Before start of discussion, I would like you to answer these questions to yourself.
"Do you really look forward to going to work?"
"What motivates you to show up to work every day and work harder? (Besides money!)"
"Do you enjoy your job?"
"Are you happy with your job?"
If you are 100% honest with yourself while answering these questions, you will notice that your answers are based on how your company engages with you and other employees.
Well, the key to a happy and satisfied employee is Employee Engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
“Employee engagement is the emotional attachment employees feel towards their place of work, job role, position within the company, colleagues and culture and the effect this attachment has on wellbeing and productivity.” – HR ZONE.
Often, employees work for the sake of it, and not because it makes them happy.
Employee engagement is a way to create an ideal environment for the workplace wherein employees care about their work. Such an engagement is the strength of the emotional and mental connection that employees feel towards their work, team, and organization.
It falls upon the organization to create an environment where the employees identify themselves with their work.
Employees should be passionate and enthusiastic about their work; it should make them feel ‘engaged.’
Usually, whenever employee engagement is mentioned, it is often confused with employee satisfaction. There’s a fine line of difference between the two.
Difference between Employee Engagement and Employee Satisfaction
Employee Satisfaction indicates the happiness and contentment levels of the employees.
For a few employees, being satisfied can mean collecting the paycheck while doing as little work as possible. Since forever, organizations have been focusing on improving employee satisfaction; however, it does not necessarily imply increased performance.
Did you know that the same condition that makes one employee ‘satisfied’ frustrates the other high-performing employees?
On the other hand, employee engagement focuses on the levels of motivation, involvement, and emotional contentment.
Engaged employees work with feeling more focused and involved in everything they do. Employee engagement fosters persistence and proactiveness and helps the employees adapt to the job roles as required.
When employees are emotionally committed, they actually care about their work and their organization.
Unlike satisfied employees, motivation for engaged employees is not a mere paycheck or a promotion; rather, it is about work for engaged employees and meeting the organizational aims and objectives.
Well, ‘satisfied employee’ isn’t enough. They won’t go the extra mile to benefit their company. Usually, you can lure these employees with a 10% increase in their paycheck.
However, when you have engaged employees, a slight bump in their paycheck won’t make that much of a difference.
Levels of Employee Engagement
With employee engagement, it has become easier to measure how employees feel about their work, teams, and their organization.
Based on employees’ perceptions, employees can be categorized in four levels –
- Engaged and Committed – Highly Engaged
Employees in this category feel deeply connected to their work and their organization. They begin to consider the organization’s goals as their own and commit to the work.
Not only are they emotionally attached to their company, but also they motivate their colleagues to do their best.
They have a sense of responsibility to fulfill their aspirations and ambitions.
- Engaged but not Committed – Moderately Engaged
At this level, employees are engaged in their work; however, they are not committed to the organization or vice-versa. Even though they are favorable to their company, they’re always looking for better opportunities.
The employees like their job, but they aren’t motivated enough to actually perform the tasks.
Thus, they are less likely to ask for additional responsibilities and may underperform at times. This could happen due to internal conflict, poor management, etc.
- Neither Engaged nor Committed – Barely Engaged
Employees feel indifferent to their work or their place of employment. They are neither engaged to their organization nor are committed to their work.
Most of the time, employees lack motivation for their position and will usually do as much as they can get done – at times, less. They are not attached to their work or the organization emotionally.
Employees are always looking for better chances, and they are at a high turnover risk.
- Actively Disengaged
Employees have a negative opinion about their work and their organization.
They are always trying to weaken the prosperity, detest their work, and try to create a negative atmosphere in the office.
Not only do they lack the commitment to work, but also their negative impressions can impact their colleagues and their productivity. Hence, they affect the company’s overall performance.
Components of Employee Engagement
Two chief factors drive employee engagement. The factors are based on statistical analysis and are extensively recommended by industry research.
- Engagement with the Organization
This factor measures employees’ engagement with the organization as a whole and how content they are with the senior management.
