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A recent Gallup Research report found that 70% of U.S. workers are either not engaged or were actively disengaged at work.
Considering that employee engagement can make or break a company, this is a startling statistic.
If you want to succeed in today’s marketplace, you have to keep your employees engaged. Here are just a few ways employee engagement makes things better for companies:
- Creates meaningful differentiation in the market
- Reduces turnover
- Saves money on onboarding costs
- Improves customer service – and thus customer loyalty
- Expands company intelligence and encourages innovation
- Have a procedure for serious incident reporting
With such a high percentage of workers unengaged, what steps should a company take to improve that number? Start with these five tips.
1. Focus on Engagement at the Local Level
To improve engagement, employees must feel empowered to make a difference in their immediate environment. Impactful change really happens at the local, workgroup or organizational level.
Employee engagement initiatives can be most effective when leaders set employee engagement goals for managers during performance reviews. This encourages managers to discover areas where engagement is lacking and find opportunities to make positive changes.
2. Use the Right Employee Engagement Survey
Performance reviews can inspire employee engagement and help your company achieve goals. In fact, 360° performance reviews solicit valuable, actionable feedback from not just the employee’s manager but peers, subordinates and key stakeholders. Surveys are a critical part to this review process.
Companies often make the mistake of using employee surveys to collect irrelevant data, or data that is hard to act on. An effective survey must be specific, relevant and actionable.
Your choice of survey software also matters. If it’s difficult for employees to take the survey, or if the reporting is difficult for managers to get results from, the survey won’t help anyone. Use a survey tool that’s simple enough for everyone to use, yet smart and flexible enough to give you all the insight you need.
3. Coach Managers and Keep Them Accountable
Research shows that managers are mostly responsible for employees’ engagement levels. Make sure your managers are coached on how to create effective employee engagement plans and track the results.
Hold managers accountable for the results. Set goals that encourage action, and make employee engagement a part of their performance evaluation.
4. Increase Visibility and Transparency
Managers and executives should make sure they are accessible and visible around the office. Employee engagement improves when employees see higher-ups as approachable and available instead of locked away in their offices.
Also, make sure information gets shared readily with employees. Management transparency has a direct correlation with employee happiness. Trust employees with sensitive information (when it makes sense) to give them a sense of investment in the company and camaraderie with their managers. This will also result in a more cooperative team environment.
5. Define Goals and Acknowledge Successes
Setting the right goals for employees during performance reviews is only one step in improving employee engagement in an organization. Managers should also make their own employee engagement goals meaningful to employees everyday lives.
When managers discuss employee engagement at team meetings or in one-on-one employee meetings, it can make engagement part of the everyday experience for workers. But make sure your managers are also recognizing employees’ accomplishments too. Publicly acknowledging successes, contributions and achievements builds trust, energizes the workplace and motivates both individuals and their peers.
Employee Engagement Is the Foundation for Company Success
There are so many benefits to improving employee engagement in the workplace. But it all starts with having the right conversations. Employee feedback surveys are a great way to initiate those conversations.