In recent years, the mantra to being a successful company is “employee engagement”. But what is employee engagement and how can it help the company?
Basically, employee engagement is the level of emotional commitment by the employee to the organization’s vision and goals. Every company wants employees who are enthusiastic and want to come to work every day. But how does that work? How do we engage employees?
Communicate – Clear communication is the foundation of all good business practices. Communicating the organization’s vision and goals is imperative if the company wants buy-in from the employee. Updating employees on how well the company is doing with respect to meeting goals provides a feeling of inclusion.
Set Employees Up for Success - Make sure your employees have the right equipment for the job, the proper training to perform their job, and clear instructions about what they are expected to produce/accomplish.
Feedback and Recognition – Once-a-year performance reviews are an ineffective way to let employees know how much you value their work. Employees need to understand how their job contributes to the overall success of the organization. Managers/supervisors should be providing feedback on a regular basis to let the employee know what tasks they are doing well and what tasks need improvement. And because feedback should run both ways, the manager/supervisor should ask for the employee’s input about how they can improve their performance. Most importantly, the manager/supervisor should listen to the employee’s ideas/suggestions. This is especially true if the reason their performance isn’t up to par is because of a lack of working equipment.
Control – Do employees have control over workflow and pace? While it’s understood that jobs have certain deadlines and production goals, are we allowing employees to have a say in how those deadlines and production goals are met? Are leaders attuned to what’s going on in employees’ lives and are they flexible in allowing employees to have input into decisions that affect their jobs?
Credibility – Leaders must set the standard for ethics in the organization. Your leaders drive the reputation of the company. Integrity and credibility are fundamental to active employee engagement. Employees won’t engage with companies whose leadership doesn’t set an example of integrity and credibility.
Growth Opportunities – Does your organization provide training and lateral transfers that enable employees to try other jobs within the organization? What programs are available for employees to enhance the skills they currently have?
Engagement measures take a variety of forms. However, it’s important for employers to identify measures that are important and accurate. Engagement measures include:
- Turnover rates and costs
- Absenteeism rates and costs
- Error rates in work completed
- Employee Surveys that allow the individual to provide anonymous, honest feedback to the
organization. It’s helpful if the employee survey includes statistical norms against which the company can compare itself. Entities such as Employers Association Forum can conduct this type of survey and assure anonymity of the individual providing data.
All of these measurements can indicate the level of employee engagement in the workplace.
An engaged workforce contributes to a successful business. Engagement begins with credible leaders who listen to employees and encourage them to share ideas and suggestions for improvement.
Contributed by Christine Crews, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is Vice President of Human Resource Services for the Employers Association Forum, Inc. (EAF). EAF is a non-profit corporate membership-based association dedicated to serving the business and HR communities with world-class HR tools, hotlines & legal compliance, news & trends, surveys & economic data, benefits & insurance, risk management, training & consulting, and leadership & organizational development. HCCMO members receive discounted rates on all EAF classroom training at EAF’s training center in Longwood. Click here to learn more about EAF membership benefits http://eafinc.org/about-eaf/value-of-membership/.