This factor is concerned with organizational leadership along with trust, respect, fairness, and values. This determines how employees like to be treated by their colleagues, both at work and outside of the workplace.
- Engagement with Management
This factor is a specific measure of employees who resonates with their direct supervisors.
This entire working relationship is based on mutual respect, along with feeling valued, being treated fairly, and receiving feedback and direction.
Benefits of Employee Engagement
There’s no denying the fact that employee engagement is important for every organization. I don’t see a point in justifying its importance; however, the benefits of having engaged employees in an organization are immense.
- Increased Productivity
Engaged employees are the best performers. When they put their heart and soul into something, they are creative and put in effort in everything they do.
They work hard and always run the extra mile to fulfill their objectives. With increased productivity, there’s a positive in the business outcome as well.
- Higher Retention
Research suggests that 51% of the employees wish to leave their current jobs. Mostly, it can be because they don’t get recognized for their hard work.
When employees are praised for their work, they rarely think of leaving the company.
- Rise in Profitability
With employee engagement comes increased efficiency and productivity, and further, it hikes up the organization’s profitability. Engaged employees produce higher revenue and thus impact the company’s performance.
- Decrease in Absenteeism
When employees don’t show up to work, it impacts their productivity and performance.
While absenteeism can have a negative impact on projects, customer satisfaction, and workplace relationships, passionate and enthusiastic employees rarely take an off from their work.
When employees enjoy their work, they rarely take leaves and get the work done most efficiently.
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
There is a direct relationship between employees and consumers. When the employees are happy and engaged, they treat their customers well, leading to happy and satisfied customers.
Furthermore, happy customers are the key to higher revenue and profit generation.
- Improves Employee Satisfaction
Every organization strives for and thrives on employee satisfaction.
When employees realize their value in the organization, they resonate with the motivation when interacting with customers.
Thus, managers must ensure to make their employees’ experience fulfilling.
Develop and Sustain Employee Engagement
Knowing everything about employee engagement isn’t enough; one must know how they can develop and sustain employee engagement.
Here are a few things that HR can do to increase employee engagement –
- Consider Unintended Consequences
While evaluating alternatives for HR practices to increase employee engagement, they must think through the impact of the revised policies.
Ensure that the policies offer unintended and unfavorable consequences that may occur after implementing the policies.
HR should look for applicants who are interesting and challenging. It is better to encourage those who are not suited for the job to opt-out of the process.
- Create an “Engagement Culture”
When HR communicates the value of engagement in the mission statement, it ensures that business units implement their engagement action plans, adjusting strategies and plans as required, monitoring the process, and recognizing and celebrating progress and results.
- Training and Development
It is of extreme importance to provide orientation to the newbies to understand how the job contributes to the organization.
If required, even skill development training can be imparted to enhance job performance, self-efficacy, and satisfaction.
- Performance Management
Employees need to be challenged from time to time. HR must set goals for them that align with the organization’s objectives, provide feedback, and recognize accomplishments.
Besides the mentioned points, communication is one of the key elements to enhance employee engagement.
Communication enables managers and HR professionals to stay in the loop of employee engagement issues, get feedback from employees, and make the required changes as and when possible.
Methods of Communication
The type of communication used for engagement activities impacts the size, composition, and expected reaction of the target group. Here are a few communication methods that managers and HR can use –
- Keeping in touch
Managers and HR can keep in touch with the employees either through ongoing meetings or one-on-one meetings.
- Remote Communication
The rampant development in technology allows HR and managers to maintain contact with the employees. This includes –
- Social Media Apps
- E-mailed Newsletters
- Employee Listening Platforms
Measuring Employee Engagement
No matter what policies you employ for employee engagement, there must be a way to figure out if the engagement strategies and initiatives are a success in the organization.
The surveys for employee engagement are designed specifically to measure employees’ performance, competency, satisfaction, and strategic alignment.
