Understanding and Improving Employee Engagement
Many organisations around the world do not take employee engagement seriously; in fact, not enough understand it enough to take steps to monitor and improve it.
Employee engagement is not just one thing – it is a collection of several factors that make the employee feel engaged at the work. It is important because engaged employees always want to perform at their best and help contribute towards the growth and success of the organisation, and disengaged ones just go through the motions without really making a difference.
Employees coming to the office on time, finishing the tasks allotted to them, and going back is not engagement; it is merely fulfiling the contract between the organisation and the employee. There needs to be much more done from both sides to make engagement work.
The first step in improving engagement levels is to understand where you are. A good idea is to ask your employees regarding the same through a survey using a variety of parameters. In general, the following are some steps that organisations can take to improve employee engagement:
Improve organisational culture
Organisational culture is one of the biggest factors that affect employee engagement. Culture dictates how employees interact with one another at the workplace, and a well-defined, effective culture will have a great impact on engagement. Organisations with good culture will be able to have high levels of employee engagement.
Provide the right tools
In some organisations, employees do not feel interested or engaged because they are often not provided with the right tools they need to do their jobs. Take the role of a technical writer for example. While the job of the writer will be better and more professional with an editor or document management solution, they would have to perform the task without one. It shows in their results, and soon, they would also lose interest in the task. So, it is essential to provide employees with the right tools and practices so that they can take pride in performing their tasks.
Offer challenging tasks
One sure way to make employees lose interest is to never push them. When they don’t have tasks that challenge them, employees fall into a routine and get disengaged over time. Once they have gained mastery over a certain task or if there is nothing further to learn from it, it also becomes monotonous and boring. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the interest of employees up, and keep them engaged with the work by offering them challenging tasks.
Give them more responsibilities or see how they can handle other components of the task. When they have something challenging to look forward to, good employees always feel motivated to come to work.
Equip them with the skills
Skill development plays a big role in employee engagement. Employees will always seek to learn new skills that will not only help in personality development but also in their professional growth. If they are able to gain new skills on the job, they will surely be fired up and raring to go. This will also help the organisation by improving overall performance and helping with succession planning.
Keep policies and processes transparent
Motivation is an important factor that affects employee engagement, and lack of transparency in policies and processes are sure to adversely affect motivation. Lack of motivation leads to lack of engagement. Therefore, all the policies, decisions, and processes must be transparent and flexible.
Employees are important stakeholders in the organisation, and as such, their whims, concerns, and grievances could also affect the organisation. It is essential to pay attention to employees’ needs and wants, and ensure that they get what they want to keep them more focused on the job.
Show them growth
Employee engagement is about getting employees to give their best at all times, and this would be easier if the employees understand and feel that doing so is in their best interests as well.
Employees crave growth as much as the organisation, and if you can show them growth now and in the future upon their successful achievement of goals and objectives, they are much more liable to be engaged. Everything that the organisation does will become part of their responsibility, and they would go out of their way to ensure that it is done. For example, your marketing manager could just be doing the marketing stuff, but if you show her how she could become a ‘C’ level operative if she achieves certain targets, she would be sure to go after it.
A lively workplace
Workplaces that are dull and suffer from procrastination and inertness would offer no help in engagement at all. Ensure that the workplace is lively and vibrant and will foster a culture of growth and learning. From the furniture to the wallpapers to the tools that employees use to handle their tasks, everything should be lively and interesting.
Institute rewards & recognition
When you want the best from someone, it is a good idea to show the carrot upfront. Institute a rewards and recognition programme if you do not already have one to ensure that employees feel motivated towards work.
James Maron is an author at SutiSoft. He shares his views on SaaS and Cloud-based business management solutions.