The Importance of Investing in Employee Engagement

When asked what a company’s most important assets are, many might first consider the real estate, inventory, or technology. But it’s the owners who think immediately of bistheir employees who are on the right track.

The Dale Carnegie Training Course for driving employee engagement says, “The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the workforce, the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged.” Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%, meaning any investment you make into boosting engagement is likely to see positive returns.

Many factors affect employee engagement, but the main reason for disengagement is dissatisfaction with management. Another reason employees may not maintain pride and happiness in their job is if they don’t believe the company contributes to society in constructive ways. Beyond these reasons, employers must also actively work to gain employees’ trust and loyalty.

Investment from Senior Management

The corner office is a cushy spot, and hard work is required to attain it. Once you’ve finally reached it, you might be tempted to remain there for most of your time. Doing so, however, can effectively cut off communication with your team, and damage relationships.

Instead of building a wall between senior management and employees, share company goals and your plans to reach them. Make the team a part of the process so they’ll buy into every project and assignment. That connection to the company will inspire harder, more meaningful work.

Encourage Communication

Your employees know a lot more than you might think. Whether they have information about the inner workings of your company or ideas that may elevate your business to a whole new level, those employees should be encouraged to share.

Your respect will breed their respect. And when your team knows their ideas are respected, they’ll take pride in their work. By building upon these contributions, your company will soon have more great information than you’ll know what to do with. Can you honestly say your business already has enough ideas right now? How about for the next year, or the next five?

Implement Incentives

However much traction you gain from communication and inclusion, you’ll always gain more from providing incentives to your workers. These incentives could be as small as free snacks and drinks, or as large as extra paid time off or gift cards for local restaurants or brands.

The problem with an incentive programme is that tracking accomplishments fairly can be tricky. A truly engaged supervisor may know what his or her employees are doing on a daily basis, but even the most vigilant manager can get caught up in daily tasks. This is where employee engagement software designed to handle incentive programmes can come in handy.

Gamification has proven to be effective in motivating employees, especially when tangible rewards are involved. Just remember nothing prompts employee engagement and response quite like personal attention. A healthy mix of rewards, communication, and inclusion can result in truly engaged employees. As mentioned above, those employees could help your company see up to 202% greater performance.

More so than ever, the question is not whether you can afford to invest in employee engagement, but whether your company can afford to not invest in it.

Keith Cawley is the media relations manager at TechnologyAdvice. He covers a variety of business technology topics, including gamification, business intelligence, and healthcare IT. Connect with him on Google+.