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According to Deloitte in a report titled Human Capital Trends 2016, one of the biggest concerns facing businesses today is employee engagement. In fact, 85% of companies rated employee engagement as an important priority.
But what does employee engagement mean and why are businesses so concerned? It’s ‘the level of an employee’s psychological investment in their organization’ says Aon Hewitt in another report which estimates only 25% of the global workforce is highly engaged. While there are varying subtleties in its definition, one thing remains sure: employee engagement has been proven to be critical to company’s ongoing success. Countless studies have found that higher levels of employee engagement are directly correlated to higher levels of productivity, higher employee retention rates, and higher profitability.
And while there are many ways in which businesses can heighten employee engagement, below are a few strategic recommendations that can help.
1. Defining and Communicating What You Do
Taking the time to clearly communicate the company’s purpose, values and priorities can stimulate more engagement from a team. This is especially true when leaders take the time to scope out and quantify what the business is and why it exists from the high-level vision through to each individual task. When people have a better sense of why their job and actions matter to the organization and its customers, they tend to feel more connected to their work and employer. Regular updates on the company’s performance, milestones and direction also keep employees invested over the long term because they get a better understanding of how they have contributed to its ongoing success and mission.
2. Developing a Company Culture
Creating a company culture is also incredibly important in cultivating employee engagement and strengthening the company brand. It’s human nature to want to belong to something that is bigger than ourselves. So, when an organization can promote core strengths and values from within and get buy-in from its employees, this inadvertently strengthens how its customer will perceive and experience its brand. Fostering collective ambition also reinforces a company culture, whereby employees feel that they are actively contributing to a success much bigger their own. This evolves from leaders who give employees more ownership in their work, and the freedom to voice opinions and make contributions that help the organization grow.
3. Nurturing Customer Centricity
Many organizations focus on putting their customers first, but employees are rarely involved in the conversation. Again, this comes down to really educating each employee on what the company offers and why it’s important to its clients. When every employee understands and can effectively communicate the value that the organization is trying to deliver, they are better aligned to make decisions, take initiative and go above and beyond to be more customer centric. Putting customers first is what will drive results, but your employees need to be actively engaged in the process. Through leadership, greater transparency and clear direction, employees can become more accountable in the customer centricity of an organization and ultimately help increase bottom line performance.
Success with Employee Engagement
Keeping employees engaged is an ongoing process for any organization. While there are many ways in which businesses can heighten engagement, these basic strategies are a good start. When leadership steps up to provide a clear vision for the company, promote a collective ambition in its culture, and involve employees in creating customer centricity, everyone can succeed.
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