What is Employee Engagement? Benefits, Strategies and Steps

The direct link between commitment and performance defines employee engagement. That is why organizations are beginning to understand the worth of defining more human-centric corporate values.

What is Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a learning and development process for both the employer and employees. And only when there is an understanding and their vision merges , the organization can experience the full benefits.

In this article, we will discover what employee engagement is and which factors have a bigger impact on the organization.

Employee Engagement Definition

It’s a common misconception to think that employee engagement is directly related to employees’ happiness and satisfaction. This is not necessarily true, as it would be misleading to base actual employee investment on these short-term and rapidly changing measurements.

Employee engagement is a state of functioning in an organization, in which employees are motivated to contribute to the company’s success. They give their best and make additional efforts to accomplish essential tasks to reach objectives.

It’s the base level of investment and motivation that drives employees daily. And those engaged employees will not only be more productive, but they will also stay in the organization longer and become an example for others.

What are the Types of Employee Engagement?

There are three main types of employees based on their level of commitment to the organization:

1. Actively Engaged Employees

These are the most active and passionate employees that demonstrate an emotional connection to their work. They are enthusiastic and take initiative when it comes to professional tasks. In addition, they show the most consistency in performance and contribute heavily to business objectives.

2. Non-Engaged Employees

They do what is asked from them and follow their job description, but they rarely venture outside of their scope. They feel indifferent about the organization and the main drivers for them are personal security and remuneration.

3. Disengaged Employees

These employees are often pessimistic and have a negative attitude towards the organization. They show signs of absenteeism from work and do the minimum required for their job, which strongly affects the company’s overall productivity.

 

Infographic Employee Engagement Artboard

 

According to a survey conducted by Gallup across 142 countries worldwide, only 13% of employees are engaged in their job and 24% are the disengaged employees, leaving the majority of employees being non-engaged.

What are the Drivers of Employee Engagement?

When employees are highly engaged they connect with the organization and its goals. But what are the drivers of engagement?

1. Recognition

Tell someone they’re doing a good job and they’ll be more enthusiastic about their work. This is human nature – we all want to feel what we do is important.

2. Autonomy

When managers show they trust their team do their job without interference it gives employees the confidence and autonomy they need to deliver great results.. This can command respect for both the company and colleagues.

3. Support

Offering employees support is invaluable to create engagement. It gives them the certitude they will receive the needed assistance when needed and they won’t hesitate to ask when they face difficulties. Support also includes keeping employees informed, often using the communication platforms like the corporate intranet, which enables employees to follow and work towards the shared goals of the organization.

4. Clarity

Employees appreciate clear explanations. Whether this refers to their role, a project brief, or performance feedback, clarity boosts performance. When an employee understands what they should be doing and how to do it they are more likely to be high-performing.

5. Esteem

Listening to employees’ ideas for the organization, from input in strategic planning to what color the office walls, is essential to foster employee engagement. This shows mutual commitment and can inspire proactivity and a valuable contribution to the organization.

Employee Engagement Examples

To engage employees the organization should meet its employees’ emotional and practical needs, for example:

  • Create a safe and comfortable environment to work in. Give employees the tools and equipment they need to do their job.
  • Encourage promotion and clear career paths. Set goals and hold regular informal chats in addition to annual performance reviews.
  • Promote job security. People commit more when they know they’ll still have a job next month.
  • Pay fairly and reward with bonuses or gifts. When employees are happy with their salary and benefits they won’t be looking for another job.
  • Be approachable. Make time to listen to employees, whether they have concerns or ideas to grow the organization.
  • Keep employees informed. Connect employees to the big picture. An intranet is a good way to do this.
  • Promote teamwork so everyone feels equal and part of something.

To tilt the scales in your favor, you need to ask: what drives employee engagement? What motivates your employees to come to work every day? You can then provide them the best working conditions to boost their productivity.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

The benefits of employee engagement are numerous – from higher productivity to increased profit.

According to a recent article published in the Washington Post, a group of top U.S chief executives said that maximizing shareholder profits can no longer be corporations’ primary goal. There are many employee engagement quotes, and this one sums it up:

 

CEOs work to generate profits and return value to shareholders, but the best-run companies do more. They put the customer first and invest in their employees and communities.

Tricia Griffith, President and CEO of Progressive Corp.

 

In other words, to build long-term value, top companies are shifting to strategies that increase employee engagement and improve customer experience.

 

Defines company values

A clear set of values is the foundation of a strong corporate culture. Rethinking the source of your values can begin with asking a few simple questions: What gets your employees excited? Why do employees want to work at your company? Are your employees committed to working for your company? It’s important to include the employees’ perspective, so asking their opinions is essential. This can be done in the form of a questionnaire or survey (often on the intranet). Analyzing survey results and measuring employee feedback will allow you to keep pace with trends and instill employee engagement best practices.

