Employee engagement remains an important issue facing companies today.
Employee engagement is critical because “engaged employees” are more committed and productive. If employees truly are a company’s best asset, then their care and support should be top priority. If this is achieved then, a happy workplace culture leads to success.
When companies offer their employees opportunities for growth, they are quite likely to win their employees’ loyalty and support. In fact, companies should be ready to assess existing talent in a creative, flexible manner, and thus evaluate their skills. Often, existing employees have the interest, skills and capacity to assume responsibility for many tasks that would otherwise be outsourced; and involving them in this way, may be beneficial from the employee’s career perspective as well as from the employer’s financial perspective.
How can your company enhance employee engagement?
- Create favorable work conditions
Employing creative measures to invest in employees’ well-being is a responsibility that many leading employers strive for today – like providing pleasant workplaces and work conditions that are conducive to innovation, hard work, creativity and productivity. So generous vacation schemes, promoting wellbeing during office hours are nurtured with recreation areas, gyms, office sports teams and cafeterias – are some goodies offered. Very often, office area layouts are designed to promote a sense of inclusion and well-being – to maximise employees’ satisfaction levels and to encourage active participation. As a top employer, you should let employees feel the company cares for them and respects them; this will make them more committed and likely to contribute positively to the company’s bottomline.
- Keep channels of communication open
The importance of allowing a smooth and open flow of communication across layers and functions is something that top employers should strive for. Make sure you are encouraging employees always to articulate their ideas, aspirations and concerns; and they must also be kept up-to-date, through regular communications, regarding the company’s vision, mission, objectives, performance and new initiatives. Conducting regular employee appraisals is a must, plus a 360 degree feedback. Discuss their goals, aspirations and short and long-term objectives and sometimes, factor them into the organisation’s planning activities. Listening to employees, is a vital ingredient in enhancing employee loyalty. Successful employee engagement also requires honest and constructive feedback on a routine basis, and this feedback is vital both as a motivational tool and in channeling talent in the right direction.
- Focus on training and development
Recognising the importance of encouraging an environment of growth and learning is what employers are expected to do. They should bring out the best in everyone, especially the star performers; in order to do this, they can develop in-house training departments, send employees to relevant external training programs, offer internal rotational programs and overseas assignments, which can be key career development opportunities. Companies can show their commitment to employees’ learning and development in many creative and meaningful ways. Once the employees feel the company has invested in them in this manner, they are far more likely to support the company’s best interests and also work towards advancing its goals.
- Appreciate work/life balance for employees
Many organisations are interested in making it clear to their employees that achieving work/life is a priority for them. Employers today should take a more holistic approach to employees’ welfare and should ideally nurture and retain top talent. It is seen that work arrangements at leading corporations include flexible hours, part-time, work-from-home facilities, sabbaticals, extended leave periods for new parents (crèches, on-site day care, vital family support hotlines etc) and other family benefits. Companies are trying to pull out all stops to respect and cater to key employees’ priorities outside of the office – to create a work/life balance.
- Create an environment of diversity and inclusion
Employees who feel valued, respected and ‘included’ are more likely to contribute positively to your company’s bottom line. They offer – diversity programs, cross-cultural hiring practices and culture committees which promote emotional well-being across the organisation (through social and team-building events). Many leading companies have also formalised coaching programs which help top employees to understand their own strengths and priorities; thus helping them map both their potential contribution to the corporation and their own professional advancement (short-term and long-term).
- Introduce reward/recognition programmes
Studies have shown that employees who feel valued, recognised and appreciated are the most loyal. So, formal mechanisms for evaluating and rewarding employees should be in place. It is important to recognise and reward outstanding performance. Do set regular special initiatives that identify, celebrate, motivate and incentivise your star employees. This way, a company will be most successful in retaining key performers on a long-term basis.
- Take part in community outreach programs
Employees feel a greater sense of pride and purpose, working with an employer that is publicly committed to ‘give back’.
Corporate philanthropy has been proved to increase employee loyalty. So, why not adopt CSR programs – not just as a means to ‘give back to society’ but also as a measure to win the support and respect of your employees?