However, the issue of how to increase employee engagement could be being addressed in the completely wrong way; instead of offering perks, companies could make more effort to improve the overall employee experience on a day-to-day level.
In order to address the issue of how to increase employee engagement, it is first vital to define the term itself; some organisations see employee engagement as the framework of a contract between the employee and the organisation, while employees view the term as their connections, relationships and overall working experience within a company.
In reality, to discuss engagement is to discuss the connection between an employee and an organisation, in terms of the positive and negative aspects of their working life. Employees primarily want to have their contributions noticed and valued, and to do good work for positive people. They want their ideas and work to be seen by the larger organisation and to obtain fulfilment from the value of their individual contribution. Furthermore, positively engaged employees have a huge impact on the business results of an organisation, as they consistently and successfully utilize their talents and commit to a high level of performance with a positive work attitude.
To create a positive employee experience requires research and planning, and it is important to do formal research to determine what it is your employees actually want and need through surveys and focus groups. It is then important to define what type of experience you want your employees to have at work, and what you need to do to achieve it. Lastly, it is vital to tackle the issues; with a new plan being implemented, it is vital to look how this idealised version works in reality. Address the gaps in the original plan with management and leaders in order to ensure that an issue with your plan doesn’t stop the programme before it really begins.
While this research is occurring, there are some everyday tasks you could undertake that would create a better experience for employees. Firstly, feedback is a vital way of allowing employees to feel nurtured in their growth and development and to make them want to be more productive. Continuous coaching and feedback sessions with employees, as well as peer-response feedback, will support employee’s growth and make them feel individually cared for. One-on-one meetings are a valuable way of creating a relaxed and approachable image of management, allowing employees to actively desire to please their management and reach their goals.
Furthermore, it is important that employees feel recognised for their accomplishments. Whether this consists of small conversations with individuals about their career plans, or sending them to training workshops and big-name conferences free of charge, workplace recognition is a big motivator for employees and can hugely increase their job satisfaction levels. This does not need to consist of bonuses or a handshake from the CEO, but a small thank you from the manager or some praise from a peer can be enough to motivate positive work.
Compensation is also important; while not necessary for recognition, it is important for employees to feel as though they receive the fair and just monetary reward for their contributions to the business in their salaries. Replacing a salaried employee can cost a huge amount for businesses, so before you cut the salaries of hard workers, consider the cost if some of them feel underappreciated and decide to leave. As high-potential employees can be doubly as productive as average employees, it is important to understand your long-term investment in them through their salaries.
Lastly, it is important to mention that these methods of employee engagement are only truly successful when nurtured consistently over time; regular feedback will create a positive and clear picture of what your employees need and value at certain times of the year, and therefore allow you to continue to implement plans to increase engagement and overall happiness of the workforce.