7 steps for companies to assure high employee engagement at workplace
Employees from long have been believed to be the sole reason for a constantly developing organization. However, according to the State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup, only 15% of the employees are engaged profitably. It means a mere 15% contributes towards the company's success, while others are just serving the formalities. Well, this does not imply that the rest should be fired; rather, they need to be converted into engaged ones.
Also, employee engagement defined by Gallup is the percentage to which employees are fully devoted or happy getting associated with the tasks of the office. Obviously, achieving a high percentage of engaged employees is not a cakewalk at all! But even if it is a hard nut to crack, it is crucial for the success of organizations. To elucidate, around 70 percent of top executives firmly assert that employee engagement is indispensable for the growth and success of their business. These insights from a report by Fast Track 360 make a clear case for measuring and upscaling employee engagement within any organization. Needless to say, encouraging and sustaining it requires the right allocation of resources from the very beginning of the hiring process.
It is worth mentioning that the workplaces are undergoing paradigm shifts in contemporary times. The latest trends in the workplace are driving further challenges in terms of engaging employees. The impact of COVID-19 on businesses and organizations is well known to everyone. Almost all businesses went virtual in the lockdowns and shutdowns triggered by the pandemic. The volume of remote work has increased manifold in recent times. Besides, remote work is now expected to be a standard for the future, even when the pandemic is long gone. According to Forbes, by 2025, 70 percent of the global workforce will be working remotely. To add, a Gartner CFO survey concludes that more than 70 percent of employers will allow permanent work from home to their employees. So, it will not be wrong to say that the future of work is remote. Hence, from here on, companies will have to create a separate strategy for engaging workers in a remote or hybrid workplace model. Every historical change in the workplace will create a need for novel and more specific employee engagement strategies.
To make it easier at the implementation level, the following blog provides in-depth information on the myths, concepts, and conversion strategies to produce a higher percentage of engaged employees within an organization. These are meant to provide an insight into the various changes that employers and HR managers should try to inculcate in the working cultures of their respective organizations.
First and foremost, this article will highlight the myths that most employers commonly have. The list constitutes the four general and most popular myths that are prevalent across various industries.
Four popular myths that employers have
MOTIVATION IS THE ONLY KEY TO HIGH PRODUCTIVITY
This is the most common myth which says that employees need to be motivated to work, due to which a number of managers across the world keep giving motivational speeches to their employees to invent their motivational being. However, according to Kerry Goyette, the Founder & President of Aperio Consulting Group, employees are already motivated; what is required is unleashing their motivation by their managers or leaders. Furthermore, business leaders need to look at the broader picture of employee engagement that goes far beyond motivation. This comprehensive understanding is vital for converting them into engaged employees from being just happy or disengaged ones and shedding off their procrastination reasons.
EMPOWERMENT CAN EXIST WITHOUT FLEXIBILITY
Empowerment, in literal terms, is, giving power to someone to do a task or to be independent in doing a given task. In the words of Patty McCord, “We need to empower people now because we have spent decades taking it away from them. The rules, processes, handbooks, and procedures have taken away their creativity and the power to act fearlessly, hence has slowly taken this power from them." She believes that employees have been made this way, of being dependent and uncreative. Now, after ages, they are being asked again to wear the masks of empowerment and show their skills. Therefore, this revolution demands change from the roots within Empowerment has to be more realistic, and in this era of remote working, empowerment and flexibility will be synonymous with each other. If employers have to cultivate a culture of active engagement within virtual workforces, employment cannot be deprived of flexibility.
Recent research in the United Kingdom concludes that more than 90 percent of millennials consider flexibility as their top priority for taking up a job offer. In general, employees expect to get greater flexibility in their next career roles. Especially in this latest trend of remote working and hybrid workplaces, flexibility is a highly desirable workplace virtue. To substantiate, as per Statista, the flexibility advantage of telecommuting is the top benefit for remote workers in the US. Hence, empowerment cannot exist without flexibility, at least in the remote working culture.
