Organizations are aware that engagement is crucial to business success, but in a world of information, and misinformation – there is an increasing lack of trust of leaders in the corporate, finance world. Unsurprisingly, belief and loyalty are at a record number – but not at the level you may be thinking.
Leaders need to reevaluate how they are engaging with their teams. Times have changed, and leaders must change – ask yourself “am I engaging in a more effective, continuous and genuine way?”
In the midst of a pandemic, and The Great Resignation, companies have realized how important it is to build and maintain employee engagement. There are four drivers to employee engagement:
More than ever, it’s important for organizations to ask themselves whether they are fulfilling employees in these four areas. While vaccines are showing promise towards a safer society, this is still a time of uncertainty. During changes, planned or unplanned, is your business communication the what and why of the change?
Engaging a workforce
Having a company culture that is inclusive, adapts to the times and continually evolves, however, employee engagement is just as important when it comes to company longevity and arguably its success.
As leaders, it’s important to engage with teams in a more effective, continuous and genuine way than ever before. Giving employees a space to share, creating a space of open dialogue and genuinely listening are ways of empowering them – small gestures that can win disengaged employees.
Why employee engagement matters
While most businesses keep track of key performance indicators, most are missing a critical metric to track: people data. People are a necessary component of your business strategy.
A recent study from Gallup revealed amazing insights about engaged employees: Organizations with highly engaged employees were 21% more profitable than those with less engaged employees. Engaged teams saw a 10% boost in customer satisfaction ratings and a 20% increase in sales. The numbers paint a clear picture: Engaged employees are good for business.
And it makes sense: When your team is excited about the work they do, they naturally work harder and want to put in that discretionary effort.
Engaged employees are also less likely to quit. With the cost of turnover weighing between 50-200% of an employee’s salary—depending on their position in the company—retaining employees is cost-effective for businesses.
Ultimately, if you want your business strategy to succeed, you need engaged employees to execute.
How to take action on engagement
No matter what you choose to focus on, measuring engagement isn’t just about the low points and employees communicating it. It’s also important to notice the positives to make sure you don’t lose sight of things you’re doing well during these changes.
Surveying your employees will highlight how your team feels in terms of their job, their manager, the team and your company culture. Without a gauge for how your workplace is emotionally, you can’t make informed decisions. A company may be doing well today by metrics such as sales revenue or deals won, but if teams have low engagement, this performance won’t be sustainable.
In a steady state, it’s recommended to poll your employees every six months to a year. But in times of major change, you will want to change that to a more frequent interval such as three months. This allows you to see if you’ve made an impact on employee engagement much sooner during a time when morale could be impacted the most.
Prioritize survey answers based on the magnitude, relevance, and breadth of responses. Your team can then determine an appropriate course of action. Document this action plan and update it over time. A formulated plan will help you articulate your rationale and connect next steps. This transparency will often be respected by your employees and will help alleviate major pushback. Check out the activity below to see survey results and setting goals in action.
Once you have your action plan, remember that this plan shouldn’t be considered a checklist but more of a cycle. Organizations must not only come up with these plans but also reflect afterwards and adjust as needed. Engagement is something an organization will have to continuously work on, so put processes in place to check on how teams are doing. Assess if actions are being taken and whether or not they are successful. Empower and support managers to work with their employees and report back on these results. The toggles below list a sequence of actions you should take.
An organization, just like you, is constantly growing and changing. But without a support system in place, you’re likely to run into conflict. Measure what truly matters and constantly re-evaluate what you can do better for your employees.