It could end up in tears if there is a lack of employee engagement in your organisation. The performance of employees who are engaged far outweighs those who are not. In today’s competitive business world organisations search to attract and retain talent but once recruited if your talent is not engaged then retention will be a problem and the organisation will not achieve the competitive advantage it seeks. For most businesses people are the differentiator and engaged employees are the cream on the cake. Rates of Attrition increase when employees are not engaged and therefore so does the cost of recruitment which in turn affects the performance and growth of the organisation.
There are many factors which impact on employee engagement. Dale Carnegie teamed up with MSW Research to study the functional and emotional elements that affect employee engagement. The study surveyed a national representative sample of 1,500 employees, which revealed that although there are many factors that impact employee engagement, there are three key drivers:
- Relationship with immediate supervisor
- Belief in senior leadership
- Pride in working for the company
So in seeking to improve employee engagement organisations should consider these, ultimately though the organisation’s culture needs to support behaviours which encourage employee engagement.
So what can organisations do to improve employee engagement? There are many things but the following could provide some insight into easily implementable actions:
- Set and maintain clear corporate values. When employees understand and can relate to the organisational values they gain greater satisfaction from the work they do and take pride in and ownership of that work. By establishing corporate values and consistently demonstrating these through their behaviours, leaders will reinforce the values and their significance.
- Leading with Integrity and creating the psychological contract. Leaders need to ensure they both authentically value staff and meet targets and do this ethically and effectively, always having regard for tasks and processes but not valuing them over people. Good leaders understand the impact their decisions and behaviours have on employees.
- Going the extra mile for the organisation. Organisations where there is a penchant for people at work to help each other and do above and beyond what is required, have greater levels of employee engagement. When employees support each other it helps to form a strong psychological attachment to the organisation, resulting in higher levels of motivation and employees that are more likely to want to make a meaningful contribution, which is what engagement is all about. People who report having friends at work have a higher sense of commitment, workplace friendships help when the going gets tough. If employers can make the workplace conducive to friendships, employees will be happier more engaged and productive.
- Acknowledge subcultures. It is almost inevitable that subcultures will exist in larger organisations. In any organisation where there are more than 150 people, there is a tendency to break into smaller more manageable groups (referred to as ‘Dunbar’s number’). As numbers increase we become less familiar with people and the sense of belonging becomes blurred. So instead of trying to create a sense of unity among all employees, leaders can, through observation and understanding of their department, ensure that the subculture is one that supports employees.
- Communication is the word. Good communication is essential in any organisation.If Good communication is an organisational value then it is a priority for all employees the organisation will reap the benefits of it. Regular team meetings are a vital part of departmental communication; and employees should be encouraged to voice their views on how to improve communications not just within their departments but throughout the organisation as a whole.
The answer to improving employee engagement is one that is sought by numerous organisations and there are many factors which affect it. The driver for each individual’s engagement will be different, but by focussing on engagement and taking steps to improve it organisations can help to avoid tears. Employees who are engaged will drive the performance of the organisation and these organisations are the ones which are more likely attract and retain talent. Thus investing in employee engagement now can ensure the long term success of the organisation.