PERKS AND FACILITIES CAN DRIVE ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT
The thought- if an employee is facilitated with extra perks and favor, he would feel obliged and would devote himself to the cause of producing profits for the company, is simply wrong. One needs to realize that money is really important, especially in today’s world where inflation is touching heights. So, by just giving them the facilities of high gourmet restaurants and huge office spaces, the employer cannot buy the employee engagement of his staff.
ACTIVELY ENGAGED EMPLOYEES CAN INSPIRE DISENGAGED EMPLOYEES
This has been a misconception that is even served as a conversion step in many companies. Many originations even today believe that clubbing high-performing employees with low-performing ones can convert the latter into actively engaged employees. On the contrary, according to researches, it works the other way round and brings down the performance level of the engaged employees.
Before moving to the steps to correct these myths, this article will now throw some light on the definition and attributes of engaged employees. Also, the classification of various employee kinds and their salient differences would make it easier to understand the reasons behind employees' various attitudes and behaviors.
#Who is an engaged employee?
An engaged employee is one who is truly loyal and emotionally determined towards his set career goals. Also, such people dream of growing passionately with the development of the company. Therefore, their dreams are in alignment with the vision of the company. Engaged employees work for the expansion and futuristic growth of the company. In fact, one would have noticed that such employees are very energetic and always ready to take up any challenge at the workspace. These people never leave their invigorative spirit and are ever prepared to accustom themselves to any of the roles offered to them.
Also, such people tend to possess out-of-the-box thinking skills and are always keen to stretch their limits of work. Moreover, engaged employees prove to be future leaders and keep contributing to the same company for a comparatively longer period of time. Having such employees in the workforce can literally change the fortunes of an organization. According to an analysis from Gallup, companies that have actively engaged workers are 21% more profitable than others.
#Difference between a happy and an engaged employee
Now there comes a category after the engaged employees, who are called the non-engaged employees. This contributes to 67% of the general workforce in a company. These employees might look happy and contented, but unlike engaged employees, these are not committed to serve towards the vision and aims of their organization. This category of workers generally contributes as the highest percentages of the colleagues around, in the office.
These people stay positive and smiling but do not take any step beyond the tasks assigned to them. They perform their duties with diligence, but they do not feel a sense of emotional connection with the organization and its goal. Additionally, one would agree that these people are not even very much inclined towards providing extra kind services to the customers of the company. In short, they just restrain themselves from their KRAs and do not invest their time or energy towards producing anything extra for the benefit of the organization.
These employees, if treated as opportunities, can be converted to the class of engaged employees and utilized to add to the profit numbers of the company. Following are a few of the steps, which, if followed, can help an employer to hire engaged employees from the very beginning or even convert the existing ones to engaged and high-performing workers.
However, before moving to the solution, here is a little brief about the third category called the actively disengaged employees. These constitute 18% of the total workforce and are usually identified as people with negative influence over the rest of the office staff. They are more interested in checking the progressive report of others rather than concentrating on their own. What is more concerning for the organizations is the fact that disengaged employees can result in major financial losses. To validate this, a study by The Engagement Institute reveals that U.S based business organizations incur losses of around 500 billion USD each year due to disengagement among employees. This staggering figure speaks for the whopping costs of not paying heed to employee engagement.
Subsequently, having analyzed the various degrees of engagement among employees, this blog further sheds light on the most effective and pragmatic strategies to boost employee engagement. In the next section, there is a list of the most relevant practices for creating a high productivity culture:
#7 best steps to improve employee engagement
Fit them right!
According to Kerry Goyette, motivation is the key to success. It is very important that the employees in an organization are motivated. It also acts as the driving force for them to contribute wholeheartedly towards the success of the company. For this, one needs to bring change in his employment strategy by hiring employees based on their motivational fit. However, evaluating the motivational fit in remote interviews or for remote positions can be challenging. HR managers need to find ways to assess a candidate’s motivational fit for telecommuting positions and during virtual interviews as well.
