Employee engagement is the key to employee retention, increased productivity, and creating a generally positive, healthy environment in the workplace.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for getting employee engagement right. However, there are a few key concepts and best practices that you can adhere to to make sure that your employee engagement strategy is headed in the right direction.
In this short article, we’ll take a look at the key components of employee engagement and the steps you can take to increase the chances of creating a healthy environment where your employees are engaged and productive.
Employee Engagement Begins during the Recruitment Process
In order to have employees who are engaged with their work, you need employees who believe in the mission of your company, employees with a positive disposition, and employees who are eager to grow and meet new challenges. This is not an unrealistic profile of an employee, but it is not a profile that corresponds to all employees. This is why a successful employee engagement strategy begins with the recruitment process by selecting employees with the attributes that lead to a high success rate of engagement.
If you use AI-powered job search platforms like Lensa for your recruitment needs, make sure to prioritize the soft skills that favor employee engagement. It’s not just about technical skills. After all, what good are an employee’s technical skills if he or she is unwilling to fully use them (or if they don’t stick around long enough for your company to benefit from them)?
Create Opportunities for Growth
Nothing kills employee engagement faster than stagnation. If an employee comes to believe that their job will lead nowhere, that in 2 years or 5 or 10, they will be doing the same job with the same results, they will quickly lose any enthusiasm for the work they may have had.
Avoid stagnation and create opportunities for professional growth. Make sure that your employees are continuously improving their skills and/or learning new ones and that they are being challenged with increasingly challenging tasks and projects.
With the many options for continual training available, there is no reason for your employees not to be growing professionally at their job. Check out the benefits of online education and make continual training an integral part of your employee engagement strategy.
Challenge Your Employees
When an employee stops being challenged, he or she is likely to get bored and lose interest. That employee will likely not be with your company long. Or, if they do stick around, it is unlikely they will be fully engaged in their job.
Employee engagement comes about when employees are proud of the work they do. In large part, pride in one’s work comes about when a person’s skills are used to complete a task. However, it’s hard to feel proud of a job well done if one thinks that any odd person could have done just as well.
Employees should be given opportunities to put their skills to the test. And when they continuously pass the test, the level of difficulty must be increased. Otherwise, employees won’t feel much of a sense of accomplishment. Rather, they’ll feel like they are stuck in a rut.
Create Opportunities for Individual Expression and Identification
A person’s professional life forms a significant part of their identity. People want to be able to express their individuality in their work, and they feel that their work is an extension or expression of who they are. When this is not the case, invariably, the employee will lose interest in their job.
Creating opportunities for individual expression is an essential component of any successful employee engagement strategy. It is also a good way to market or promote your company. Consumers always want to see or identify with a human aspect of the company. This is why sharing interviews with your employees or employee profiles on social media or on your company website is such a good idea. It gives your employees the opportunity for individual expression and highlighting the people behind your company is an effective way to maximize media outreach.
Reward Good Performance and Initiative
How exactly employees are rewarded varies from company to company and from employee to employee. This is good, because no two employees are the same, and individuals react differently to different forms of rewards. However, what remains constant is that all individuals want their efforts to be recognized.
Some of the more popular reward systems include
- Performance bonuses
- Employee of the Month programs
- Reward point systems (redeemable for perks or prizes)
In some cases, a simple and sincere thank you from a superior is enough. But if an employee’s hard work is not recognized, it is difficult for the employee to see the value in what they do. If they come to think that their work has little to no value, we can’t be surprised when they become disengaged at work.
Additionally, one of the most telling signs that an employee is engaged is that he or she takes initiative. So, taking the initiative should be rewarded or recognized as well, not simply good performance.