HOW TO Engage Your Employees in
Simple Steps 3 Easy Ways to Improve Business Performance and Employee Wellbeing at the same time
Introduction There’s a very good reason why the pursuit of employee engagement is high on everyone’s agenda. It’s the ultimate achievement - the holy grail of workplace relations. A good working definition is difficult to pin down, but a good place to start is to consider the alignment between the individual and the business. Joanna Martin Employee Engagement Specialist @JCMartini
But is it essential? Employees can be excellent performers and deliver a real contribution without being engaged. A teacher might be unhappy with her employer and totally detached from business strategy, but integrity and professional standards mean her students are well taught.
However, even more common are those employees that feel despondent enough just to put in the bare minimum. Their â€˜just enoughâ€™ performance does nothing to inspire your customers or their fellow employees. But disinterest on its own is not enough to warrant managerial discipline.
Between these two ends of the spectrum are the workers who turn up, do a dayâ€™s work and go home.
Businesses the world over, since organized work began, have been surviving and sometimes succeeding without engaging employees. So why is it a big deal? Why bother to engage with the workforce when you can get by with half-heartedness?
Half-heartedness never inspired anybody. To excite your clients and prospective customers, you want every member of staff invested in a common goal, living and breathing your company values, delivering and innovating your vision.
Impacting the bottom line. Customers fall in love with companies who have happy staff, and employee engagement drives business performance. It’s a virtuous cycle:
Better Business Performance
Engagement is one of the biggest HR challenges that businesses face. So how do you do it? It’s not about throwing money at the situation. Money cannot buy real engagement, though it can prevent active disengagement.
In any case, pay increases often just aren’t an option. There are far more effective tools to be leveraged to deliver true employee engagement. You’ve got to think human.
The following 3 steps are a good place to start...
Tell employees as much about business performance as you possibly can. This is easier in small companies, but not impossible in large ones which tend to have better defined (if not always better used) communication channels.
What do people like to know? Most things really. Work is where they spend much of their waking time, invest their professional hopes, want to do a good job and have that acknowledged. You need employees to feel like they are making a difference to the end result, otherwise, whatâ€™s in it for them besides a pay packet?
Tell people what is going on - good, bad, indifferent, uncertain, what-ifs and the rest. Ideally, tell them in person, but if not, use whatever is at your disposal. People donâ€™t root for things they donâ€™t understand or know about, so help them understand and they will start to care.
Work hard on front-line managers; theyâ€™re the bridge to success. These are the employees you most need on board. In any company it is likely there is one set of people with significant sway. Typically, it will be the first level of line managers. They will be managing new joiners, long stayers, staff who deal with customers or who are vital for service delivery.
These front liners will be powerful barometers of whatâ€™s up or down, and highly influential. If they are not with you, they might not be actively against you but you are missing out on their power as advocates. Keeping this group engaged is the essential first step if you want their passion to trickle down to the people that report to them.
Look after your employees on a human level. Invest in employee wellness. Gone are the days when your employees existed simply in the workplace. As an employer, you have a responsibility to look beyond the working day and offer initiatives to support employee wellness outside of work too. Itâ€™s important to educate staff on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, as creating a healthy culture improves overall wellbeing, driving productivity and engagement.
One of the overlooked items on the wellness agenda is the financial health of your workforce. Establishing and maintaining healthy spending and saving habits is as important to employee wellbeing as proper nutrition and exercise. Helping your employees build awareness of their financial situation is a key part of providing them education for establishing financial goals.
As an employer, you can guide and empower staff to change their actions through making better choices in their financial planning. If you offer a structured financial wellness initiative, as a business youâ€™ll decrease turnover, increase productivity and enhance company culture - all of which impact your bottom line.
And More. The HR and benefits community notes the: increasing importance placed on reward by businesses, and recognition of the role benefits have to play in supporting wider business objectives.
A tiny, tiny percentage of your payroll budget would deliver real value in benefits.
And reward and benefits deliver real employee engagement.
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