For Instance, motivation for pleasure is defined by two different characteristics, one is ambition, and the other is accountability. The people inclined towards ambitions get highly motivated when talked about a project which ensures a company’s growth and profits. They tend to visualize their own upscaling along with the surging graph of their company. On the other hand, the accountable ones would get affected if talked about the various threats or the possibilities, which could harm the company’s progress in any of the possible ways. Here, people of both ideologies are motivated, but in their own perspective ways.
Therefore, if an organization accustoms this skill of identifying the motivational fit, then it can produce undoubtedly overwhelming results. Selection of employees this way would further reflect in the annual profits of the company and the individualistic growth of the employees. Also, in the modern-day workplace, emotional intelligence has become an imperative hiring criterion. People with high EQ or emotional intelligence show greater intrinsic motivation. Various surveys conclude that businesses are now hiring employees based on their EQ skills than their IQ. Hence, this refinement in hiring can be the key to employee engagement.
Moreover, an employer can convert the presently working employees into engaged employees by targeting them into groups with the same motivational bent. This would boost the motivational skills of the employees and focus their minds towards the direction of their choice.
Suit them well
As discussed above with the mention of Patty McCord, it is highly imperative for an employer to pay fairly right to his employees. It is further crucial for the employees also to own their career graph and ask for what they deserve and not what others think they should get. Also, amid the constantly changing workplace cultures and the emergence of remote and hybrid offices, employees need their share of time to get used to the transition. Organizations should let them learn and adapt at their own pace.
Moving forward, It is not wrong to say that the purpose of money cannot be replaced by perks and other facilities. One definitely cannot buy his needs with the extra amenities, so it is a dire need for an employee to earn well. Also, this factor acts as a great source of motivation for humans to keep performing their tasks at par excellence. Also, thinking from the employee’s point of view, if he knows that his effort would be valued in money and he will definitely get a promotion if he performs well, then he will surely move in the said direction.
Additionally, if the company pays its employees well, then it is a big reason for the retention of the employees for a considerably long period. Moreover, the employee foresees his personal growth along with the advancement of the firm and definitely gets converted into an engaged one.
Employers like Google, Apple, Accenture, Netflix, Cisco, Salesforce, and Facebook are a few of the top payers of the world. They have been known for retaining employees by providing them with high pay packages and are even regarded as the ones who value human talent the most.
Treat them humanly not humanely
In the words of Mary Schaefer, HR professional, “employees should be treated humanly, not humanely." By humanely, she means to provide washroom breaks or have water dispensers at the office, whereas humanly refers to the basic requirements crucial for human development that are appreciation, no discrimination, belongingness, and the urge to make a profitable contribution to the company’s growth. She strongly believes that it is high time that employers start infusing more humanity at the workplace. This is important as inhuman treatment can lead to employee disengagement, even in the most successful organizations. For example, Google gender discrimination negatively impacted employee engagement in the organization.
Moving ahead, engaging employees not only relates to being soft-spoken or friendly to the employees but also refers to appreciating and rewarding their efforts when their intelligence and efforts make a tangible difference to the projects in concern. It is a well-known fact that recognition works amazingly to encourage an individual to perform to the best of his ability. This can further be validated with credible statistics. As cited by HubSpot, 69% of employees have admitted that they will work much harder if they receive the right appreciation from their leaders. Speaking of remote workers, as per a survey by Flex Jobs, 65 percent of remote workers reported that they have to work for additional hours while telecommuting. 48 percent of remote workers witness a lack of emotional support to get through challenging tasks, and burnout is a common problem among remote workers. Hence, organizations have to be sensitive to such issues and offer greater humanitarian and emotional support to even their remote employees. In the absence of such support, employees will tend to disengage, and identifying disengagement in remote employees can be difficult for managers. To elaborate, as per the State of Workplace Empathy report 2020, 76 percent of employees believe that empathy is crucial to their motivation and engagement.
