Employee engagement is a key driver of business success. According to a report by Harvard Business Review titled “The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance,” a workforce that’s highly engaged with its employer improves productivity, maximizes human capital and reduces turnover, thereby positively impacting a company’s bottom line. A disengaged workforce, however, can contribute to low productivity and increased attrition. In fact, according to Gallup’s 2013 report “State of the American Workplace,” disengagement costs U.S. companies between $450 and $550 billion each year.
So it’s no surprise that organizations around the globe are looking for methods to enhance how engaged their people are. Here are five ways to improve employee engagement:
- Clearly communicate corporate goals and achievements. Companies whose leadership provides information and insights into business objectives, company policies, and corporate achievements are more likely to engage their employees that those that don’t. In the Entrepreneur article “Richard Branson on Increasing Employee Engagement,” Branson states that at Virgin, management informs workers about what the company’s doing and why by means of internal newsletters.
- Provide transparency as to how employees’ performance contributes to overall business goals. Employees want to feel valued, and a large part of this is tied in with how much their individual efforts and performance contribute to company-wide goals. By recognizing high performers and encouraging employees to understand their role in the bigger picture, companies can make them feel more engaged.
- Listen to employee feedback to determine satisfaction levels. Harvard Business Review advises getting employee feedback by means of employee satisfaction surveys that are carefully designed to yield information about what is and isn’t working in the company. It’s optimal if the surveys can provide specific, actionable data that can guide company policy.In short, they should enable management to work with employees to pinpoint obstacles to engagement and come up with ways to overcome those obstacles.
- Employ good managers. The role of frontline managers is key in employee engagement. Managers who know how to develop their teams, encourage them to excel and help them advance their careers are far more likely to establish a connection with employees than those who don’t. This means that frontline managers also need the support of their companies’ leadership in order to help their people become effective.
- Empower employees. Employees who feel supported, who have the tools to do their jobs and who are offered training and development opportunities, are far more likely to feel engaged than those who don’t. By offering employees ways to grow within their jobs and with the company, employers demonstrate their trust in their people, as well as how much they want them to succeed.
Enhancing employee engagement is an ongoing process. It requires unbiased information about employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as well as the ability to analyze that information and adapt or create company policies accordingly. But when you consider that employee engagement is one of the greatest drivers of business success, spending the time and effort on improving engagement strategies is well worth it.