Employee Engagement is currently a hot topic in the world of Human Resources. It is essential for employers to engage their employees since not only will this naturally lead to happier, healthier individuals but also optimum performance at work. Research has repeatedly demonstrated a relationship between how people are managed, employee attitudes and business performance. Positive relationships are evidenced with profit, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, productivity, innovation, staff retention, efficiency and even increased awareness of health and safety.
So, how do we harness all these benefits that employee engagement promises to deliver and where do we start?
First of all, it is extremely important that we establish how our employees feel about working for us. If you manage a team of employees, you should be asking the right questions including:
- Are they enjoying the culture within the company?
- Are they happy in their daily work activities?
- Do they feel they are being treated properly and fairly?
- Are they happy with their working conditions and environment?
The easiest way to perform this research is to carry out regular employee ‘interviews’ or surveys. For larger companies, focus groups are a great way to study employees’ opinions or even online forums that employees can access via the company’s intranet. The results will generally indicate the same areas coming under scrutiny i.e. salary and benefits, internal communication, personal development, line management etc. By establishing where the gaps are, we can begin to make improvements.
Pay and Employee Benefits
In relation to pay and benefits, employees are becoming more and more engaged about what their employers are providing. The right salary package is often not enough and employees are also concerned with those little extras. These little extras can involve a number of areas. For example, Employee Benefits are a great tool to put in place if you have not already done so. Core Employee Benefits which are very cost effective can include Life Assurance, Employee Assistance Programmes and Dental Insurance but if companies are struggling with the cost required to provide these benefits, Voluntary Benefits which can cost almost nothing for companies to implement can include Childcare Vouchers, Cycle Schemes and even setting up pension via salary sacrifice. These will not only entice employees to accept their offer of employment but will also greatly assist with employee retention. There really is no excuse!
It is also essential to keep your employees engaged with what is going on within your organisation. Employers should make sure that they are providing correct, timely and up-to-date communication to their employees. This can be anything from external changes within the industry to internal changes within the company. Great communication tools should include:
- A monthly newsletter
- Company intranet
- Social media
- Weekly meetings
- Various lines of verbal engagement
Learning and Development
With regards to Learning and Development (L&D) within the company, this can raise the question of whether we are training our staff enough. Do we discuss employees’ expectations of learning and development with them or do we just expect them to agree to the L&D plan we have created for them? It is important that both parties agree and contribute to the plan and if the plan can include something that the employee particularly wants to achieve (that is relevant to their work) then even better. Will this employee consider leaving you now?
Management and Leadership
If employees are not happy in their jobs could it be because of the management team? We need to pay attention to our management and train them in turn to manage their employees in the right way. If we can’t manage our employees and set a good example, how can we expect them to do the same? The correct culture should always start from the top…
We hope that you will now see there is so much you can do within your company to get your employees engaged and to value their job; and the best part is that many of the practical measures we are recommending, can be implemented with very little cost to the business.
Employees are our biggest assets. Look after them, engage them and ensure they remain motivated. As the great Zig Ziglar once said; “You don’t build a business –you build people– and then people build the business”