What is employee engagement?
Forbes defines employee engagement as the “emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.”
When employees care – they stay engaged and in turn, they help achieve organisational goals. Higher employee engagement leads to more dedicated, productive, and enthusiastic employees whereas lower employee engagement results in disconnected and demotivated employees.
Wondering what an engaged employee looks like? Here are some of the things to look for:
- Keeps good relationships with their co-workers and employers
- Always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow
- Speaks positively about the company and co-workers
- Enjoys helping co-workers when their help is required
Why is employee engagement important?
Keeping employees happy, motivated, and comfortable in their work environment is vital to maintaining a successful organization. Employees are the face of your company through interactions with your customers and are the engine of every operation.
High employee engagement leads to:
- Work satisfaction & productivity - When employees feel engaged at work, they enjoy what they do. That makes them more likely to work harder and improve their skills, which in turn helps the organisation grow in the long term.
- Low absentee rate - Research shows that employers with high levels of engagement have lowered their absenteeism rate by 41%. Employees who are recognised for their contributions and maintain a better work-life balance are more likely to attend work and remain loyal to their employer.
- Work quality and customer service – Engaged employees are more attentive to their tasks and are less likely to make mistakes. They think creatively and are more likely to produce high-quality work. Additionally, they are also very friendly and helpful towards an organisation’s customers which leads to positive customer service.
Employee engagement is especially important during COVID times and will continue to be post-COVID as employers navigate how to best mange remote employees.
What are some employee engagement ideas?
If a team member finishes a difficult project, gets another qualification, or exceeds their monthly sales target, celebrating as a team or announcing their achievement can keep them highly engaged and feel valued.
Employee engagement recognition can be implemented by rewarding top-performing employees for achieving goals and by fostering healthy competition among employees to boost engagement in the workplace. Whether it’s tickets to the footy, a personalised shout-out on the company’s social media account, or an Amazon gift card – there are plenty of incredible yet inexpensive ideas for gifts that can make your employees feel valued at work.
Provide continual employee training
Continual employee training is one of the critical factors to keep employees engaged at work. Many companies discontinue training after the onboarding process and this is where employees to start losing interest.
Make it a point to discuss training and upskilling initiatives in a weekly or monthly meeting with your employees so they can continue to grow their skills and have more opportunities for personal development.
Encourage health and wellness
Effective health and wellness programs can help reduce often overwhelming healthcare costs for an organisation, as health and wellness are one of the biggest costs in the modern workplace. In fact, more than two-thirds of organisations that offer health and wellness programs report that it is effective in reducing the cost of healthcare.
Employees often feel hesitant to openly discuss concerns or issues with upper management, as they might feel they are unnecessarily occupying a superior’s time. To avoid such hesitancy and break down barriers that impede healthy communication, it is important for the leadership team to set aside blocks of time each week to keep communication lines open with employees.
The easier it is for people to communicate, the more engaged they will be with each other and the organisation.
Have fun outside the office
Company off-sites, lunches, or after-work drinks are all great employee engagement ideas. Having some fun and bonding with your employees on these activities will not only help build great bonds but also boost job satisfaction.
Support work-life balance
Work-life balance will be different for every individual. Understand what your employees are after and adjust accordingly. One of the most common arrangements is to offer flexible working hours as it helps your employees to have more control over their daily schedules and have a better work-life balance.