Employee Engagement works in concert with culture to create a high performance culture.
It is essential to focus on the organisation as whole in order to build a high performance culture, drive performance and foster high employee engagement.
The elements needed to achieve this synergy include a clear and understandable vision, strategy, purpose and execution. Benefits and packages are still important, but are becoming less important than a positive employee culture. Our workplace environment has become one of the key things an organisation needs to focus on. Our culture and how we manage it directly impacts our ability to attract, retain and engage talent.
Engaged employees are those that are emotionally invested in their work and committed to the organisation’s purpose. Engagement goes beyond employee satisfaction, it creates powerful ambassadors and advocates for your brand; employees that want to be part of your journey to success. Engagement is most effective with a human touch.
Seven tactics designed to increase employee engagement in 2017:
1. Create a culture of recognition
We tend to spend less time with any one company than our parents did. Employees are looking for more social recognition and feeling valued than ever before. They want to feel like they made a difference, that their work matters. When we feel acknowledged, appreciated and that our input matters we tend to stay longer. Research in the field shows that rewards and recognition is a top engagement driver around the world. Intrinsic motivators and recognition are key amongst these drivers, trumping more extrinsic (financial) rewards.
2. Encourage real life balance
While most employees are willing to work hard, they want more flexibility and balance in their personal lives. We are accessible almost 24/7 (Skype, smartphones, etc), but in exchange we require more flexibility around adherence to standard office hours. Most of us don’t mind a little after hours work if it means missing the rush-hour commute or if it allows us to leave early to catch our child’s afternoon soccer game. Collaboration tools allow us to check in with the team, attend a meeting or connect with our boss without physically having to be present.
3. Substance trumps flashy benefits
We are beginning to realise the value experiences over money. Our work environment, opportunities to learn and grow and the ability to make a difference (CSI initiatives and organisational purpose) are all factors that make a difference in our decision to stay or leave. All the perks in the world will eventually lose their lustre when stacked against a toxic work environment.
4. Foster agile innovation
Businesses need to adapt faster than ever before. In order to compete and survive we need to be more agile and flexible. Change often happens from multiple fronts at the same time. This necessitates employees who are willing and able to manage unexpected bumps in the road. Building a learning organisation and encouraging employees to have a voice helps us manage these bumps more effectively.
5. Cultivate employee relationships
Personal connections between employees is another essential element of a culture of engagement. Many engaged organisations report that great colleagues are what they love most about their jobs. Hiring the right talent helps support and nurture this culture of support. Additionally, creating team-building events or community service projects can help bring employees together beyond the workplace.
6. Convenient communication
As technology continues to dominate more aspect of our lives, particularly at work, we need to keep this in mind when sharing information and ideas. Information overload or the wrong channels can negatively impact engagement levels. Increasingly tech-savvy employees expect instant access to information. Utilise a mix of channels that gives employees the information they need, when they need it.
7. Analyse and act on feedback
Effective employee engagement requires taking action on survey results and analysing the impact of these interventions. A lack of action on feedback and a lack of analysis of the impact of these interventions will lead to disengagement. More frequent quick pools are more effective than less frequent long complex polls. Demonstrate that employee feedback is important and that you care to make your organisation a great place to work.
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