What is employee engagement? Engaged employees really care about the company. They are willing to "give whatever it takes" to make the company the best it can be. Engaged employees have an emotional bond to the company, which results in higher levels of productivity, increased customer satisfaction, and decreased absenteeism & turnover.
However, a recent study by MSW Research, Gallup, & Dale Carnegie Training shows that only 29% of employees around the world are fully engaged. Now you can see why this is a top challenge for senior executives!
This is not just an HR situation. This is a critical business issue. The entire company, including the "top brass," needs to be involved, responsible, and encouraged to make engagement the top priority in the company.
The ability to engage and retain talent has an incredible affect to the company's bottom line.According to the Bureau of National Affairs, turnover costs approximately 1.5 times the annual salary and costs businesses around $11 billion annually. In addition to increased turnover costs, disengaged employees are unproductive and drag morale down. What is this costing you?
What to do... what to do?
If you want to increase employee engagement within your company, concentrate on these areas:
Business foundation - vision, values, mission, strategy, and effective communication with all employees. Clear expectations, quality feedback, and perception of employee's job importance are vital. Commitment is the foundation of engagement.
Positive relationships - ensure your relationships with your employees are strong. They must believe in your leadership abilities and have trust that they are a valued part of the team. This is key!
Taking initiative - make sure everyone is a part of the solution and feels empowered. Ask for their opinions and thank them for being a part of the answer.
Career advancement opportunities - ask employees what their career aspirations are with your company. Do they want to move up, stay the same, try a different position, or get additional training? Help them advance personally and professionally.
Reward engagement - whatever type of reward system that will work best for your employees must be consistent and worthy. Incentives for work 'well done' go a long way to enhance engagement. Recognition programs like employee of the month, awards dinner, summer picnic, bonuses, and / or a write up in your company newsletter are all good ways to show your appreciation.
Learn to ask questions to invoke continuous engagement.
Take time to talk with employees on a regular basis. Ask questions to help you learn what may be needed. Simple questions like:
- How are things going?
- What is working well?
- What could use improvement?
- Do you have all the tools necessary to do your job effectively?
- Are there any areas that we could be doing better?
- If you were the president, CEO, or owner, what would you do differently?
Make sure you respond to their answers and thank them. If you implement one of their suggestions make sure you recognize them with your reward system.
Use the above steps in your hiring process too and you will have more engaged employees in your workplace. Always keep on your guard to identify non-engaged employees and take immediate action.t
"There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization's overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow...It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it..."
- Jack Welch, former CEO of GE
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~ Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC Copyright protected worldwide. All rights reserved. ©2013