Successful workplaces are built on skills and talent – but without the engagement, drive, and motivation of your employees, such factors are often rendered fruitless. Passion and enthusiasm are critical to team success; it ensures your workers are not only invested in company outcomes, but in their everyday tasks, too.
Below, we explore the importance of employee engagement, its impact on productivity, and our five best methods for improving it in the workplace.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is an organisation’s ability to keep workers fulfilled, enthusiastic, and involved in their everyday tasks. It is a key indicator of workplace satisfaction – leading to greater employee retention
Engagement also allows for workers to foster a sense of community, resulting in better collaboration and communication. According to 2021 workplace trends reported by the latest Global Human Capital Trends
study, this “sense of belonging” in the workforce is critical to a business’ success in its next 12-18 months,
with a whopping 93%
of respondents believing that such camaraderie drives organisational performance.
Building employee engagement starts from the top. Managers must have the right leadership strategies and communication practices in place to successfully empower employees and further develop great talent.
How does employee engagement affect productivity?
High engagement levels in the workplace means employees are more focused, motivated, and passionate about what they’re doing.
This, in turn, leads to greater performance and day-to-day productivity, as workers are constantly driven to put their best foot forward. Not only are they invested in the overall mission of the company, but they also care about and take pride in what they do.
As employees are more motivated to turn up to work, higher engagement can also result in lower levels of absenteeism.
With a happier, fulfilled workforce, businesses can additionally provide better customer service; foster a reliable, attractive brand image; and cultivate an environment of innovation and creativity.
How to improve employee engagement
- Delegate appropriately.
- Provide coaching or training.
- Practice open communication.
- Provide a shared purpose.
- Invest in their wellbeing.
1. Delegate appropriately.
Employees typically feel more engaged in roles they feel most confident in. As a manager, it's thus critical to place workers in positions that best fit their skill sets, interests, and career objectives. This can lead to greater investment in their role and the wider goals of the company – inspiring them to bring forth their best performance.
Successfully matching workers to the appropriate roles also provides them with a clear understanding of what’s expected of them, and how their efforts contribute to the broader company mission. Having a clear-cut career path in your organisation can further drive their motivation.
Of course, it’s also important to ensure their tasks are meaningful.
Just as their efforts are mapped to align with company goals – be sure to provide them with work that best aligns with theirs. This builds the enthusiasm they have for their work, driving overall engagement.
2. Provide coaching or training.
Improving employee performance
and engagement isn’t a one-and-done deal. Worker satisfaction requires constant maintenance, typically achieved through the continual pursuit of professional development and training. This allows employees to continuously challenge themselves, helping them explore new areas of interest while building their skills in the process.
As such, it’s crucial to provide employees with these opportunities – whether by establishing meaningful development programs, providing regular coaching sessions, or offering access to online courses
Your workers will not only have the chance to improve their talents, but will also feel valued by your organisation, further building their drive and motivation. The more they feel like your company is invested in them, the more they’ll invest themselves in your company.
3. Practice open communication.
Fostering a workplace of engaged employees starts by listening to their goals, needs, and concerns within the company. This not only helps their opinions feel valued, but also allows you to quickly pinpoint and address performance issues
as they come. By nipping these problems in the bud, you’ll help minimise conflict and roadblocks to productivity, leading to higher employee engagement.
Most managers achieve this through monthly or quarterly employee surveys, where they can frequently check in on the current progress of their workers. However, a culture of open communication is attained through daily practice, so make sure to consistently engage with employees outside of dedicated feedback sessions.
Keep them in the loop on day-to-day happenings, from the serious matters such as company-related news to the more personal updates, such as an employee’s birthday.
4. Provide a shared purpose.
An engaged workforce thrives best under a shared, ultimate vision. To further empower and motivate employees, be sure to clearly define your organisation’s purpose – and how their individual contributions make an impact.
Truly inspiring workers in this way, however, starts at the top; so ensure both you and other company executives “live” by your established mission statement and values. Demonstrating a genuine belief in your organisation’s goals will better influence workers to “buy in” to your mission, inspiring them in their everyday tasks.
Additionally, providing recognition where it’s due can further boost morale.
Acknowledge the wins of your team, from daily affirmations to full-blown celebrations after achieving a long-term goal. This offers workers a clearer picture of overall company objectives and the types of behaviour that are valued and rewarded.
5. Invest in their wellbeing.
Finally, alongside investment in their careers, be sure to also demonstrate active concern for your employees’ wellbeing. The healthier workers are, the happier they’ll be – resulting in greater levels of engagement and productivity. Conversely, workers who are overly stressed, overwhelmed, and dissatisfied with their daily tasks are at higher risk of experiencing burnout or jumping ship altogether.
Improving employee wellbeing can be done through a myriad of ways, with employee assistance programs (EAP), gym memberships, and flexible work
opportunities among the most common solutions. Of course, setting boundaries is imperative; if possible, try avoiding work-related communication with employees after business hours – helping promote a culture of healthy work-life balance.
Fostering a happy, engaged workplace begins with the right managerial approach. Upskilled currently offers both a BSB40520 – Certificate IV in Leadership and Management and a BSB50420 – Diploma of Leadership and Management, helping equip you with both the practical skills and theory to lead teams to success.