CoAdvantage-Strengthening employee engagement is a huge boon for employers. Study after study has found that engagement produces better outcomes in all kinds of ways, including by boosting the bottom-line. Engaged employees are more productive and produce better output and more profit. So, most employers already understand the “why” of employee engagement, but what about the “how”? How can they actually improve engagement? That’s not as simple to understand. Here are 4 best practices to get started.
1: Set the stage for success
It’s important to understand that success and engagement work both ways. Successful employees are engaged employees. Just as engagement begets success, success begets engagement. To that end, employers should take every possible step to enable their teams to be successful.
That might mean providing additional training, coaching, and skills development. This has the bonus effect of making employees feel valued and helping them with future career development, both of which will also boost engagement levels. “The more the employee feels the company is investing in their future, the higher the level of engagement,” Brad Shuck, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville who specializes in organizational development, told the Society for Human Resource Management.
2: Optimize management for engagement
Another enormously important consideration: Gallup’s famous finding that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement and that half of employees have left a job to get away from a bad manager. So, to maximize employee engagement, take care with managers. Promote or hire people who are competent in leadership, not just role-based skills. In other words, if you promote Karen into a sales manager solely on the basis of her sales performance without considering whether she can manage a team effectively, you’re taking a risk. “It takes talent to be a great manager, and selecting people who have this talent is important,” writes Gallup.
The other dimension here is the same as with employees: businesses need to make sure their management teams are trained, supported, and equipped with everything they need to be great leaders. That might necessitate more training and leadership development, for instance. For more information, here are “4 Ways to Deal with a Bad Manager or Management Team.”
3: Don’t stop at engagement
Consultancy group Deloitte argues that employers should emphasize overall “employee experience” over employee engagement. They suggest that by improving life overall at work, improved engagement and all of its attendant benefits will follow. We’ve written more about this in our article, “Is Employee Experience More Important than Employee Engagement?”
4: Facilitate employees’ belief in the work they do
We’ve written about this before, too: the most engaged employees tend to be those feel their work is meaningful and fulfilling, and they see their own roles as a vital part of the workplace. To that end, take steps to help your team believe in the work their doing. In other words, help them connect the dots between their day-to-day work and outcomes for customers and in the larger world. That’s a cornerstone of cultivating a highly engaged employee.
CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.