What is Employee Engagement and How to Encourage It

We feel passionate, energetic, and committed toward our work

Businesses and corporations have recently put a lot of energy into providing a positive, upbeat work environment. Although those are great ambitions, and should be considered, it doesn’t necessarily produce the complete package of positive effects that employers may be looking for. Measures taken to increase an employee’s happiness don’t always translate into increasing an employee’s production. So, what is missing?  Employee engagement.  What is employee engagement? Although, there are many definitions, they are all related. An article describing the different definitions of employee engagement by DecisionWise states “DecisionWise defines employee engagement as an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic, and committed toward our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves–our hearts, spirits, minds, and hands–to the work we do.” In other words, employee engagement means having employees fully invested in their company’s success. Having employees that are happy with the company they work for doesn’t automatically mean they are fully vested to do whatever they can to make the company succeed. Let’s explore a few ways to encourage employee engagement.

Listen to Employees

Get out of your office to stroll around the office and get to know employees individually. Building relationships is critical to building trust and loyalty. But it has come from a genuine place. A piece by SHRM explains more. “Effective leaders pay close attention to what workers have to say and then act on the feedback, according to the 2016 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report from Aon. That’s one of the reasons annual employee surveys are being increasingly replaced or augmented by quarterly or monthly pulse surveys, and performance conversations are occurring more frequently.” Asking for feedback is key. Listen to those who make up your organization and strive to hear their ideas and concerns. This will demonstrate to the employees that you care and are invested in their contributions. Employees are essential for production and growth inside any company. You have to know who makes up your organization before you can properly lead it and expect employees to be 100% invested.

Encourage Flexibility

In our current day, we are wired to seek out convenience including in the business world. In the past, corporations viewed working out flexible schedules or home offices for employees as unnecessary. But today it’s a huge advantage. 6Q did a blog on employee engagement and here is what they said about flexibility: “not many employers trust their employees to get the work done without their managers’ watchful eyes but you would be surprised. When given flexible hours instead of the rigid 8 – 5 work day, people tend to be more productive, happier and more engaged at the workplace.” Plus with the advantage of technology, many jobs currently can be worked from home. In addition, businesses reluctant to work out a flexible schedule with their employees are limiting their potential market of future employees.  Businesses willing to value what the employee values and trust them to get the work done will have employees more likely to go the extra mile for the company. 

Delegate to the right people

No one likes a micromanager. And when managers micromanage, they discourage the ingenuity and motivation from workers. On the other hand, leaders who delegate give employees room to make bigger decisions and take more pride in their work.  When given challenges and opportunities to grow, the employee’s loyalty to the success of the company increases. Learning your employee’s capabilities is only beneficial for the company in the long run. And ensuring your employees are neither underwhelmed nor overwhelmed is essential to the success of any company.

In closing, there are many ways to promote employee engagement. For any company it is important to re-evaluate how to improve, because employee engagement only aids in the success of the business. A Forbes article quotes the former Campbell’s Soup CEO who sums it up really well, “Doug Conant, once said, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” Employee engagement is the key to activating a high performing workforce by having employees fully invested in their company’s success.

For more information on ideas for employers to make your company more successful in hiring and retaining good employees or to consult with a recruiter on a potential job search go to our website at www.jlnixon.com.