A team that is invested, inspired and engaged can lead your company to all sorts of success. That doesn’t just apply to one aspect of your company either as positive employee engagement can boost sales, marketing, and HR efforts.
But, many people in most workplaces are not as engaged as they could be, even now when we all know how important employee engagement is to business. If you have not seen any statistics yet, here are a few that stand out:
- 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs (Gallup)
- 39% of workers would work harder if they are happy in their current role or place of work (One4all)
- 12% of businesses are happy with current levels of employee engagement (CBI)
- Top reasons for leaving a job: insufficient pay (44%), limited career paths (43%), lack of challenging work (30%), work-life balance (28%), and lack of recognition (27%) (Randstad)
Clearly, there are still some challenges when it comes to employee engagement and making a change requires a combination of picking the right people and creating a workplace that fosters engagement.
However, there is some good news too. Employee engagement levels bounced back to an all-time high rate of 65% in 2017, up 2% from 2016 (Aon).
Why Employee Engagement Matters for Corporate Culture
Before we jump into the six ways to boost employee engagement, it first makes sense to discuss why it matters for corporate culture and beyond.
At this point, you may already have a pretty good idea as to why employee engagement matters, but if you need a deeper look or a refresher, the below points will be useful to you.
- Increase company profits: The most important reason to invest in employee engagement is the positive effects it has on company revenue. A Gallup study revealed that companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share and recovered at a faster rate from recessions.
- More employee innovation: Employees who are engaged are more open to innovative ideas, new tools, and themselves interested in contributing ideas. Rather than just performing the bare minimum required of their job, employees will be more excited and invested in their work. This attitude is exactly what is need to stimulate innovation.
- Commitment to the company: Employees who are engaged are more likely to remain committed to their company, even during difficult times, busy periods, or other company challenges. This often helps improve the employer brand, keep employees from quitting, and keeps employees having a positive stance on the company.
- Increases collaboration: Employees who are engaged and communicate effectively are more likely to collaborate and ensure their colleagues are good. This collaboration helps reduce workload for overwhelmed teams and can diffuse conflict. Luckily in our technology age, there are tons of applications and that can make this easier.
- Improved recruitment rates: A workplace known for its engaged workforce and employees that are glowing about their company, will attract better talent that will improve company output. Plus, happy, connected employees are far more likely to recommend their employer to friends and colleagues, making the talent pool of candidates much easier
Of course, there are more reasons to invest time and money into employee engagement, but these are some of the main reasons it matters.
6 Unexpected Ways to Boost Employee Engagement
Ready to start boosting employee engagement at your company? Below are six unexpected ways to improve engagement and have your company culture producing results.
1. Hire for traits and behaviors
Usually, hiring managers look at experience and education when choosing new applicants. But, once on the job, it’s attitude and actions that count. When you recruit, go through networking channels to find employees who are the most highly recommended by their prior co-workers and managers. By recruiting people who are highly engaged, you can keep the vibe in your office positive, productive, and even affect other employees.
2. Be visible and available
When employees feel abandoned by supervisors and management, they aren’t as actively engaged in the workplace. Take time out of your day to be available for questions, work with the door open and be seen throughout the day.
This does not mean micro-manage either, as employees want to feel trusted and not feel like they have a babysitter. But be open to ideas, conversations, concerns, questions, and be willing to accommodate appropriately.
3. Seek employee feedback
Sometimes, other employees from different departments will have better ideas for how things should go than you do. Ask employees for feedback and you will find that they can come up with more efficient processes, new ways to engage prospects and ideas for making a happier, more exciting workplace.
Of course, not every idea is a winner. But be receptive to ideas and acknowledge those who are contributing to the interest and success of your company.
4. Be flexible
Rigid policies can make people feel like their in detention instead in a job that they enjoy. If feasible, allow employees to have flexibility in their schedules or work from home. Open up social media policies or allow workers to interact with one another with an online chat to promote team cohesion. Allow a relaxed dress code for people who do not have direct customer contact, or allow a dress down day one or more day a week.
Every company is different as to how they might approach this, but don’t restrict employees otherwise you may face resentment.
5. Recognize and reward accomplishments
When people know that their hard work is seen and appreciated, they are more likely to give it their all. Regularly recognize achievements like high sales or innovating ways of solving customer concerns.
The recognition can come in the form of announcements in the company newsletter or small perks like tickets for half-days at work or a small gift certificate. Other forms of recognition can be allowing employees extra work from home days, inviting them to collaborate on a project, sending them to a conference, etc.
6. Provide opportunities for employees to grow
When we do the same thing day in and day out, we get bored. Give employees new tasks that require learning and using new skills. Take time to work with employees one on one in a mentor position. And, when feasible, give employees the chance to go to conferences, classes, and workshops that expand their list of skills.
An engaged team takes time to develop. But, once you start doing the work to make a better workplace, you will be rewarded with employees who stay at your company longer and give more while they are there.
One of the main reasons many people leave a job is due to a lack of growth and career development.
Employee engagement may seem like a buzzword or maybe is not a top priority, but remember that employees are the key to your company’s success. It’s worth spending time and investing money into ensuring employees are engaged and happy.
There are too many benefits of employee engagement to be ignored and something your company needs to be serious about.
Hopefully, the above six ways were helpful and give you the inspiration to start boosting employee engagement at your company.
We asked 21 digital media, social, and transformational leaders to share their toughest lessons learned, keys to success, and emerging opportunities in employee engagement. Download your employee engagement guide to learn more.