Such surveys are statistically validated; it helps to know whether the results are in the favor or not.
To get accurate results, short surveys can be used consisting of a few questions.
However, these short surveys provide a mere indication of whether employees’ engagement is high or not. Because the short surveys do not focus on detail, it is a bit of a tedious task to explain why employees are engaged or disengaged.
Without this critical information, organizations will not be able to implement the required strategies and activities to increase engagement levels.
There are three types of surveys to measure employee engagement –
- Employee Engagement Surveys
This is a comprehensive survey to make the leaders understand the engagement of employees at an organizational level. Such a survey consists of questions that are used scientifically to measure employee engagement.
- Pulse Surveys
These surveys are curated to help organizations collect real-time feedback at any time. Such surveys come in handy in acquisitions and mergers, focus changes, and management changes.
- Employee Lifecycle Surveys
These kinds of services enable you to gather data from employees at key moments in their tenure.
For example, a New Hire Survey can be used to collect feedback about the onboarding process. The other example could be Stay Surveys to enquire why employees are still working in the same organization.
Employee Engagement Ideas
Building a brand company requires internal and external efforts. Working in two battlefronts at the same time can be tiresome and tricky; hence the companies tend to focus on the external front. Because the internal front is neglected, it fails to provide a challenging, engaging, and appealing workspace.
Here are a few ideas that a company can implement to have maximum engagement from their employees –
- Let teams create their own set of values
Keeping the end-game objective in mind, teams can create their own culture based on commonly agreed values.
Not only does it help to speed up the process, but it also creates a friendly environment in the organization.
- Encourage Personal Projects
Give a break to employees for an hour or two each day and let them pursue their own projects.
Such initiatives and strategies provide the employees with new directions, and there’s an energy flow that’d benefit the rest of the working hours.
- Have Themed Office Days
To keep the energy on a higher spectrum, organize exclusive themed office days. It boosts employee loyalty and brings in a lot of fun.
- Encourage Charities
Personalize company gift cards to reward employees by letting them make a charitable donation to any organization they choose.
- Encourage Volunteering
Give your employees a couple of days off to volunteer for a cause they’re passionate about and would love to support.
- Remind Employees of Organization’s Values and Missions
Once in a while, it is important that employees are told what their organization truly stands for. They need to know why they are doing what they are doing.
- Recognize and Encourage Innovation
Listen to every idea that employees have to offer and try to implement them. When it turns out to be successful, appreciate them publicly for going the extra mile.
- Celebrate Achievements
Make it a point to celebrate achievements, no matter how small or big it is.
It gives solid proof to the employees that their hard work has meaning, and it is an excellent way for teams to get to know each other better.
- Give and Receive Feedback
Offer a system to the employees wherein they can be honest and confident. Tell them your opinion, and let employees that their opinion matters.
Most importantly, act on the employees’ feedback.
- Empower Your Employees
Let employees be their own decision-makers. It is one of the most reliable ways to build trust and increase employee happiness.
- Instill Emotional Commitment
Work, being a major part of life, is important that employees are happy at work.
When employees are emotionally invested in the organization, they will want to contribute.
- Build long-term Engagement
It is important to focus on developing a long-term employee engagement strategy. There’s no such thing as a quick fix; rather, create clear objectives and action steps.
- Encourage Learning
Encourage employees to take up the challenges and support them in developing their skill-set.
It enforces motivation in employees and helps to have a well-prepared workforce.
- Show Respect
For every office intercommunication, respect should be the cornerstone. Emphasize respect and showcase it in every communication.
Avoid faulty communication because it is considered to be an effect of lack of respect in the workspace.
- Celebrate Employees
Celebrate every occasion, be it a birthday, retirement, promotions, or even welcoming newcomers. Employees make up a company brand; celebrating them is a great way to show that they matter.
Still Not Using ‘PagarBook’ for Employee Management?
Associate Growth Manager
Prashant is Associate Growth Manager in PagarBook and manages all the organic web presence for brand.