their jobs’ purpose and how it impacts the success of the company — a key component for engaged employees.
- Train effectively.
Training doesn’t always equate to learning. Implement regular skills and knowledge assessments, development goals and employee feedback opportunities. Ask their input on your training program’s relevance and quality, then make improvements based on that data to ensure your employees know how to do their jobs and have the opportunity to develop.
- Ask your A team.
Identify your top-performing/engaged individuals, teams and managers; survey them about what they are doing differently regarding culture, communication, systems, processes and performance management; then implement what you learn across your other teams. Another reason to survey this group of top performers is to conduct “stay interviews” to bring to light the reasons why they stay, what keeps them engaged and to minimize anything that might be a departure trigger.
- Empower the engaged.
If you’re constraining otherwise engaged and productive employees with outdated processes and procedures, it not only negatively impacts morale but the productivity of your business and the satisfaction of your customers. Offer your employees the opportunity to provide feedback. Survey them on their work, department structure and processes. Solicit their input on how to provide better service and improve products, or simply on how you can empower them to do their job better, and use those results to drive positive change throughout your organization.
- Make access easy.
Employees expect online access to the information they need. A robust, self-service portal for employee information such as pay vouchers, benefits enrollment and time-off requests can improve productivity for employees and HR. When you add performance management, on-demand training and surveys, it becomes an engagement tool that helps in employee development and employee-employer communication.
- Align talent with targets.
Although employee feedback is extremely important, measuring attitudes and opinions isn’t enough to drive performance. It’s imperative that you leverage your survey results into actionable organizational objectives and employee performance and development goals. The right people, focused on the right things with measurable performance indicators and rewards, go a long way in creating that engaged and unstoppable workforce capable of meeting the most ambitious business outcomes.