January 28, 2014

A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Employee Engagement

Are you new to your management position? If so, one of the most important things you should understand is the importance of employee engagement. Employees are the driving force of your business and therefore their engagement is integral to business success. High employee engagement can result in greater work ethic, better customer care, and lower healthcare costs, just to name a few.

The Value of Employee Engagement

Studies performed by Tempkin Group and Gallup show the impact employee engagement efforts have on business success. The research found that:

  • Three-quarters of employees in companies with significantly above average financial performance are moderately or highly engaged, compared with less than half of firms with subpar financial results.
  • Seventy-five percent of companies with stronger employee engagement efforts have above average customer experience compared with 50% of companies with weaker efforts.
  • Eighty percent of companies with stronger employee engagement efforts have above average financial results, compared with 53% of companies with weaker efforts.
  • Disengaged employees cost the economy nearly $350 billion per year in lost productivity.

second study by Tempkin reported that engaged employees are more likely to voluntarily stay later at work, lend coworkers a hand, or work above what is expected of them in order to perform something beneficial for the company. Additionally, companies that make a point to provide good customer experience have employees who are 100% less likely to look for a new job, unlike employees at companies with mediocre customer experience.

 

Beginner’s Steps to Employee Engagement

The benefits of engaging your employees go beyond simply improving customer experience, and can extend as deeply as boosting financial performance. But, implementing an effective employee engagement initiative involves strategy as well as basic interaction and communications. Here are some beginner’s steps you can take in your managerial approach to move toward an engaged business workforce:

  • Treat employees as individuals, not staff. Empowering employees begins with identifying them as individuals, not a uniform group. Take the time to get to know them. What are their interests? How do they communicate? Are they motivated by their role? Take time to ask about a recent meeting, an event they attended or even their weekend. Through simple conversations, you will start to understand your employees better. In addition to positively impacting an employee’s work output, it will help identify individual strengths and talents and can make team efforts, collaborations, and innovations more streamlined and successful.
  • Make clear support lines. Establish a clear communication between you, as the manager, and the employee about expectations. In addition, make sure you function as both a leadership figure and a support line for the employee. Everyone needs a champion and oftentimes leadership investments are overlooked within middle management. Clear leadership support can empower your employees to show more initiative and help them reach greater potential.
  • Reward your employees. Employee Recognition and Rewards programs are powerful tools for motivation and improving employee engagement. Additionally, personalizing your program can reinforce that you see each employee as an individual and value their efforts and suggestions.
  • Don’t forget that recognition doesn’t have to equate to monetary gifts. Buying team lunches or breakfasts, taking an employee out for coffee, or simply recognizing an individual on social media can go a long way in terms of motivation and engagement.
  • Provide an opportunity for knowledge development. Investing in training programs or classes can help employees develop both personally and professionally. If you recognize talent in an employee, help them cultivate it. Investing in your employees reflects that you trust and care about their strengths. In turn, it fosters engagement and builds loyalty, which can benefit your company as well.

The bottom line is employees are an important asset to your business’s success. Understanding employee engagement and how it impacts company morale and also financial growth is crucial. If you are interested in learning more, we recommend the following blogs, case studies and articles. We also invite you to speak to one of our industry experts if you would like to personally discuss options for employee engagement. Contact us today.

5 Upcoming Realities You Should Know About Workforce Engagement

The Missing Link in Employee Engagement

A recent case study on increased engagement

How the Best Places to Work are Nailing Employee Engagement

5 Easy Ways to Motivate and Demotivate Employees

Sources:

Keeping the Right People

Employee Engagement Benchmark Study 2013

State of Employee Engagement Activities, 2013

The High Cost of Disengaged Employees

10 Talent Management Lessons Every Company Should Embrace

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