What is employee engagement and what is its purpose?
Employee engagement is a concept that has become increasingly mainstreamed into management thought over the last decade. The objective of this workplace approach is to ensure that employees feel committed to their organisation’s goals and values and motivated to contribute to organisational success, whilst at the same time enhancing their own sense of wellbeing. An “engaged” employee is believed to experience a blend of earlier management concepts; job satisfaction, organisational commitment, job involvement and feelings of empowerment. It is a concept that is greater than the sum of its parts.
What would that mean for your business?
Successful employee engagement has a sustained and positive impact on employee attitude and behaviour, and ultimately on outcomes that affect organisational success.
A more engaged workforce brings a multitude of benefits to any business. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Individuals who are engaged with their organisation will feel a sense of pride and loyalty towards it (attitude)
- They will be a great company representative and are likely to go the extra mile when it comes to their work or taking on responsibilities outside of their job description (behaviour)
- Ultimately these “engaged” attitudes and behaviours will positively affect outcomes such as productivity, innovation, staff turnover, conflict and sickness levels and even accident rates. A fully engaged organisation will have positive attitude, behaviour and outcome triggering and reinforcing one another.
How popular is the concept of employee engagement?
According to Talent Management: Accelerating Business Performance, a global survey by Right Management, the career and talent management experts within ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), over half (53%) of UK organisations plan to broaden their employee engagement programmes in order to maximise their investment in talent initiatives.
More than 2,200 HR professionals and senior leaders participated in the global survey which saw 48% of overall respondents say they intend to broaden their employee engagement programmes. This figure rose to 53% in the UK and as high as 85% in China and Hong Kong as a result of aggressive labour market growth.
So, if you want to inspire your staff and maximise their contribution to your business over a sustained period, a structured employee engagement solution is essential. Employers want employees who will work hard and “go the extra mile”, while employees want employers who value them, offer them a job that inspires them, makes them feel worthwhile and improves their sense of wellbeing.
But where do you begin? How do you go about engaging your workforce and ultimately becoming an “engaged” organisation?
The good news is that employers can do a great deal to impact on people’s level of engagement. In addition, employee engagement is measurable and can be correlated with performance so whatever you decide to do to “engage” your employees, you can keep an eye on its effectiveness along the way and make tweaks or complete changes as necessary.
However, it’s important to remember that employee engagement is a long-term approach, it’s not something to pull out of the hat when the going gets tough.
Ian Symes, general manager for Right Management UK & Ireland, comments: “Whilst many organisations are finally recognising the value of employee engagement strategies, there’s still a temptation to treat them as a temporary fix. Organisations need to embrace employee engagement as an ongoing mind-set, not a programme that starts and stops when morale is low. They need to be thinking of a holistic approach that sees them listen to their workforce, engage with them on a regular basis, actively take on board employee feedback, and ultimately measure the results that these efforts have on business objectives and the bottom-line.”
Reward and recognition schemes alongside a comprehensive staff benefits package will also be fundamental to successful employee engagement as they have the potential to go such a long way towards meeting the needs of both parties.
When putting together your reward and recognition schemes, remember the following “top tips”!
- Reward and recognition schemes need communication to be successful – With regular and engaging communication, your incentives are far more likely to have the desired impact on your business
- Don’t underestimate the power of a simple thank you – Saying “thank you” for an employee’s efforts can go a long way to boosting their morale and sense of worth. Said privately this will have a positive impact but saying it publicly as well, putting their name in lights so to speak, will compound its effectiveness further
- Think carefully about your staff benefits package – Consider providing your employees with a benefit that they actually get excited about, a benefit that they can experience and ENJOY every day, rather than a Health insurance scheme or dental plan, which might save them money and be seen as a benefit when they first accept the job or when they need to use it, but most of the time is just a document gathering dust in their filing system.
Here at Let’s Connect, we can help with number 3. Our Home Technology scheme is a tax benefit scheme that gives you the opportunity to provide a benefit as part of your staff benefits package that your employees and their families can use and ENJOY every day – a constant reminder to them that they work for a great organisation that makes employee well-being its top priority; an organisation with which they feel “engaged”. And the best bit is that providing your employees with this benefit won’t cost you a penny!
If you are interested in finding out more about the schemes we offer, take a look at our website or contact us on 0330 2000 231, we would be very happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.