Part of a leader’s responsibility is to continuously improve employee engagement, while staying focused on team objectives.
Most leaders will agree employee engagement affects what a team accomplishes. They will also agree it is challenging to maintain a high level of engagement consistently.
What is Employee Engagement?
Wikipedia defines employee engagement as a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees.
Employee engagement is an indicator for how well a team and a company is functioning. When engagement is high, it is reflected in improved performance and results.
The Costs of Not Improving Employee Engagement
If improving employee engagement is not a focus, the costs include:
- Objectives not met on time.
- Employees not as committed as they can be.
- Increase in employee turnover.
- Higher operating costs because of increases in inefficiencies.
- Lower levels of customer service.
- Poor quality of work.
If employee engagement is not improved, a team or company will not operate as well as it could.
The Benefits of Improving Employee Engagement
When employee engagement is high in an organization, the benefits include:
- Employees display a positive attitude.
- Problems are solved faster.
- Creativity and innovation will increase.
- Better collaboration and synergy amongst team members.
- Improved efficiencies and performance.
- Higher levels of customer service.
A leader must make improving employee engagement one of their main objectives.
How to Improve Employee Engagement Using These Five Important Strategies
Here are five things a leader or manager can do to improve employee engagement and create a better-performing organization.
- Define a narrative or story that employees buy into. This can include a mission statement, which serves as the reason why the company exists. When people buy into a story that is bigger than just making money, they are more likely to support a company’s initiatives or objectives.
- Focus on creating a safe space where employees are heard and valued. Key drivers for most people are to be heard, acknowledged, appreciated and valued. Creating an environment where mistakes are not ridiculed or reprimanded will support the creation of a safe space.
- Offer opportunities for employees to become better versions of themselves. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. Providing opportunities where employees can take on new challenges or learn things will make a big difference. This can include coaching, attending workshops or enrolling in online courses.
- Demonstrate transparency in all communication. Employees lose interest or exhibit low motivation if they are not kept informed about things happening within the company. Regular communication is necessary to keep everyone informed and engaged. Sharing positive and not-so positive news are all part of being transparent.
- Showcase and celebrate achievements. Success breeds success. Whenever wins are celebrated, it increases camaraderie and team morale. Most times, celebrating smalls wins will have a bigger impact than the big wins. An example can be acknowledging a team member for solving a customer complaint in a positive and professional manner.
The drive to improve employee engagement should be an ongoing focus. If organizations want to thrive and make a bigger impact, leaders have to implement the right strategies. When employees are more engaged at work, they perform better, which will improve an organization’s bottom-line results.
If employee engagement is poor, it will affect an organization’s profits and its reputation. Implementing simple things consistently to improve employee engagement will make a difference.
Action Step: If you are a leader, assess the level of engagement within your team. If you know it is not at the level it can be, apply the ideas suggested here to improve your team engagement and performance.
Question: What are more ways to improve employee engagement?