It seems like we might be stating the obvious when we say that an engaged workforce is a more productive one – but it’s true!
Staff who enjoy their jobs and their work environment are more likely to be happy and healthy, which leads to greater productivity and better outcomes.
Ensuring your workforce is engaged is a no-brainer. In fact, over the last ten years, the concept of employee engagement has become increasingly prominent in the business environment.
When we think about employee engagement, what springs to mind is probably the occasional staff building day or a bi-annual staff satisfaction survey. But, it takes much more than this to build an enthusiastic workforce, and leaders will need to commit to addressing all aspects of engagement. This article will take a closer look at these aspects.
What are the Benefits of Having Engaged Employees?
The benefits of employee engagement are wide-ranging – and it really does have the power to make or break a business. From more productive employees to better performance, fewer instances of work-related stress and lower employee turnover, a motivated workforce reaps the benefits.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
So, we understand the need for a dedicated and satisfied team – but how do we quantify it?
Given that engagement is often the sum of lots of emotions and circumstances, it can be tricky to find a measure that accurately portrays the state of your workforce. But there are strategies that you can implement to gain a broad picture.
Employee Engagement Surveys
There’s no better way to understand the motivations and attitudes of your workforce than by asking them!
Employee engagement surveys can be used to gather an overview of insights across your business. They provide an opportunity to open effective channels of communication between employers and employees, and can also make staff feel like their opinions are valued and listened to.
It’s important to note that survey results can fluctuate depending on the time of year – it’s likely that employees will suggest they are more stressed during busy periods for example – so it’s a wise idea to conduct multiple, frequent surveys throughout the year.
A diverse approach to measuring employee engagement can be useful. While surveys are a great opportunity to collect quantitive data that will give you an overview of your organisation, one-to-one meetings can give a deeper level of understanding of any issues that an employee might be facing. A private and safe conversation between a manager and their team can allow them to get a much deeper insight into job satisfaction – and how it can be improved.
Key Components of Employee Engagement
When we’re considering employee engagement, what exactly should we be looking at? We’ve identified some key components. Let’s break it down.
Well-being is a wide-ranging term – and often, it’s top of the list for managers. But what exactly is it?
In fact, well-being encompasses a whole range of factors from mental and physical health to work-life balance and stress levels. Increasingly, employers are placing the well-being of their teams at the heart of their culture, with raised awareness of the signs of stress and overwhelming workloads. This is because poor mental and physical well-being negatively impacts on productivity, absenteeism and, in turn, costs to the business.
While physical well-being can be easy to identify – and rectified with appropriate workplace adjustments – poor mental well-being is tougher to spot. It’s important for employees to gauge the mental health of their team, and a staff survey is a perfect way to do this.
The workplace environment and culture can also impact engagement. Of course, employees will not be engaged in work if they do not want to come to work in the first place. So it’s important to create a positive and welcoming environment for your workforce.
Poor leadership is often cited as a reason many professionals have decided to leave their job – getting it right in terms of leadership and management is pretty vital.
As a leader, you should listen to your team, know their strengths, set achievable goals, and – from time to time – say thank you! The best leaders take time to build professional and productive relationships with their teams, with open communication and motivation. An effective working relationship is a crucial factor in retaining long-term employees. There’s no denying it. Good management is imperative for staff morale.
Receiving feedback on your own performance as an employee can be a pleasant a productive experience – but it can also be something that would fill you with dread.
This is largely dependent on the type of feedback you are given, and the way it is delivered. Feedback is crucial to motivation because it provides guidance on how to improve performance. It can give employees the tools and guidance they need to achieve collective goals, and it can also make them feel like they are on the right track to success.
The most effective feedback is honest, to-the-point and gives a clear route or strategy for improvement. You’ll want to consider call centre quality assurance software to capture customer feedback on agent interaction – this can even happen in real time, ensuring feedback is quick and relevant.
Let’s be honest – we all love to feel like we’ve done a good job, and a little praise can certainly go a long way. However, in a busy work environment, it can be easy to miss out on the opportunity to tell your workforce that they’re doing a great job.
Recognition and rewards – even when work is busy – can make your employees feel valued. And when they feel appreciated, employees are motivated to work harder and achieve more.
You might want to consider introducing an employee recognition programme. This could range from a free drink after work to an ‘employee of the month’ award.
Progression is incredibly important for some employees. If they are ambitious and looking for a challenge, providing this challenge can be a surefire way to increase engagement. Consider each staff member on an individual basis – what do they want to achieve? What are their training needs? How can you help them achieve their next career goal? Learning new skills through courses, training materials and conferences can increase motivation for your staff. Find out how they want to grow – and then provide opportunities for them to do so.