Powerful Ways to Improve Employee Engagement
Today, organisations have become more people-centric; they’re more concerned about things like workplace experience, job satisfaction and the way their employees feel about their jobs than they were before. That’s because these factors play a vital role in attracting and retaining talent, improving productivity and boosting profit.
But an organisation cannot establish an inspiring workplace experience and improve job satisfaction without employee engagement; it is the key ingredient to unlocking potential within an organisation.
Why is employee engagement important?
Employee engagement ensures that both management and the workforce are aligned with one another. Instead of two separate entities working separately for the achievement of a shared goal, employee engagement ensures the organisation operates as one body. Every person’s feedback is important and is taken into consideration when decisions are made, which helps to create a culture of open communication and transparency; teamwork and cohesion.
In the past, management would, for example, analyse individual employee performance and would provide criticism and feedback based on their findings. In the ‘age’ of employee centricity and engagement, data is fed upwards from the workforce to management. Data is gathered by conducting employee engagement surveys, or pulse surveys, and is used in critical, high-level decision-making. Essentially, employee engagement is a practice whereby the workforce drives key workplace decisions.
What’s most important about employee engagement is, of course, its benefits to the organisation. According to a 2012 study, employees who feel valued, heard, acknowledged and who feel part of a team (or ‘family’) working towards a common goal, are more motivated to perform, are more productive, and more loyal to the organisation. These three factors are undoubtedly drivers for success and guarantee a rise in profit.
How to boost employee engagement
Employee engagement surveys
Employee engagement surveys are crucial to boosting employee engagement within your organisation and crucial in the decision-making process. These surveys, which provide a broad overview of the needs, concerns and experiences of the workforce, will help you to penetrate the core of your business, and find the answers to labour-related questions that would otherwise go unanswered. They will help you to find out how employees feel, including what motivates/drives them, how they feel about their role, how they aim to improve or refine their skills, their career trajectory within the organisation and more. Without this data, management would make decisions based on their own discretions, rather than on the needs of their most important resource – their people.
Pulse surveys are different to employee engagement surveys. While they can help to extract the same sort of data, they are conducted much more regularly (sometimes once a week) – hence the reason they’re called ‘pulse’ surveys. They’re often much shorter than employee engagement surveys, consisting of fewer than 10 questions. And unlike employee engagement surveys, which provide a broad overview of workforce matters, pulse surveys are focussed on a specific area of concern (usually an area which management are working to perfect).
Unlock the potential of your workforce
Your people are one of your most important assets and if you know how to unlock their potential, you organisation will thrive. Boosting employee engagement is the responsibility of management and an ongoing practise that soon moulds your workplace culture. The way to unlock potential within your workforce and essentially boost employee engagement is by:
- Encouraging open-communication and transparency
- Asking for regular feedback
- Encouraging teamwork
- Recognising team and individual effort
- Showing concern for employee wellbeing
- Encouraging flexibility and autonomy
- Giving teams and individuals more creative freedom
- Creating a positive working environment that’s inspiring and aspirational
- Encouraging personal development and continuous improvement
How to conduct an employee engagement survey
Ask the right questions
With employee engagement and pulse surveys, it’s important you craft questions that’ll provide you with data on a number of areas, from relationships to feedback, the working environment, personal growth, job satisfaction and more. It may help to start off with general questions relating to these, and after review, formulate questions that’ll help you further examine/determine areas of concern/weakness.
Be honest about why and how you’re conducting the survey
It’s in your interest to be honest about the reasons for the survey. The reasons being: you’d like to understand what your workforce feels and needs, so as to improve their experience and nurture their growth. It’s also important for the workforce to know their identity is protected and that this is a safe ‘space’ for honest feedback.
Share the cumulative findings with the workforce. This helps to validate that you have indeed conducted a widespread survey and have not singled an employee out. Sharing results will also help to build trust between management and the workforce, and begin binding the two parties – especially if you take accountability for results and share your plan of action.
It’s imperative that you follow through on your promises and take the steps to improve. This again builds trust and is the first step to successfully induce employee engagement.
Why conduct an employee engagement survey?
Employee engagement surveys, as mentioned, is important for the extraction of hard data for the purpose of making sound labour-related decisions. It helps managers determine the factors that drive performance within teams and individuals, and the factors that damage it. With this data, management can find ways to meet the expectations of the workforce while ensuring the organisation benefits operationally and financially.