Workhuman Editorial Team
8 min read
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No matter the industry, the most important asset of any business is an organization’s workers. Not only do they do the work necessary to keep the business running, but they also serve as brand ambassadors and are the faces of your organization. Employees have the power to make or break a company, which is why employee engagement is an essential aspect of day-to-day work operations.
In this guide you’ll not only learn how to maximize employee engagement, but also to sustain it to keep the most crucial aspects of your company thriving.
Employee engagement is the mental and emotional connection employees have with their work. Engagement relates to how much meaning employees find in their work, how connected they are to it, and the pride they take in it. Essentially, it’s the relationship they have with their role and the company as a whole.
It’s important to note that the employee engagement definition is different from that of employee happiness and employee satisfaction.
Employees could be happy at their job and be satisfied with their work-life balance, pay, and benefits while still not finding much meaning in their job.While HR needs to be concerned about all aspects of the employee experience, engagement refers explicitly to how employees feel and relate to their work, company, and team.
This is not something to take lightly as the level of engagement employees have can make a huge impact on business success or lack thereof, meaning employers need to be aware of it and actively working toward a solution.
Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you improve your company’s employee engagement.
To start, let’s go over the different levels of engagement you may find your employees at.
Employee engagement isn’t something that just happens, but when companies actively work to strengthen it, the rewards are clear.
Here are eight benefits of a strong employee engagement strategy.
One of the biggest drivers of employee engagement is the culture of the organization.
In order for employees to be engaged, it must be clear that their organization’s leaders are committed to making the workplace great in the present, while ensuring a prosperous future. Engaged employees also trust that the organization is looking out for their best interest and are taking employee growth and development into account when building out strategy.
However, one of the essential factors for this to happen is that leadership understands that workers are their most important resource for success and that prosperity ties directly to how much a company invests in its workers.
After all, why should employees put forth discretionary effort if there is no mutual respect between them and the business?
Management key drivers typically focus on employee relationships with their supervisors.
Employees need clear expectations and instructions and a positive relationship with their supervisors in order to have a positive employee experience with the entire organization.
Engagement is also affected at this level by the tools employees have to get their jobs done.
Engaged employees also have the authority and freedom to accomplish their tasks effectively with the necessary tools and support.
Individual drivers of engagement are the employees themselves, and managers and HR can actively teach their employees to be more engaged effectively and healthily.
Employees setting motivating goals and being able to reward themselves and those around them tend to increase engagement and make the workplace more human with many moments of pride, not to mention improve employee satisfaction.
Championing employee engagement doesn’t mean much without an effective way to measure those efforts.
Fortunately, plenty of tools are available to help understand how engaged your employees are or are not, often in the form of employee surveys.
Keep in mind that an employee engagement survey isn’t a standard, end-of-year survey but a different, more interactive and frequent survey that lets employees feel heard.
The presence of these surveys on their own can increase engagement, provided that a company takes steps to improve engagement based on the results and data from the engagement survey.
Employee engagement surveys are detailed surveys designed to gather information about the engagement levels of employees. They ask questions about how much employees believe in the company’s vision.
What future do they see for themselves at the company? How much meaning do they find in their work?
Of course, these surveys should be anonymous so individual employees don’t have to worry about potential repercussions for their honest responses.
Pulse surveys gather information on real-time topics in a quick and effective way. They’re short, concise, and while they should be used all of the time, they tend to focus on employees’ immediate concerns after events such as a management change or merger.
An employee life cycle survey gets employees’ perspectives through crucial transitional periods in their employee journey.
Here are three examples of employee surveys around the employee life cycle:
To increase employee engagement, you’ll need to develop programs and initiatives to help employees find more meaning in their work.
You can implement several strategies with varying results, so you’ll first need to analyze what your specific organization needs the most.
Effective employee engagement strategy begins with issuing a survey. And only from there can a company effectively narrow down the pain points and begin to work through them.
One of the most critical factors for any employee engagement action plan is that it needs to be sustainable and maintained.
The following steps can help guide you toward making significant and effective changes to boost employee engagement.
One of the biggest hurdles to boosting employee engagement is getting management on board, both in terms of shifting company culture and obtaining the funds to do so.