Also, it has been Inferred that organizations that tend to give more importance to these basic human requirements have more percentage of engaged employees in comparison to the ones who have a bossy culture at the office.
So, another step to produce a more engaged workforce is to appreciate them at every step of achievement and making them an integral part of the company's projects and work culture. They should be made to believe that their opinion and inputs add a lot of value to the continuous development of the firm they are a part of.
Few such companies, which are running corporates on the grounds of valuing and appreciating their employees for the work they do, are Great Little Box Company, Netflix, Meltwater, Warby Parker, and Solar City. These companies have made a name for themselves, not only by achieving great monetary results but have also proven to be masters in practicing the culture of empathy and appreciation to attract the loyalty of their workers.
Let the moment rule!
Feedback in every field is the source of improvement. However, the time gap in the action of the employee and the reaction of the employer is an important thing to consider. One must make sure that the feedback is in the moment as giving it afterward would not be very impactful and even look unreal. Therefore, regular check-ins should be adopted as a practice by the employer, where the employee sits with his boss on a weekly basis, and the problems are discussed within them.To add, as per Forbes, almost 90 percent of the HR managers around the globe opine that ongoing peer-to-peer feedback and check-ins are critical for promising outcomes. Also, if an entire team is involved in a project, then its review should be done every week or fortnight so that the same mistakes are not repeated, and the workers get a chance to correct their vision for the same. Managers should know that ambitious and diligent employees are always receptive to feedback. In fact, according to the latest insights from Statista, around 30 percent of employees prefer to receive feedback every quarter. Also, around 15 percent of employees look forward to receiving feedback every month.
In fact, instant feedbacks should be motivated for small assignments so that it gets worked upon in the shortest time possible. Also, the tone of feedback has to be soft and motivating. It should not work in the direction of negative motivation because such kinds do not generally produce very impressive results.
Moreover, if an employee is underperforming, then the manager should sit with him at the earliest possible and discuss the reasons for stress leading to decline in his performance. Again, the communication strategy followed here should be to interrogate and address his problems rather than illustrating his own flaws to him.
To make an impact, the old annual performance review culture should be eliminated from the company’s policies, and real-time feedback methodologies should be adopted to have more encouraged and engaged employees at work. A few of the simple examples of this progressive work culture are companies like Legal Monkeys and Screwfix, which have open feedback culture.
In the company, Legal Monkeys, they have an Appreciation Board at the place, which can be presented to anyone whom they feel has done something praiseworthy. The person is free to keep the board at his desk till the other person bags for an accomplishment. On the other hand, Screwfix has a culture of receiving feedback from the employees after every two weeks, where employees are free to talk, complain, or suggest anything of concern. Further, their suggestions are even implemented by the company, which showcases their worth.
Recognize the feathers in their cap
Everyone loves being praised, so does an employee! Why do employers forget that at the end of the day, employees are also human beings who strive for the small happiness in life? They also feel delighted when their boss appreciates them in front of the team or when they receive a promotion mail in the mid of the financial year, or even a holiday package after a tiring yet super successful project. To explain, according to some interesting insights on employee behavior, 37% of them feel that recognition is the most imperative factor for their success
It is Researches have proven that employees who are motivated to work beyond their worth and are appreciated for their constant efforts tend to be more actively engaged towards work. Such people always step ahead for the benefit of the company, and their unconscious mind is continuously working to seek opportunities for growth. Further, their growth reflects in the profit margins of the company, and the organization gets to witness an overwhelming expansion of its enterprise.
Adding on, to make employees feel more worthy and valued, monthly or quarterly awards can be introduced in the firm to honor the caliber of the employees. Along with this, small changes can be made in the internal processes to tell them they are a valuable and inseparable part of the organization. In the current era, companies need to find special ways to appreciate and recognize employees in the virtual space.
