Many studies show that engaged employees are good for organisations. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, employees with lower engagement levels are four times more likely to leave their jobs. Engaged employees are also more productive and contribute more to profits. Studies found that the organizations with highly engaged employees achieved twice the annual net income of organizations with less engagement.
What is ‘employee engagement’?
This week I experienced firsthand the contrast between organisations with high and low employee engagement. In the first I met committed people willing go ‘above-and-beyond the call of duty’; enthusiastic and passionate taking responsibility for the quality of their work. They see how their personal contribution leads to meaningful outcomes and actively look for opportunities to serve the mission of the organisation. I witnessed a constructive, robust discussion with management on how the organisation might improve. These people are champions for the organisation, transmitting a positive image and recommending its services.
In the second organisation the contrast was shocking. Individuals seemed tuned off, doing do the minimum required. Taking little responsibility for anything outside of their immediate job description, when things (inevitably) went wrong they automatically slipped into blaming, complaining and backbiting. They were negative about the organisation. Management were rigid and defensive. Staff wouldn’t recommend the company to potential employees or customers.
Seven top tips to create employee engagement
These tips are distilled from research on employee engagement. Interestingly, when you look into the research, financial reward, though a factor, doesn’t appear high on list:
1. Communicating a clear purpose: staff can make sense of what the organisation is doing and see how their contribution fits into the bigger picture.
2. Values, Trust and integrity: management care about staff well-being, tell the truth, and ‘walk the talk’ of the company values through their leadership and behaviour.
3. Positive relationship with management: staff value the relationship they have with line managers who listen and encourage dialogue.
4. Building self belief: management recognise, reward and show their appreciation of staff. Employees enjoy a level of autonomy and opportunities to participate in decision-making.
5. Employee development: training needs are taken seriously. There are opportunities to learn, grow, build skills and develop leadership capacity across the organisation. Managers adopt a coaching style and there is a culture of mentoring junior colleagues.
6. Focus on emotional intelligence: efforts are made to build positive relationships across the organisation and with all stakeholders. A culture of honesty and trust is fostered where open dialogue is encouraged.
7. Satisfaction & Pride: employees derive a sense of self esteem from being part of the company
Are you interested in building the skills to engage others? Take a look at our Training Programmes and see how Wise Goose can help you to make a difference to your organisation.