Employee engagement can be defined as the level at which employees are emotionally invested in, and focused on, creating value for their organizations every day.
Employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes and is essential to an organization’s financial success by way of productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, development and revenue that growing, small to mid-sized companies need to flourish.
The level at which a business can engage its employees is what determines its internal success. Yet, employee engagement has consistently averaged less than 33 percent over the past four years, according to a 2015 Gallup survey of more than 80,000 adults in the United States.
The lack of employee engagement is an organization-wide problem. Not surprisingly, it takes an engaged team to be actively involved in fixing employee-engagement issues. Instead of just assigning tasks to the Executive Team, or the Human Resources department to fix, involve managers and employees who possess natural engaging characteristics. Present the problem and brainstorm together to come up with solutions that benefit everyone. Instead of delaying the process, or running ideas up the ladder seeking approval for changes, be involved in the solution yourself.
Leaders do recognize listening to employees as being important, yet the way they typically do that is inefficient. Instead of sending out a survey (and risk a low response rate), start with an open discussion with employees. Let people freely speak their minds, and take notes on the feedback they offer. Hearing what people genuinely have to say will help you kick employee engagement off to a positive start.
To take employee engagement yet a step further, management and coworkers should engage on a personal level. As the company leader, put yourself in situations that will allow you to engage in activities that work for the company’s culture. Consider small-group lunches that have a “no work talk” rule. These engagements will likely rub off on employees and ultimately start to create a more productive work environment that allows constant collaboration — making employees feel engaged year round.
If companies can regain focus to assess how meaningful employees find their work to be, they can better track direct investments in employee engagement—before they get to the end – tracking it in an annual survey. Employee engagement is not the end itself: It is the means to your success and a healthy company culture!
Employee Engagement in U.S. Stagnant in 2015