Why and how you should promote employee engagement

Happy workers are productive workers. They’re also far less likely to jump ship. Here are a few ways you can tap into people’s sense of purpose and channel it to your company’s bottom line.

Employee engagement ideas

If your organization is keen to improve productivity, retention and profitability, employee engagement should be a top priority.

What is employee engagement, and why is it so important?

Acas defines employee engagement as the extent to which a company’s values and vision align with employees’ personal interests and goals.

Engaged staff members are committed to the goals and values of their company; they are also motivated to work harder to contribute to the overall success of the business.

How do you keep employees engaged?

Both engagement and retention relate to employers’ understanding of people’s need for flexibility, creativity and purpose.

Managers trying to engage with their employees can implement any of the following methods:

  • Showing you care. For employees to care deeply about their work, they need to know that their employer cares about them. Find out what matters to each employee in their personal and professional lives. Ask questions, and act on their feedback.
  • Perks and benefits. Try adding monetary incentives to regular pay packages. Consider introducing programs that reward hard work and recognize employees who go the extra mile. Positive feedback and recognition for a job well done go a long way toward fostering engagement.
  • Frequent communication. Regular communication between managers and employees is the key to creating an engaged workplace. You should also promote transparency among staff members; they are truly engaged only when they can open up to you without fear of repercussions.

When combined, the following three elements play an integral role in improving performance and accountability.

  • Validation: Validation should be offered regardless of individual employee performance. It involves listening and responding to their problems. Little things like offering a greeting every day—asking employees about their health, family, weekend, holidays and more—shows employees that they are valued.
  • Feedback: Regular feedback on employees’ behavior, performance, attitude and attendance helps promote their personal development. Constructive feedback provides insight into what they’re doing right and what they could improve on.
  • Recognition: Recognizing or praising employees based on their results, behavior or attitude serves as a bedrock for cultivating a high-performance culture.

Follow these actions for staff engagement:

  • Provide training. Most employees want career development. Provide regular training to help them gain skills—which will benefit your organization, as well.
  • Provide the right tools to work with. Provide all the necessary tools and technology required to enhance your employees’ output.
  • Promote company culture. Having a defined company culture—reflecting the goals, mission and value of the company—encourages employees to fit into the system.
  • Promote work-life balance. Allowing telecommuting and flexible working times gives your employees more freedom and autonomy. Providing this option creates happy and engaged employees who are not bound to the traditional 9-to-5 workplace grind.

Peter Done is group managing director and founder of Peninsula group. A version of this post first appeared on Business 2 Community.

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