Employee engagement is quite the buzzword, but does it really matter? What does it even mean? This is one of those topics that is talked about often, but understood poorly and followed through on rarely. The fact is employee engagement has a tremendous impact on your business, and the recent Gallup State of the Global Workplace report shows that businesses around the world are failing at it miserably. In fact only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged with their work.
What is Employee Engagement?
Understanding what we are looking at is the first key to solving the problem. There are a lot of complicated and unnecessarily wordy answers, but quite simply, employee engagement means employees feel an emotional connection to, and investment in the workplace.
Employees who feel connected to their workplace provide better customer service. Better customer service leads to higher customer satisfaction which leads to customer loyalty and therefore to increased profit. This is the service-profit chain, and it is critical to have a deep understanding of this chain if you want to grow your business. The fact is that companies with better employee engagement perform 200% better than those without it. Additionally, business units with engaged employees see a 20% increase in sales.
You may have seen statistics that employee disengagement is down. Disengaged employees are those who are actively trying to cause problems in the workplace through gossip and negativity. Unfortunately the drop in disengaged employees did not lead to an increase in engaged employees. This leads us to believe everyone is just marching along and doing their job with little interest or enthusiasm. They are not actively creating drama, but they are not particularly happy.
Strategies for Engaging Your Employees
There are many ways to engage employees, and most of them fall on managers. However, the executives must set the tone of a happy and fulfilling workplace. You also must keep your eyes on the prize of business growth. While it is a nice idea that we would engage employees for the sake of doing so, the reality is that these strategies will be put on the back burner if you do not have a clear focus on the outcome.
- Benefits. Offering employees benefits shows that you care about them and their families. Employees who feel you care about them and their lives outside of work are more likely to be engaged.
- Feedback. Periodic reviews are not enough. Employees need to know they are doing a good job and how they can improve when they are not. Employees who believe they are on the right track will be more productive. People who feel acknowledged will always be more loyal.
- Training. Setting people up for success is crucial. If something needs to be done a certain way, it is necessary to train someone to do things the way you want them done. Employees must have the skills and tools they need to succeed.
- Clear goals and tasks. Employees need to know exactly what is expected of them. According to the recent Gallup study, 50% of employees did not have a clear idea of what their job actually is. They need to have a clear job description and an understanding of how their job is a critical piece of the functioning of the business. When they feel they are a key player, they will be more invested.
- Social engagement. Office parties, team building games, and other events lead to connections among employees and also between employees, managers, and executives.
- Communication. One of the major reasons for employees' lack of engagement is that they do not feel listened to by their managers. Lines of communication must be wide open, and managers must be trained to listen.
- Managers. As you can see, a lot of this falls on managers. They have to be coaches and cheerleaders. Managerial skills are specific skills. Most of us are not cut out to guide individuals and lead a team in this way. It is incredibly important to hire people who have the managerial skill set to do the job. According to the recent study, 95% of managers think they are doing a good job, but 70% of employees think their manager is doing a terrible job. That is an astounding disconnect. As executives, you must train managers to understand how to motivate and lead a team or hire someone with the skills.
Are you finding that your employees are disengaged on the job? Is performance lacking and effort is minimal?
Learn how Platinum Group can help you keep your employees engaged and improve overall productivity.
Finding the right HR Payroll and Accounting solutions for your business can be challenging, especially when there are so many other responsibilities on your plate. That's where we come in. At Platinum Group, our HR Payroll and Accounting solutions streamline your workflow so you can focus more on your favorite parts of running your company. Whether it's our industry-leading HR solutions, simplified payroll or accounting service, our team enjoys everything you don't so you can grow your business. For more information, contact us today at 828-252-0029 or visit www.platinum-grp.com.