How engaged are your employees? If your company is like most companies today, it’s experiencing a split between a large group of fully engaged employees and another sizable group of mostly disengaged employees. In this comprehensive article, we will cover ways in which companies can increase employee engagement.
A recent Gallup poll showed that after a historic drop, employee engagement rose sharply among people who either found more engaging jobs or reengaged with their current jobs. Currently, about 36% of employees are fully engaged, down slightly from a 20-year high of 38% last year. This leaves approximately one-third of employees only partially engaged, plus another third disengaged.
What’s going on? Workforce researchers say the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a disruption in employee engagement and is making many workers reevaluate how they view their employers. In addition to dealing with the lasting effects of the public health crisis, people have been facing inflation, political strife, personal challenges, and workforce trends like quiet quitting.
How to Use Employee Engagement to Increase Motivation
As someone who manages people, you’re probably wondering what you can do to attract, engage, and retain top talent in the current environment. How can you foster a positive spirit that keeps people motivated? How can you use employee engagement strategies to boost business growth? Here are 5 helpful tips.
Make Employee Engagement a Priority Within the C-Suite
Keeping employees engaged is a strategy that must start at the top of your organization. Your C-suite, including your chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), and other top-level executives, should show support for company engagement strategies. This is part of having an effective management and leadership style that embraces change and encourages everyone to stay open to new challenges.
A LinkedIn panel of experts shared tips for ensuring your top officers are on board with engagement and are actively working to help everyone engage down the ranks of your organization. Two of their key recommendations included:
- Don’t leave engagement up to your culture/HR team alone because your C-suite should also be leading the engagement mission.
- Make all employees – not just your C-suite – feel that they’re already in the best job of their lives, instead of just waiting for something better to come along.
To these ends, invest in employee engagement strategies that bring top executives together with your rank-and-file employees. Build succession plans for future professional growth and improved cross-departmental communication, which is discussed in more detail below.
Improve Company Communication
Why is employee engagement important? For one thing, engagement has a big impact on communication, and vice versa. When an employee moves from feeling engaged to disengaged, it’s a blow to communication, camaraderie, and customer service.
The HR research firm McLean & Company found that disengagement costs about $3,400 per employee per $10,000 in employee salary. The cost comes from negative outcomes like losing clients, losing contracts, and lower productivity. The study found that overall, lost employee productivity due to disengagement is costing the U.S. economy about $350 billion per year.
To prevent this from happening at your company, make communication a top priority. Prevent miscommunications from harming your employees or their productivity. Help your employees understand the full implications of anything that will affect their roles directly, such as changes to company policy. When in doubt, communicate!
Be Forthright About Social Issues, Diversity, and Inclusion
Social and cultural issues are top-of-mind for many of your employees. It’s hard for them to work when they feel overwhelmed with concerns about racism, economic disparity, access to healthcare, or preserving their civil rights.
They also judge your company based on how it reacts to issues like inequality and discrimination in the workplace. One study found that workplace discrimination was among the top causes of rapid disengagement at U.S. employers.
This is why it’s so important for your company to have a policy of supporting diversity/inclusion initiatives and anti-discrimination policies. Don’t just pay lip service to these ideas. Prove you care. Put someone in charge of these realms of your business, and ensure your employees feel welcome to share any concerns without discrimination or retaliation.
Guide the Growth of Emotional Intelligence
How emotionally intelligent is your workplace? The emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is even more important than the intelligence quotient (IQ) in business settings because it reflects the capacities of people to work collaboratively together.
Good news: EQ is a learned skill, not an inborn trait. Your company can boost the EQ of its employees and teams by working with a business growth coach or leadership development service that incorporates EQ education into the learning curriculum.
Emotional intelligence goes hand-in-hand with other aspects of employee engagement, like having a talent development plan. Talent development helps people understand their expanding roles in organizations and inspires them to see that they have the potential to move up as a leader.
Offer Leadership Development Opportunities
If you want to engage an employee, offer them fresh opportunities to learn and grow. They deserve to have chances to expand their knowledge and strive for new levels of success.
This should be a long-term approach rather than just a short-term, one-off tactic. Don’t just push short training sessions on struggling employees during annual reviews. You could be missing out on providing rich leadership development experiences for your most talented and high-achieving people. Down the line, this could also cause problems with attracting top talent and keeping high achievers at your company.
To make meaningful and lasting changes, experts recommend incorporating leadership development programs instead of just using one-off training programs. Most traditional training programs are too short and too simplistic to increase employee engagement. The employee might gain a few helpful hints, but they don’t gain greater insights about professional growth.
A full leadership development program from Leadership Resources helps keep people fully engaged by giving them the skills and inspiration they need to succeed. We help companies accomplish a wide variety of employee engagement strategies like building interpersonal skills, improving emotional intelligence, creating strategic plans, and more.
To access more information about building and sustaining employee engagement, please click below to download our whitepaper about strengthening The Success Chain.