Employee engagement, the vital organ to the workplace. Without it companies face many roadblocks. Those roadblocks? Higher turnover rates, lower productivity and more dissatisfied employees. A shocking 60% of employees lack the elements needed to be highly engaged in the workplace. How do we harness the power of employee engagement for the better good of our workforce (and company)? Professionals in the industry weighed in to tackle that very question, not from a software or platform perspective, but from the viewpoint of practical ideas that all of us can implement tomorrow.
This question originally appeared on Quora. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Q: What are good ways to increase employee engagement?
“...A proven way to increase employee engagement is to help workers make progress toward meaningful work. Researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer discovered the progress principle while looking at the best way to drive innovative work inside organizations. With a goal setting approach based on the five pillars of goal science—connected, supported, adaptable, progress-based and aspirational—organizations can establish better alignment, which improves business operational excellence and makes employees more successful…”
--Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks
Kris starts us off with what engagement really means. It’s not a laundry list of perks or copying the plan of your competitors across town, it’s more about helping your employees create their best professional selves. This benefits both the company and the employee. Talent alignment is a key piece of this puzzle. Identifying the goals of the organization with the goals of each individual can help start your company on the path to meaningful work.
“...A town hall can be an effective way to boost engagement if done right...If the town hall focuses on communication from leadership to employees about what the employees have helped drive that period, well that is more engaging.
For a town hall to engage employees it needs to focus on establishing the relationship between what individual employees are doing, and how that is helping leadership steer the company in the right direction…”
--Alex McEachern, Loyalty Marketing Specialist at Sweet Tooth
Employees crave leadership to hear their collective (and individual voices). Whether it’s a town hall meeting or a survey, Alex gives us insight into the most important piece of the engagement puzzle, finding out what your employees truly want.
“...Look at yourself before you assess others, it all starts with you. Show a little respect. Nothing matters more. Be interested in your employees, well-being and make an effort to actively appreciate the specific value they add. The safer people feel, the more productive they are.
Value trumps quantity.
Individually discuss with your employees how you will measure success by the value they create. Allow them to be their own boss to an extent, trust works both ways, and as grown adults they are capable of deciding for themselves how best to get their work done without constant oversight.
Concentration serves excellence.
Encourage planning around focus, one task at a time. More energy gets spent on the job at hand than switching between thoughts, refreshing your memory and worrying about the impending workload.
Renew and refresh.
Great performance demands great renewal, even though our instincts tell us to work harder, faster and longer. Encourage a 15-minute walk in the fresh air to aid alertness in the following hours.
Make it matter.
If you care about your job, you’ll do it better. Help to define what that is for each person, it will allow them to do more of what they do best…”
--Luke Hawker, Creative Marketer at The Colour Works
While Luke’s basics seem...well basic, they are the centerpiece to keeping employees engaged. While they don’t have the splashy effect of a ping pong table or unlimited vacation, these are the day to day activities that make a workplace....engaging!
Keeping your employees engaged also means keeping your employees happy:
“The biggest thing employers want out of making their employees happy (besides some second-hand joy of their own) is engagement, since it’s a better predictor or productivity. However, happiness and engagement aren’t always simpatico, and people make the mistake of thinking the two are directly related. If you’re looking for engagement, making your employees happier isn’t always the key. Happiness can breed complacency and let’s face it, work is a place to get things accomplished.”
-Andre Lavoie, ClearCompany
An astounding 79% of highly engaged employees have trust and confidence in their leaders.
At ClearCompany, we understand that employee engagement is vital to your company. That’s why we invest our time in finding the best ways to achieve a high employee engagement status for all of our clients. Head over to our blog to read more tips on employee engagement.
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