Employee engagement packs an almighty punch when it comes to staff performance, indeed according to Harvard Business Review 2013*, “71% of respondents rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organisational success”. Yet it’s surprising how few companies really understand it or utilise it to their advantage. An engaged employee fully buys in to their employer’s company values and is enthusiastic about working to further the brand. This makes employee engagement a very desirable and powerful entity. Staff are universally considered to be any company’s biggest asset, so if your workforce independently and proactively strives to further your brand, then you’re likely to be pretty unbeatable. Not to mention see a significant impact on your bottom line!
Conversely, poor employee engagement will have a negative impact, not only on your brand, but also on other staff members, so it becomes a cycle of negativity. Employees who don’t connect with your company values and don’t care about your business results, will naturally not perform to the best of their abilities. If no individual motivation to succeed is in place, then there’s no drive to benefit anyone else in return. Consequently, a disinterested workforce with no ambition will have only a detrimental effect on your company’s figures.
For your staff to care about your business, you need to prove that you care about your staff. This is best done through the provision of motivational opportunities that encourage them to engage and strive to achieve. Even if employees themselves don’t realise that they should be engaged, they definitely still need to be – it’s in their own interests. Being passionate about your work, makes the doing of it more enjoyable and, importantly, more satisfying. So it’s an extremely desirable objective for employees as well as employers.
Motivating your staff needn’t be complicated. Everyone is motivated by something; it’s just a case of finding out what it is. The best employee engagement programmes empower employees to choose their own rewards and allow them to monitor progress towards attaining them. By offering a selection of options, you’re certain to please a wide number of people, and give them each something that they deem worth working for. Plus, the feel-good factor of ultimately achieving their goal, and their prize, will create positive feelings towards the employer who provided it.
Programmes like these are simple to implement and run, and often help to improve staff communication and interaction, which in itself further benefits employee engagement. As well as these programmes there are complementary ways in which companies can recognise and encourage their employees. It can be as simple as giving personal thanks or praise in public, so that an employee feels appreciated and positively singled out. Or perhaps inviting staff input into decision-making processes, so they feel a high level of involvement in company activities. Making it personal goes a long way to making staff feel valued, which in turn makes them want to do well for you.
We are only just emerging from a difficult economic time of salary freezes, redundancies and generally fed up, disengaged staff. It may be a challenge for employers to set this right, but it’s also true that setting it right could take us a large step closer to having a productive and money-making workforce. Investing in your staff will reap rewards in terms of both staff satisfaction and bottom line benefits, which sounds like a win-win scenario for employer and employee.
*A Report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, “The Impact of Employee Engagement non Performance”