One of the best examples of honoring the worth of the employees by paid vacation is a company called Full Contact. This US-based software company offers ‘Paid Paid Vacation’ to its employees where each year, the employees get $7500 from the company and are free to go anywhere. Also, during this vacation off, the employees are made sure to not attend any phone, message, or mail related to work. They believe that after this rejuvenating vacation, the employees get to produce more success-oriented results as the engagement of the employee is at its peak after the fully paid vacation.
Furnish healthy squads
This step is the further addition of like-minded people in the same motivational fit, as discussed in the first step of change. By adding more people to the group, the practice will allow all the employees of a certain group to learn from each other and earn the power of advancement. This way, there would be no blocking in the path of their growth, and new skills would keep improvising their individual worth.
Also, it will cultivate a healthy working culture in the office, where each employee would be benefitting from the strengths of the other one. Moreover, the third group of actively disengaged workers would automatically break down and would not have any strong impact on the people around them. Workplace diversity is one of the latest trends that are growing in the corporate world. As per Glassdoor, 69 percent of the top executives feel that diversity and inclusion in the workplace are of great importance. Besides, according to Delloite, 83 percent of millennial workers are likely to show greater engagement in a diverse workplace. More importantly, Harvard Business Review claims that diverse organizations have a 70 percent greater chance to capture new markets as per the latest trends. Hence, furnishing healthy and diverse squads can be an employee engagement strategy offering great rewards.
Employ to invest
Now, here the companies need to treat employees not as burdens but as investments and even need to turn them into the same. In fact, some of the biggest names of the employment industry are investing in their employees by offering them mentorship programs and skill development training. Such mentorship programs make employees feel valued, and they are able to align their personal development goals with the organizational objectives. Companies like Google and Amazon have turned educators to their employees by registering them to post-secondary degree courses that would help them learn the proficiencies of their work in an even detailed manner.
This, moreover, builds the trust of the employee in the company and inclines his interest all the more towards the profitable growth of the organization. Also, here the employer ascertains his promise of working upon the personal growth of the employee along with the professional. So, steps like these are sure to increase employee engagement towards the ultimate purpose of the financial development of the company.
The crux of all these strategies is to enhance the participation of employees in the organization. This participation will have a direct impact on the level of engagement driving the morale of employees. Mentorship programs, recognition, feedback, and addressing employees’ needs will capture the sincerity and loyalty of employees hence enabling them to feel a greater urge for active participation. When an organization is able to foster a culture of active employee participation, it will be able to achieve its objectives not only in terms of engagement but also retention. In addition to the above strategies, giving employees a sense of belonging and including them in the decision-making process of the organization can also work wonders to augment the participation of employees. As long as employees feel comfortable participating in various processes, they will even be happy to take up additional responsibilities or work overtime for the betterment of their organization or employer.
Most importantly, during the implication of all the above-mentioned steps, it should be made sure that the factor of trust is given utmost importance. The company should ensure to practice exercises that exhibit that its employees are highly trusted and valued. This would infuse more confidence and faith in them for the company, and they would now devote their talent of full ability towards the achievement of the vision and goal of the employer. To add more, our website assignment help 4 me has many resourceful blogs which can be helpful to the users.
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Frequently asked questions
- What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the practice of engaging the employees in a rightful manner. It also includes the act of motivating, inspiring and enrolling employees in the right tasks so that they stay connected with the goal of the organization.
- How to improve employee engagement
Employee engagement can be improved by employing them in the right tasks of their interests. Further, with right coordination and achieving a balance between the personal and professional growth, the employees can be kept connected with the company for a longer period of time.
- Why is employee engagement important?
Employee engagement is imperative for the growth of any organization because it keeps the employees happy and focussed towards the goal of the company. It is with positively engaged employees that a company can aim for higher profits in the future.