Is your workforce engaged? Tips for engaging employees

By: Natalie Trudel

Simply stated: low employee engagement costs organizations money. Instead of explaining how, I thought I would let the numbers tell you. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but these are worth millions in business costs.

An estimated 23% of payroll cost is un-productive because of low engagement.

– Only two out of every ten people are fully engaged in their job.

 

 

 

 

– Only 14% of the workforce is in a role that draws on their strengths.

 

Source: HiringSmart
To further these numbers, a Gallup research poll indicates that 54% of U.S. employees are not at all engaged at work and only 29% are truly motivated and engaged. Imagine only half of employees being fully passionate and driven to accomplish company goals – there seems to be a lot of room for improvement.

Let’s go over briefly what ‘employee-engagement’ is. According to Scarlette Surveys International, employee engagement is defined as the measureable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which influences their willingness to learn & perform at work. Overall, an engaged employee is passionate about their job and is dedicated to achieving business goals.

As you can infer, employee engagement is an important factor in business success. In fact, “Engagement is the single most reliable indicator of business performance. The more engaged a group of people is, the more committed they are to generating results” ( Jan van der Hoop, Vice President of HiringSmart Canada). Thus one can assume that an increase in employee engagement should result in a subsequent increase in employee performance. It is this increase in performance that will set off a chain of events that will result in organizational success on many levels including; employee satisfaction, customer retention, increased revenues, decreased costs, and most importantly, a move toward a potent talent-base.

–          The top 16% of employees generate 60% of revenues.

–          The bottom 16% of employees cost the company 20% in revenues.

Source: HiringSmart

So how can you realize the benefits of increased performance by catapulting your organization into the realm of improved employee-engagement? Below are some great tips:

Ask: It is the employees who often know why engagement is low and will most likely have good suggestions to remedy the problems. Make sure you are constantly gathering and analyzing employee feedback and most importantly – that you are visibly acting on it. If your organization’s workforce is reluctant to share their paint points, then conduct anonymous surveys or have an outside party conduct the analysis – anything that will give you a window into any discontent. If employees see that their feedback is prompting change, then you’ve killed two birds with one stone because not only does the feedback process count toward engagement, but the suggestions and insight obtained by the process can also spark improvement.

Involve: Make sure that employees are involved in as many processes as possible that relate to their career and development. The two-way flow of communication gives employees a sense of control over their future in the organization and provides a preview of possibilities and a roadmap of how to realize them. Involvement also includes providing regular feedback. Be sure to thank them for jobs well done and express their importance in the overall business plan. Employees who are involved and rewarded are more likely to feel a sense of accountability and recognition, which have been shown to be key factors in promoting engagement.

Challenge: Employees should be given the opportunity to take risks. Employees that have the freedom to dream up innovative and fresh ideas often drive business results. In a world where conformity and having a ‘play it safe’ mentality has been rewarded, many managers might be reluctant to grant the necessary freedom to employees; however, one should note that ‘risks’ can be as simple as allowing employees to suggest and comment on ideas to improve upon the status quo. Giving employees an open-door policy for sharing ideas and innovation is a great way to foster engagement.

Place: One reason why some employees aren’t engaged at work could be that they do not have passion for their current role. It is in both the company’s and the employee’s best interest to ensure that employees are performing tasks and executing goals that are in line with their current skills and development. Clear and concise employee goals and development plans that are monitored on a regular basis and include input from the employee is a great way to ensure that employees are satisfied in their role and are engaged to produce results.

An automated Performance Management solution, such as CRG emPerform, can give you a window into the performance status of your entire talent base – allowing you to identify and address shortcomings such as low employee engagement. By automating engagement tools such as surveys, feedback processes, development plans, and goal management, increasing employee engagement can be simple and cost effective. To learn more, visit www.employee-performance.com