Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals. An engaged employee is one who is fully involved in, enthusiastic about, and focused on their work and workplace. They are motivated to contribute to organizational success and are willing to apply discretionary effort to their job. Low engagement presents a tremendous challenge as disengaged employees tend to have lower productivity, are more likely to leave their jobs, and can undermine the morale of their teams.
Building a Culture of Engagement
In order to improve engagement levels, organizations need to focus on building a culture that motivates employees at all levels to commit to the company’s vision and values. This starts at the top with senior leaders emphasizing engagement in internal communications and leading by example when interacting with staff. It also requires tracking engagement, encouraging two-way dialogue between managers and teams, and empowering people to develop ideas and solve problems.
Rethinking Employee Benefits Packages
Part of crafting a compelling and supportive employee experience involves rethinking employee benefits packages. According to the folk at VertiSource HR, employees today search out benefits that provide flexibility, development, financial security, health, and work-life balance. Offering innovative benefits in these areas is key for both initially attracting talent and keeping employees highly engaged.
Supporting Wellness & Work-Life Harmony
Employee stress carries an enormous cost in terms of reduced engagement levels, lost productivity, and higher healthcare expenditures. Enabling employees to achieve harmony between their personal and professional lives through work-life balance and wellness initiatives can reduce anxiety levels, surface engagement, and support discretionary efforts.
Leveraging Technologies for Engagement
Digital tools provide tremendous opportunities to remove frustration, increase autonomy, upskill employees, gather feedback, recognize achievements, foster connections between people and teams, enable collaboration, breakdown silos, and make work more engaging. Solutions such as instant messaging platforms, self-service mobile HR apps, online learning systems, skills management portals, and workplace analytics dashboards can be implemented to create a seamless, personalized, and engaging employee experience.
Developing Employee Skills & Careers
Building and continually expanding the skills, abilities, and knowledge of the workforce directly strengthens engagement as talent increasingly expects their jobs to provide internal growth and development opportunities. Organizations looking to improve retention must invest in the capabilities of employees through formal training programs, access to conferences/events, enrichment workshops, industry certifications and mentorship initiatives.
Fostering Team Relationships & Communications
Meaningful professional relationships and positive social connections are tremendously beneficial for fulfillment and engagement at work. Isolation and loneliness take a heavy toll on productivity, performance, and enjoyment of one’s job. Leaders need to actively cultivate the relational fabric between employees by organizing collaborative activities, creating buddy systems for new hires, establishing cross-departmental partners, and modeling genuine relationship behaviors at the executive level.
Making Recognition & Appreciation a Priority
Recognizing and showing appreciation for employee contributions through monetary and non-monetary rewards boosts morale, motivates teams, and elevates engagement levels. While pay raises help people feel valued, research shows that non-financial means of recognition actually have a greater impact on engagement and performance. Building a culture where managers and employees acknowledge contributions from their colleagues fosters an emotionally vibrant workplace environment.
Boosting employee engagement to best-in-class levels necessitates a multifaceted and integrated strategy addressing all aspects of the workplace for both existing employees and new hires. Executing such an extensive plan requires coordination between executives, managers, and the entire HR organization. But taking measures to comprehensively engage your people ultimately creates a thriving organization for the long term. Employees who feel an emotional commitment to their organizations readily apply discretionary energy to their work, driving higher performance across departments, teams, and individuals.
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