Employee engagement isn't only a buzzword invented by HR professionals to make your work life even more difficult. Unfortunately, this term isn't defined easily, but simply put, employee engagement is basically employee morale.
Business Dictionary explains moral as: "Psychological state of a person as expressed in self-confidence, enthusiasm, and/or loyalty to a cause or organization. Morale flows from the people's conviction about the righteousness or worth of their actions and the hopes of high rewards (material or otherwise) in the future." Hence, the engaged workforce has the required knowledge, skills, and expertise to do their work.
However, why employee engagement is so important and how it leads to a more productive workforce?
It would be easier to play the blame game, but in the end, being a leader, it's your duty to engage your workforce and keep them motivated. Probably you think that the money would be the best motivator, but you're wrong. According to surveys, 61% of workers would choose happiness at work over salary. Therefore, employees satisfaction is the key to better productivity.
A happy staff member is more probable to work harder, have better mental health, take less sick days, and build closer professional relationships with efficient communication. More importantly, happiness is contagious, so satisfied personnel has a beneficial impact on other workers in the company, and clients too.
Sophia Smith, an HR from AssignmentMasters emphasizes another factor that shows the significance of employee engagement: “If you don't invest in your workers, they will leave and replacing them will cost you even more. Even during slow season at work, you need to think about employee happiness; actually, those are the times when you need to motivate your staff the most to build a flexible working environment.”
There are various ways to motivate employees and enhance their productivity and here are some of them:
- Regular sport activities
Including physical activities in a daily routine encourages workers to be active which is highly beneficial for their overall health, especially after eight hours sitting at the table. It's a great way to vent their stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings. After working out, your employees will feel more relaxed and energized which will result in better productivity.
- Invest in training and development of personnel
Nowadays, it's crucial to invest in the training and development of your personnel because new technology trends are constantly emerging and they need to stay on top of their game. Therefore, provide opportunities for your employees to learn and grow their skills. With more competent workers, the success of your business is guaranteed.
- Share company vision and goals
By sharing your business objectives and goals, you involve your employees in the whole plan. They will feel appreciated and valued, but more importantly, they will be an integral part of your company. That way, your staff will work harder to achieve the overall success because involvement will create a sense of belonging and urge to contribute as well.
- Give and receive feedback
Providing feedback is a two-way street. As a company leader, you must give feedback to your employees, so they get information about their work performance and necessary improvements. Likewise, you need to be open to receive feedback on your management and things that can be better. Proper feedback will enhance good communication which is essential for employee engagement and increased productivity.
- Ask employees what they need
The best way to make your staff happy is to ask them directly what they want. That way, you will avoid guessing and spending your budget on activities that don't interest your workforce. Organize surveys or live interviews where you can discuss what you can do for your employees to increase to employee satisfaction and and keep their morale up.
Let's see companies that get employee engagement right.
Full Contact, a software firm offers their staff paid vacation whenever they want. They will be in a better state to work when they get back and ready to commit to company goals. Also, they will realize that they aren't the only person who can solve the problem, so this will eliminate stress and pressure.
DreamWorks Animation encourages workers to share their personal projects and work with their colleagues. Appreciating non-work related stuff makes employees more human, not just a part of the corporate puzzle.
Legal Monkeys established Appreciation Board where workers write notes and give the board to someone they wish to show appreciation. That way, employees are encouraged to leave positive feedback and show recognition for their coworkers.
Now it's time to put all these ideas into practice. Assess your current employee engagement efforts and determine gaps. Plan actionable steps to make your workers happy and increase their productivity.