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Employee engagement has become a bit of a buzzword among business owners, managers, and HR professionals in recent years. While most companies would like to see their engagement levels improve, many either don’t know where to start or feel they don’t have the resources to devote to improving it.
Employee engagement can be critical for the organization’s success. It helps build a sense of community among employees, increasing employee satisfaction and (hopefully) leading to higher retention and lower turnover rates. According to a Harvard Business Review Analytics Services report that was done in 2013, approximately 71 percent of HR Executives considered employee engagement very important for achieving overall organizational success – but only 24 percent of respondents felt that employees at their company were highly engaged at that time.
As of March 2016, employee engagement level has climbed up to 31.4 percent in the U.S., according to a Gallup poll. Although we saw a 1.6 percent increase since 2012, it is evident that a vast majority of workers still don’t feel engaged with their work or their employers. How can you work on improving your employee engagement rates and how can you be sure your tactics are actually working?
Employees that feel well-rested and well-balanced are much more likely to dedicate their full attention to their work. Work-life balance looks different for every employee. It could be a good idea for the HR department to check in with employees and make sure that they are satisfied with their workload and responsibilities. It will not only help employees feel more connected to the organization, but can also result in great suggestions for workplace improvement.
Many employees want to feel they are contributing to a higher purpose through their work; but making an impact means different things to different employees. Considering whether a candidate’s values align with the company values during the hiring process can help you hire for success and ensure greater engagement. If a candidate expresses enthusiasm for environmental causes and your company is highly involved with green initiatives, they may naturally be more engaged than a candidate that isn’t environmentally conscious.
Many HR software solutions come up with a social newsfeed that provides company news, displays information about events (such as birthdays and anniversaries), and allows employee interaction. Implementing a solution that offers this option may help generate a network within your company, bringing your employees closer together even if they don’t see one another every day.
This is a highly trackable solution: you can see how often your employees engage using the feed. You can also take surveys before and after introducing it to gauge whether employees feel more connected because of the tool.
When employees genuinely care about one another, their employer, and their managers, they are more likely to care about how the quality of their work impacts these people and the company as a whole. Encouraging employees to socialize, collaborate, and help each other may work to foster these connections. Company socials and retreats may also assist with bringing employees together.
Feedback from employees can sometimes feel like a barrage of negativity, but it is always valuable. Employee feedback can provide easy answers for how to ramp up engagement in specific ways for your company and your individual employees. Instead of waiting for employees to come to you, ask for feedback at set intervals and actually act on the given feedback. This way, employees can see that their suggestions are having an impact.
Employee engagement can help improve your company in many ways, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Try different methods to improve engagement and continuously screen for effectiveness to make sure your employees still love their job and your company.
This article is written by Brett Shaffer, Content Manager at HR Payroll Systems.