5 reasons why engagement is essential to the employee experience
In the workplace, employee engagement is vital to not only the strength of your team, but to their complete employee experience. With Gallup research revealing that 60% of Australian employees are “not engaged” in the workplace and a further 16% are “actively disengaged”, it’s crucial that you learn how to positively engage your team. Here are five reasons why.
1. Nurtures the strength of long-term employee relationships
Despite what you may think, it’s actually the most experienced and long-term employees who have the lowest motivation levels in the office. In fact, Gallup research found that only 5% of employees with 10 or more years’ experience at the same company were actively engaged in roles that fit their skill set.
The common thread is a lack of engagement. Experienced and well-valued employees are often left to their own devices by upper management, as they may be seen as so knowledgeable in their departments that they no longer require oversight. But in fact the opposite is true. To truly motivate your long-term staff and stop their productivity levels from waning, you need to engage them as much as – if not more than – new recruits.
2. Ensures meaningful work
‘Finding meaning’ doesn’t just extend to your greater purpose in life. In the workplace, meaning is essential to promote productivity and general employee wellbeing.
Defining ‘meaningful work’ is actually easier than it sounds. Consider Professor Michael Steger’s three questions for deriving meaning from our work:
- Does the work have significance and purpose?
- Does it contribute to finding a broader meaning in life?
- Does it make a positive contribution to the greater good?
Remember that these questions contain broad descriptors, and while one employee may find they ‘contribute to the greater good’ in their work, others may not see it in the same light. The trick is matching each team member’s skill set with what they consider meaningful work.
3. Drives motivation
Regularly engaging with your employees leads to improved motivation on their part. Luckily, there are multiple ways to increase that motivation, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach:
- Invest in employees’ futures – through upskilling – to retain the best people.
- Partner them with mentors who have had success in their particular role.
- Allow them to broaden their horizons within the company by exploring different roles.
- Encourage everyone to share their ideas for the business at weekly or monthly brainstorming sessions.
- Provide the team with a rewards and recognition system that breaks down their long-term goals into multiple, short-term achievements.
4. Engagement feeds into the employee experience
Some may say that employee engagement is dead and that ‘employee experience’ is the new measurement by which to gauge staff happiness. But the two aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, good employee engagement feeds directly into a positive employee experience. Without one, you can’t have the other.
Be careful, however, as issues can arise if you completely ignore engagement in favour of just the employee experience. Poor engagement with a team member can have a detrimental impact on not only the individual in question, but the whole organisation. Without understanding how to maintain solid employee engagement – and acting on it – you could actually create a negative employee experience. And a toxic company culture is a sure-fire way to turn the best people away from joining your team.
5. Makes a business powerful
‘Powerful’ is a general term, but it’s one that all members on your team can strive towards. The key is engagement. Compared to disengaged teams, according to a 2016 Gallup study, engaged teams have lower turnover, better profitability (21% more), greater productivity (17%) and higher customer ratings (10% more).
So what are the keys to generating this engagement? Remember that:
- Employees are more engaged when your organisation’s mission is clear and easily accessible.
- You need to recognise the contributions of every employee – no matter their position or experience level.
- Working in teams is a greater motivator than having your employees work on projects solo.
- Every person in your company must be given a voice – and, perhaps more importantly, the leadership base needs to actively listen.
Redii provides recognition and rewards programs to engage your employees. Request a demo!