It’s a phrase that seems to constantly pop up in recent years. Improved employee engagement has been prescribed as the answer to practically every problem your company might experience, but what does it actually mean?
Consider the picture of fully engaged employees:
1. They are satisfied with and enthusiastic about their job.
2. They understand the mission and values of the organisation and believe that they can make a difference.
3. They work well together and are highly productive – sometimes even surpassing expections of them.
It sounds idealistic, but it’s true that engagement drives productivity. Remember how easy it is to work on a project that you have interest in? That is the feeling of engagement. It may seem obvious that engaged employees are more productive, but it’s a detail that many employers fail to take account of.
Tapping into the powerhouse
As an employer, you have a great deal of control over engagement and can make changes to improve it. These changes may be simple – even something as small as installing a better coffee machine.
In other cases, the necessary changes may more directly challenge company norms. Having the courage to risk fallout and make improvements could pay back huge dividends in the form of increased productivity.
However, the key factor is that any changes must be driven by employee feedback.
How to assess employee engagement
Do you suspect that your company’s productivity is not what it could be? The only way to find out whether you have a problem is to talk to your employees. But beware: face-to-face conversations may not be the answer.
Imagine the situation where you are called into your boss’s office to “discuss your feelings about the workplace”. Many people might feel that their job security is at risk if they complain openly.
The solution? Anonymous employee engagement surveys.
You can distribute via email or on the company’s intranet and provide a safe and convenient conduit between employees and management. It could give you the information you need to make targeted changes and increase the passion in your workplace.
Be aware that engagement may not be the problem. Perhaps your staff is highly enthusiastic, but a lack of training or tools is the culprit. The answer is still communication.
Find out how your employees feel about their work and how they think it could be improved.