5 strategies to improve employee engagement

In a 2012 Gallup study, organisations with a high level of employee engagement reported, among other things, 21% higher productivity, 25%-65% lower turnover, 37% lower absenteeism, and 22% higher profitability.

Taking on the challenge of improving your organisation’s employee engagement levels can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. A good place to start would be for managers and leaders to simply prioritise getting to know their people – who they are, not just what they do.

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As a manager or leader, every interaction you have with an employee has the potential to influence their level of engagement which, at the end of the day, affects your bottom line.

According to Gallup, there are five valuable strategies organisations can use to improve employee engagement:

1. Use the right employee engagement survey: When a company asks its employees for their opinions through a survey, those employees expect action to follow. Don’t make the mistake of using surveys to collect irrelevant data that won’t help you to solve specific issues. Make sure the data you collect in a company survey is specific, relevant, actionable, and also proven to influence key performance metrics.

2. Focus on engagement at the local and organisational levels: Real change occurs at the local workgroup level, but it happens only when company leaders set the tone from the top. Companies only really reap the fruit of engagement initiatives when leaders weave employee engagement into performance expectations for managers and enable them to execute on those expectations. Managers and employees must feel empowered to make a significant difference in their immediate environment.

Leaders and managers should work with employees to identify barriers to engagement and opportunities to effect positive change. Employees are experts on themselves and their teams and familiar with company processes, systems, products, and clients. Therefore, they are likely to have great ideas on how to maximise these elements and deliver improved performance, business innovation, and better workplace experiences.

3. Select the right managers: It takes talent to be a great manager, and selecting people who have this talent is important. The best managers understand that their success and that of the organisation relies on employees’ achievements and they genuinely care about their people’s success. Appoint managers that seek to understand each employee’s strengths and that provide employees with every opportunity to use their strengths in their role.

Great managers empower their employees, recognise and value their efforts, and actively seek their ideas and opinions.

4. Coach managers and hold them accountable for their employees’ engagement: Gallup’s research has found that managers play one of the biggest roles in their employees’ engagement levels. Organisations should coach managers to take an active role in building engagement plans with their employees, hold managers accountable, track their progress, and ensure that they continuously focus on emotionally engaging their employees.

5. Define engagement goals in realistic, everyday terms: To ensure effective, visible employee engagement, leaders must make engagement goals meaningful to employees’ day-to-day experiences. Describing what success looks like using powerful descriptions and emotive language helps give meaning to goals and builds commitment within a team. Weave engagement into daily interactions and activities to make it part of the workplace’s DNA.

Read the full article on www.gallup.com.

What are your top strategies for engaging employees?

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