Gone are the days when people intended to work and develop at the same company for the rest of their lives. Nowadays, many who become disengaged at work leave for better management attitudes and career opportunities. That’s why employee engagement is becoming a top priority for HR specialists and employers.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.
Engaged employees produce better business outcomes than those who just sit out their established workday hours. They are completely absorbed by their tasks and are ready to go above and beyond what is expected of them. Such employees believe that their work is meaningful and appreciated by colleagues and supervisors and want to perform it at their very best.
In contrast, disengaged employees can range from those doing the bare minimum at work to those who even bring harm to the company with their actions. For example, unengaged employees risk losing a client through a flat interaction or making serious mistakes when calculating an estimate.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
There’s no aspect of your workflow that is not affected by employee engagement. Here are the main points that will help you perceive its importance for business:
- Higher productivity. A sense of involvement in the company improves the performance of each employee. Engaged staff members take joy in their daily responsibilities. They are more likely to suggest creative ideas and are ready to go the extra mile to succeed.
- Higher employee retention. Replacing one employee can cost up to a third of that worker’s annual salary. So, a high turnover rate affects a company’s bottom line. If employees enjoy their work and are compensated for it fairly, there’s no reason for them to leave.
- Higher customer loyalty. Staff engagement and customer experience go hand in hand. Whether your employees work in a sales team, service department, or as retail assistants, customers notice their commitment and are more inclined to trust them when making purchasing decisions.
- Higher profit. All of the above lead to financial benefits for the company. High motivation boosts employee performance, low turnover reduces the cost of hiring new employees, and increased customer loyalty results in more sales. All of this has a great impact on profitability — research shows that engaged employees bring companies 23% more profit compared with unhappy, listless ones.
Strategies for Employee Engagement
Finding someone who is professional and passionate about their work is a great challenge. But retaining such a person is even more difficult: staff engagement is an engine that has to be constantly fuelled. Engagement is not only about providing employees with the work they enjoy, but also about giving them a sense of purpose, fulfilling their passion, and supporting them along the way.
Here are the most practical strategies for boosting employee engagement.
Start With Onboarding
You’ll never disengage an employee faster than during onboarding. The first months on the job lay the foundation for how committed the employee will be to the company and productive in performing their tasks.
What action should be taken during this period? First, establish clear job expectations. If basic information is not provided, it will result in boredom and resentment. An employee will be more focused on surviving at your company than on how they can help it succeed. Explain the company’s strategy as well as the purpose of their position in the organisation.
To make the onboarding process easy and transparent, many companies use digital solutions — learning management systems (LMSs). With the iSpring Learn LMS, for example, it’s easy to get the onboarding process under control. You can combine all the information newbies need to know into welcome courses, assign them to learners, and track their progress with automatic reports.
This is precisely the period when you need to show the newcomer that your values aren’t just a slogan. Create a friendly atmosphere: provide cool welcome gifts for your new hires and establish a buddy system to ensure a smooth transition to their regular tasks.
Provide Continuous Training and Development Opportunities
Developing new skills encourages employees to think of their role in terms of a career. They’ll be engaged if they realise that their professional development is one of the company’s goals. Invite experts, hold training sessions and workshops, or invest in training courses so employees can enhance their skills at their convenience.
As well as learning opportunities, provide a clear development plan for each new hire — it will help them understand how they’ll be able to grow and create a sense of purpose at work.
Reward Top Performers
Employees are unlikely to invest 100% for long if their efforts are not recognised by supervisors and colleagues. Celebrate the completion of important projects and emphasise individual contributions on work anniversaries or birthdays.
At the end of a reporting period or after closing important deals, you can also send out news releases by email or via an LMS, highlighting the successes and achievements of outstanding employees. All these make recognition more systematic, easier, and more effective.
Seek Ongoing Feedback
Conduct employee engagement surveys to assess your personnel’s mood quickly and identify areas for improvement. Hold regular goal-setting meetings, performance reviews, and one-on-ones. By collecting feedback, you can shed light on blind spots and improve employee engagement in time.
These strategies may seem obvious, but many companies neglect them. Employee engagement isn’t just a nice thing to have in a company. It’s a critical component of every successful business today. And the sooner you make it a natural part of your corporate culture, the sooner you’ll benefit from it.