The topic of engagement has been around for decades—so long, in fact, that in some corners of the business world it has lost its luster in favor of trendier fads.
Pity, that. Far from being a passing fad, engagement is one of the best indicators of organizational success, says Larry Emond, managing partner at Gallup, the survey and management analytics and advice company.
Emond explains the urgency of cultivating an enthusiastic workforce in a free, downloadable guide from Ragan Communications and RMG, “How to boost employee engagement.”
Organizations that have high engagement score better in just about every significant goal that companies pursue, among them revenue, profits, health care and safety, he says.
“You name the metric, it consistently shows that work groups that are in the same part of the company, those work groups that are high in engagement will significantly outperform those that aren’t,” Emond says.
The guide cites a Ragan/RMG survey of communicators showing that engagement remains a priority regardless of company size. Even among smaller organizations, those with fewer than 500 employees, engagement was the top goal. Seventy-eight percent rated it a current objective, far outpacing two-way feedback (58 percent) and improving the timeliness of employee receipt and actions taken (57 percent).
Engagement begins with setting priorities. The No. 1 concern of your communications should not be PR—nor is it reaching shareholders or customers. If you want your employees to feel engaged, make them a priority in your communications, says Carolyn Clark, director of communications at Yahoo. With its “internal first” strategy, the company prioritizes informing its 8,800 employees above other stakeholders and external PR.
Employees are ambassadors—and are most organizations’ most loyal consumers. Therefore, you must keep them in the know so they feel a part of things and aren’t left to rely on rumors.
“They feel empowered, they feel loyal, they feel more involved … because they know what’s happening before the rest of the world, and they know how to talk about it with their friends and families,” Clark says.
Not long ago, bosses at Blinds.com issued Parler a challenge: Build a digital experience that displays customers’ voices in an engaging way. Parler, a digital communications administrator, came up with a striking solution: Play it up big—very big. He used four 75-inch display
screens to create a 14-foot-wide, 6½ -foot-tall “monolith of customer feedback.”
“This is an unfiltered view of what our customers are saying about us,” says Brad Parler, internal communications administrator at Blinds.com. “We’re showing the good and the bad—and sometimes the ugly.”
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How decades of data from businesses worldwide prove the importance of engagement in their success
- What the three B’s are and why you should pay attention to them
- How to personalize content on digital screens
- How external social media can help internal engagement
- Why it’s essential to survey your employees—and act on what you find
- How micro-polls can boost engagement
- Why you must prioritize internal over external communications
- How to lighten up and use humor
- How to draw eyeballs through video and graphics
- Why one organization had the CEO learn employees’ jobs
- Why leaders should circulate and talk to people