Employee Engagement – Introduction
Employee Engagement is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give their best each day. Employee Engagement is based on trust, integrity, a two-way commitment and communication between an organization and its members. It is an approach that increases the chances of business success, contributing to organizational and individual performance, productivity and well-being.
From an employer’s point of view, employee engagement is concerned with using new measures and initiatives to increase the positive emotional attachment felt and therefore productivity and overall business success. An engaged workforce produces better business results, does not hop jobs and more importantly, is an ambassador of the organization at all points of time.
Engaged employees are perceived to form a part of an organization’s brand and an engaged, happy workforce can have a knock-on effect on customer retention, recruitment of key talent and the ability to attract new customers in a world where a company’s values are crucial to the consumers.
The definitions, as seen, focus on the employer as well as the employee. Today’s millennial workforce is more informed, connected, willing to work given learning opportunities. Personal growth, opportunities to learn and explore is becoming a primary driver. Equity more than pay is a driving force. Catering to the changing needs to foster engaged employees is the need of the hour.
Critics question whether employee engagement is compatible with the naturally competitive business environment, whether positive emotional attachments result in increased productivity and whether there is sufficient ROI on employee engagement initiatives to make them worthwhile.
Employee engagement involves the following aspects −
- The nature of the job itself.
- Whether the employee feels mentally stimulated.
- The trust and communication between the employees and the management.
- The ability of an employee to see how their own work contributes to the overall company performance.
- The opportunity of growth within the organization.
- The level of pride an employee has about working or being associated with the company.
The emotional connection of an employee toward the organization tends to influence his or her behaviors and the level of effort in work related activities. The more engagement an employee has with his or her company, the more effort they put forth.
Why is Employee Engagement So Important?
As a manager, keeping your employees engaged is perhaps the biggest challenge you face. It is also a huge opportunity to gain long term commitment and discretionary effort from your team. That effort will ultimately lead to higher sales and fewer mistakes.
There is more and more convincing evidence that improving employee engagement can significantly improve the company’s performance across several key areas, such as;
- Customer Satisfaction
- Health and Safety
- Sickness and Absence
- Turnover and Wellbeing
But, to achieve that, your engagement efforts should be aligned with your overall business strategy. Implementing unplanned ideas and activities that you think might help, without monitoring or measuring their impact, is a waste of time and resources.
Business Commitment to Employee Engagement
You should be clear about “What” you want to achieve in your company, before jumping to “How” you’re going to go about it. Your HR function is essential in defining and planning an employee engagement strategy that aligns with your organization’s goals.
Like we pointed out in a recent article, HR has a much more strategic function within a company and should be involved in the business planning process to ensure its profitability. Being inherently cross-functional, the HR function has a high degree of authority in terms of managing the employees who will ultimately execute that strategy.