• The Business Owner

Employee Engagement: The key to business success

Employers around the UK had a horrendous 2020 so it is only natural that several areas of employee engagement have taken a backseat.

With the pandemic leading to tremendous changes in terms of how the world works, there also comes change in the sort of experience employees look for from their employers and business leaders. The core drivers for engagement have not changed, however its importance has been elevated in recent months.

Everyone should enjoy their work. When they do, talent stays, customers are happy, and organisations succeed.

So, what is employee engagement and why is it so important? Employee engagement is the ‘involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace’ (Gallup).

An engaged employee is defined as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the company's reputation and interests.

Employers want engaged employees because, as well as being happier, healthier, and more fulfilled, they are more motivated and deliver improved business performance.

Research has repeatedly pointed to a relationship between how people are managed, their attitudes and behaviour, and business performance, with organisations with high levels of employee engagement achieving greater business success.

If money is the language of business, engagement is the language of motivation and only through motivation does anything get done. When employees are engaged, they are naturally motivated to do work that is interesting, meaningful, rewarded and supported.

There is no quick fix to creating an engaged workforce and there are many common misconceptions. Many people think that engagement is about money; thinking that if you pay more, employees will be more engaged. When actually, it has been proven that only 4% of people identify pay as being key to their engagement.

This is not to say money is not important, if people are paid dramatically below the market rate then it will impact on how they are valued and in turn their engagement.

So, how do you create a highly engaged team?

Meaningful work

People want to contribute to a higher purpose, beyond the practical needs of earning a living. Leaders must ensure that the organisation’s mission and purpose are clear and aligned with the employee experience. Managers play a significant role in helping employees understand how their role and daily tasks contribute to the organisation’s mission. Make a point to frequently explain how upcoming work will affect the business and help to fulfil the organisation’s mission or purpose.

Personal Development

Investing time and/or money in developing your employees and their skills can lead to them becoming ‘masters’ of their trade/vocation, benefitting them and the organisation. It is also worth looking beyond traditional training methods, and turning to podcasts, e-learning etc, which can also be supported in the world of remote working. Encourage staff to share their knowledge with each other and empower more experienced employees to train others. Think about charity and volunteering opportunities too, which can help employees develop skills they could not learn in an office environment.

Employee Voice

Ensuring your employees are listened to is key to making your staff feel valued, appreciated, and respected. Taking your employee’s opinions on board will help you make positive and productive changes in your organisation that will retain key talent and assist organisational growth.

Recognition and Reward

Recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment, and makes employees feel valued for the work they do. It also sends a message to other employees about what success looks like.

72 % of employees state that saying a simple thank you would make them feel more motivated and help build morale. That is 2 in every 3 employees who would be more productive if they were recognised.

When it comes to recognition saying thank you is so important; recognising the work the person has done, showing them, they are notice and valued.

Employee wellbeing

Ensuring your business looks after its people is paramount. Wellbeing initiatives can increase employee engagement and productivity because employees will feel valued and looked after – they will feel that they matter. Wellbeing programmes will also contribute towards decreasing your absence rates. Ask your employees to put their health first and play an active role in their physical and mental health by, organising social activities, offering support, etc.

The future of employee engagement

Over the past decade and more so in recent years, employee engagement has transitioned from a nice-to-have metric to an essential strategy for doing business.

Employee engagement matters now more than ever. By developing a culture of employee engagement, leaders can forge strong, resilient organisations, teams, and individuals. If you are looking for more information on the importance of employee engagement, contact www.hr-star.co.uk.