 

Boosts company success

Business success can be strongly affected by the level of employee engagement. High-performing companies understand that sustainable growth comes from the dedication of their employees. How does employee engagement affect business results? Creating a workplace where people feel inspired and listened to will boost their performance to drive even better results. Engaged employees lead and will help carry the organization to the next level.

 

Enhances company reputation

Employees are the window to your company and they are the first contact with your customers. When employees are happy at work, customers will echo their positivity, increasing satisfaction at all levels. Therefore, both sides will have the incentive and willingness to recommend the brand, which will build a stronger corporate reputation.

 

Promotes customer satisfaction

Employee engagement is the emotional key to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. Employees who love their job convey passion and confidence in the organization. These people will give your customers a great experience through their infectious enthusiasm.

 

Reduces employee turnover

Employee retention is crucial to successful business outcomes. Engaged employees stay with the organization and become ambassadors of its brand. They don’t look for positions elsewhere as they are happy and motivated.

 

Improves company culture

Increasing engagement leads to an improvement in company culture. This comes from creating a workplace where people feel valued and part of the mission of the organization. When your employees live and breathe your culture you’ve got your employee engagement strategies right.

Discover more Employee Engagement Benefits

 

How to Build Employee Engagement

Understanding how to improve the employee experience and build engagement is key to creating a positive workplace. When you understand how to build and how to improve employee engagement you are recognizing that your employees are a core part of your business.

 

1. Improve job satisfaction

Make sure your employees are happy in their work and enjoy what they do. Give them challenges and reward achievements. This doesn’t have to be a financial benefit but could be a family dinner at a nice restaurant or a weekend trip , for example. Job satisfaction brings motivation and a feeling of well-being at work. It encourages employees to do the extra tasks needed to perform at a high level, not just ‘tick over’.

 

2. Build a strong company culture

Being a key to the success of any business, a strong company culture:

  • Communicates the organization’s strategies clearly – so everyone understands the goals, missions and values of the company.
  • Gives employees confidence – people are clear on what they should be doing and how to find information and resources.
  • Rewards employees for doing a good job – either financially or as benefits, acknowledging the value of the employee to the organization

The culture of an organization sets the benchmark for what people expect from their employer. It’s the perception of the organization and how it treats its people.

 

3. Initiate employee engagement activities

Another fundamental way to strengthen employee engagement is to initiate activities people enjoy. These can take place both in and out of the office.

  • Organize themed days/weeks in the office, around holidays or just for fun.
  • Offer benefits such as gym or sports club membership, office jam sessions, confidential counseling – just ask your employees what they’d like and make it happen.
  • Hold team days or weekends where employees can get to know each other better and connect beyond professional relations.

 

4. Encourage networking

This is the way to engage employees on a level they can relate to. It refers to both internal and external social networking that will lead to a positive work environment.

A great way to do this is through the company leveraging your intranet and combining it with social media in favor of creating strong social brand ambassadors.

  • Give everyone the opportunity to decide which internal groups and communities they want to follow and engage with.
  • Give visibility to teams initiative and performance, so they can understand what other departments do and they can collaborate to make their job easier.
  • Build a social advocacy program that will both help you communicate important corporate news and at the same time allow employees to share externally and interact with their networks on social media channels.

 

5. Use employee engagement software

An intranet can be much more than a communication tool. It serves as an employee engagement platform, allowing employees to communicate and share their opinions and ideas. An employee engagement platform gives employees a voice, they can give feedback on the new product or freely express their opinion about the next Christmas party. It allows them to have their say and be involved in the decision-making process all from the same collaboration and communication platform.

 

LumApps Intranet Example

How to measure employee engagement

Many employee engagement statistics support the importance and relationship between engaged employees and business profitability. Employee engagement affects multiple key performance indicators, so organizations need to measure it.

By implementing the right tools and techniques, organizations increase the chances of achieving their desired outcomes.

There is no single metric or method, but if you want to improve employee engagement you should consider the ideas below, according to your needs and resources:

  • Employee Engagement Yearly Surveys
  • Employee Pulse-Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Exit interviews
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Retention Rate

 

Here are some typical employee engagement survey questions:

  1. Are you happy in your work?
  2. What makes you happy/unhappy?
  3. Do you understand the company mission?
  4. Do you understand your role and where it fits within the company?
  5. Do you feel part of a team?
  6. Do you think the/a company intranet helps you to do your job better?
  7. Do/would you use the company intranet?
  8. How often do you use the company intranet?
  9. Do you see yourself working here in 5 years?
  10. Do you feel you have a clear career path?

These can be adapted according to your business needs, but can serve as the basis for the questions you want to address when considering how to increase employee engagement.

Analyze your organization’s needs and define the best measurements. If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of this topic, have a look at our “Measuring Employee Engagement Guide”.

 

Now it’s your turn. Start by defining why employee engagement is important for your company. With the right approach, you can turn your employees into a powerful tool to reach objectives and build a sustainable business.