When it comes to having a productive, profitable workforce, few factors are quite as important as employee engagement. Engaged employees are more focused, more productive and generate more profit, and an engaged workforce will produce a far lower staff turnover rate, saving a business substantial sums of money in hiring costs.
But what makes an employee feel engaged? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, cited by STL Training, the most important contributors to job satisfaction are:
Treating the staff with respect (67%)
Compensation and pay (63%)
Feeling of job security (58%)
Opportunities to use skills (55%)
Of course, many businesses can’t afford to simply increase wages across the board, but there are some clues there as to how we might be able to improve overall employee engagement. Our five recommendations would be:
Ask about pain points
Communication is one of the simplest yet most effective ways of improving engagement, and taking part in an honest discourse with staff about their pain points is a great place to start. It not only show staff members that you care about them and that you’re willing to listen, but it gives you a list of potential problems to solve to make your workforce feel happier and more engaged.
Be clear about goals and expectations
Numerous research projects into disengaged employees report that they don’t know what’s expected of them at work, or that they are unclear about their goals and targets. An easy way to avoid this in your own business is to ensure you clearly communicate goals and expectations of the business to employees, both in terms of their individual role and the business as a whole.
Show that you care
There are lots of ways you can show employees you care about them, from showing appreciation of a job well done to recognising personal events such as birthdays or the birth of children. Research has shown that when an employee feels cared about, the become more engaged at work, leading to a dramatic increase in productivity and performance.
Provide opportunities for growth
There is a direct correlation between the engagement levels of employees, and the amount a business invests in development. Whether it’s skills training, management and leadership training or a clear route of progression through the business, providing your employees with the opportunity to develop and grow can dramatically increase loyalty, trust and overall engagement.
Recognition has been shown to be a crucial factor in employee engagement, and one of the best ways to ensure an employee feels recognised and valued is to publicly celebrate their achievements. Anytime an employee hits or exceeds a target, achieves a new qualification or performs particularly well, the achievement should be celebrated via a reward like personalized challenge coin, cash bonus or announcement, and this can be made both to clients and the rest of the team.