Fortunately, HR can use a few tools to help, including tools for tracking engagement initiatives and employee progress.
Of course, employees need to get involved with the ability to track their individual professional growth, and techniques to reward oneself at work can go a long way to foster engagement at that level.
Many managers make the mistake of thinking engagement is more a matter of public relations than business success. It plays a role in attracting new hires, certainly, but it’s also much more than that.
Remember that employee engagement is directly related to employee performance and retention, so it makes economic sense to ensure that employees are as engaged as possible. For business leaders who are committed to bottom line results above all else, this return on investment will be another selling point.
Engagement initiatives come in many different forms, and the best option for your organization will depend on the unique traits of your workers.
You may be able to start an initiative that increases employee engagement with recognition and a culture of gratitude that centers on executives being grateful for their workers rather than workers expressing gratitude to have their jobs.
Of course, you may benefit from an initiative that fosters independence and trust, allowing employees to forge their paths forward and giving them greater autonomy to reach the company’s goals.
Employees often report a lack of engagement due to their organization not trusting them to get work done, which is one of the many reasons that hybrid work and flexible work schedules have had a positive impact on the employee experience.
To foster employee engagement properly, you’ll need the right tools. At Workhuman, we offer various tools you can take advantage of to make your employee engagement initiatives as effective and efficient as possible.
Surveys are essential for gauging exactly how your employees feel about their workplace and how engaged they are with it.
With our Moodtracker tool, you can issue pulse surveys that let workers have a voice.
That’s just the beginning, as it also offers analytics and actionable recommendations for improving engagement; plus, you can track the data over time to see how well these initiatives are working!
Employee recognition is essential for having employees feel engaged with their workplace and its mission and people.
Our Social Recognition® program creates a culture of excellence that has everyone feel seen, heard, and appreciated.
It uses a peer-to-peer system allowing employees to communicate and recognize each other from anywhere, connecting them to one another and their work, which proves to be a strong driver of employee engagement.
Performance management is easy with Conversations®, which combines performance development efforts with structured feedback.
This platform allows company leaders, managers, and employees themselves to request and give feedback at any time to anyone throughout the company.
This tool compiles the check-ins, feedback, and goals employees have collected during their tenure, bringing people, rather than process, to the forefront.
People analytics are the best way to identify and solve problems with employee engagement, and Moodtracker makes this process easy.
In addition to crafting and issuing surveys, it collects data in easy-to-read and interactable dashboards that can compare results from your organization against benchmark data from around the world.
A segmented analysis is available by region, team, and department so that you can focus wherever you like.
Employee engagement is a collective effort that falls upon every person at every level of your organization.
While everyone has a part in maximizing engagement, it’s important to recognize the different roles that various organizational positions play in fostering an environment that engages workers.
The role of HR is to keep engagement initiatives and efforts running from behind the scenes. This work includes holding management and employees accountable for reaching engagement goals and following initiatives.
HR also implements software and training to help familiarize everyone with the tools required for engagement activities. Of course, they’re also the point of contact for any engagement issues that employees or management might have down the line.
While HR comes up with initiatives, managers are the ones who have to implement them in the workplace.
Their job is to develop healthy and trusting relationships with every team member while frequently and appropriately recognizing when milestones and goals are reached. Remember, management shouldn’t be setting goals alone, but rather working with employees so both management and employees can feel confident performing.
You manage employee engagement at every level of the company, with HR, executives, and employees all having a part to play.
At all levels, however, you must set clear and quantifiable goals, and you’ll need the necessary tools to implement and analyze all engagement initiatives.
The 12 elements of employee engagement are:
An employee engagement team is mainly focused on monitoring initiatives and keeping the business accountable for its promises around engagement.
HR needs to keep both executives and employees accountable for maintaining engagement initiatives. Get everyone involved.
Explore our convenient feedback and assessment tools that make it easy for everyone in the organization to thrive and succeed.
Maintaining an engaged workforce is a continuous effort, but the numerous benefits of employee engagement are well worth the effort, especially considering the applicability to the organization’s bottom line.
While engagement differs from happiness and satisfaction, they all gain from increased engagement.
Keep refining engagement strategies to unlock the full potential of workers and take your company to the next level.
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