Do you know the four factors of production? Businesses thrive on factors of production such as, land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. Some economists agree that labour also known as human capital — is the most vital of these four factors.
Hiring quality people to work in your business is important as a business owner. More importantly, you must keep them happy, motivated and committed to the vision. These are usually a direct result of well-implemented employee engagement strategies, which is why we’ll explore the concept of employee engagement in this article. We’ll highlight some strategies to help you build a harmonious and productive work culture.
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What is Employee Engagement?
Giving employee engagement a mechanical definition is challenging because of its abstract nature, it’s often just described. Over the years, employee engagement has been used interchangeably with concepts like employee experience or satisfaction.
So, we could say employee engagement means your employees are committed, connected, and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. At this emotional level, employees see their jobs beyond earning a paycheck. Instead, they feel motivated, aligned with colleagues, and deeply inspired by the company’s mission.
Why are Companies Investing in Employee Engagement Strategies?
Every successful business has people at the core, whether a great manager, excellent employee, or outstanding team, it’s often mostly about the people. And one common reason why employees perform better is because the companies invest in employee engagement. Some companies invest in employee engagement strategies because of their mouthwatering return on investment. Let’s highlight a few of such benefits.
Retain top talents
Employees who feel happy in their jobs are bound to stay. Hence, keeping employees engaged reduces employee turnover, saving the company unnecessary spending on hiring and training new employees. Thus, organisations invest in employee engagement because it is financially prudent and more cost-effective to keep employees happy and retained on the job than to change them.
Reduced absenteeism and increased productivity
When employees feel engaged, it reduces absenteeism drastically as they are always looking forward to being at work. According to a survey done by Gallup, engaged employees tend to be more committed to their jobs. This reduces absenteeism by 81% and increases productivity by at least 14%.
Healthy work environment and company culture
In over a decade of work experience, I have discovered that it is easy to sense an agitated work environment when you walk into the reception. From how the receptionist welcome you to how employees relate with each other. It is not difficult to recognise a system where employees feel very happy and fulfilled. Want to build a work environment where employees connect well with themselves and other company stakeholders? Investing in employee engagement is your go-to.
Improve customer satisfaction
As an offshoot of the last point, employee engagement often leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty. When employees feel engaged, they are likely to do their best in discharging their duties, hence satisfying your customers.
The aforementioned benefits contribute immensely to a business’s profitability. For example, retaining top talent cuts excess spending on hiring and training. This, in turn, saves the company some money. Similarly, when customers are kept satisfied, they are likely to remain loyal and return for more business. It is also fact that an increase in productivity automatically yields an increase in profits. The Gallup research also states that highly engaged business units record 21% more profits.
So, it is clear that companies that invest in employee engagement strategies gain a lot from the exercise over time.
10 Employee Engagement Strategies to Grow Your Business
Employee engagement strategies create a culture where employees find happiness and meaning in their jobs. So much is often said about employee engagement and its benefits, while less is discussed. Let’s see some of the best employee engagement strategies.
Create a healthy work environment
Providing an ergonomic and safe workstation will show your employees that you prioritise health and safety, which can increase job satisfaction and employee engagement. As a business owner, you should create an avenue in the workplace that connotes inclusivity, employees should not be afraid to share ideas and work. Employers should try to avoid toxicity in the workplace, employees mental and physical heath should be prioritized.
Invest in employee development
Invest in employee training and empowerment. Employees value jobs that afford them opportunities for career growth. Similarly, encourage employees to develop themselves and provide support where necessary.
Set clear goals
Establishing and communicating expectations can ensure employees are focused and motivated. That way, everyone also knows the goal and what is expected of them. Having no specific goals can reduce employees’ morals, which ultimately leads to low productivity.
Recognise exceptional employees
Giving incentives or awards to employees who discharge their duties well can motivate such employees and others. For example, in your monthly or quarterly review meeting, you could publicly recognise the best-performed employee for the month/quarter.
Create a feedback channel
Give honest and actionable feedback on team and individual performance. Similarly, let employees know that you’re open to feedback and suggestions on any issues concerning the company or their jobs. Give them the impression that you value their opinion — but make sure you do.
Promote collaboration and teamwork
Encouraging cooperation among team members fosters working together, sharing perspectives, and building relationships. Good relationships among employees lead to increased engagement and motivation to succeed. Regular team meetings and an open workplace environment facilitate communication and teamwork.
This approach also promotes collaboration between different departments and teams, encouraging staff to relate and connect with others.
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Provide necessary equipment
Investing in modern tools and equipment necessary for employees to carry out their jobs efficiently is bound to improve employee productivity. Ultimately, employees would also feel supported and satisfied with their jobs.
Offer flexible working arrangements
To ensure employees maintain a healthy work and life balance, creating a flexible work policy may be helpful. Employees may be allowed to work from home in the case of some family issues or health emergencies. Being flexible may include embracing a hybrid work policy where employees spend a certain number of days in the office and the rest out-of-office.
Every employee will have KPIs they must meet regardless of whether they work remotely, hybrid or on-site. That way, employees can maintain a work-life balance without compromising productivity.
Offer perks and incentives
Beyond paying salaries, you can create bonuses that incentivise your employees to be committed to work. Some such incentives could be retirement plans, health insurance, free lunches or gym membership.
A good approach would be to survey your employees to get an aggregate opinion of what would make a juicy incentive for them. If you already have some incentives, you could conduct a survey to gauge employee satisfaction with these incentives.
Track and measure employee engagement periodically
Know that what is not tracked cannot be measured, and what isn’t measured cannot be improved. Ensure you track progress periodically and measure whether there is an improvement in employee engagement levels and productivity. Where there is an improvement, you will discover what’s working. Otherwise, if something isn’t going right, you will detect it quickly and devise ways to address them.
From a manager’s perspective, employee engagement is about helping your employees find meaning in their jobs. Every strategy in this guide works when you see your employees as individuals and not as cogs in the corporate machine. Employees are real people with unique skills, experiences, and lives outside the office. Take the time to get to know them on a personal level and appreciate the perspective they bring.
Ultimately, boosting employee engagement isn’t rocket science. It’s about being intentional and being a positive influence. Invest time and resources in the strategies shared in this guide and watch your organisation’s employee engagement level skyrocket.
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- Ajayi Olalekan is a Professional SEO writer & editor with 8+ years of print journalism and writing experience across different platforms — blogs, website, eBooks and social media. His writing experience also cuts across industries like IT, fashion, education management, real estate, consulting and entertainment.
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