There is no bigger achievement for a middle-class family than landing a 9-5 job. You’ve got your salary, job stability and tons of free time too. But this cliched job profile is no longer an aspiration. For today’s youth, however, job satisfaction trumps stability. The more rewarding the job, the more loyal an employee.
This is the tip of the iceberg called employee engagement. Essentially, employee engagement refers to a worker’s loyalty to an organisation beyond their assigned job profile. It refers to the writer who helps out the editing team when they are short-staffed; the store manager that takes on distribution in the absence of the delivery person; or the researcher who spends an extra hour at the job gathering data that could further enhance the content.
An employee is engaged when they are willing to contribute more to accomplish the company’s goals more efficiently. It speaks of a worker’s commitment and loyalty to the organisation.
Various factors affect the employee engagement of a firm:
- The attitude of the seniors; how they treat their juniors in a professional setup.
- The recognition a jobholder receives for good work.
- Opportunities for growth in the organisational hierarchy.
- Compatibility with fellow workers.
- Motivating atmosphere of the company.
These factors (or the absence of them) dictate the conditions under which potential and capabilities are nurtured and encouraged. If a company instils trust and harmony amid workers and management, the business reaps the benefits.
There are several reasons why a company should focus on employee engagement
Thanks to social media, the public eye is looming over you. Online platforms have made it possible for people from around the world to collaborate and create a consistent public opinion. Poor performance or attitude of a firm’s branch in the United States could be conveyed to everyone in a matter of seconds.
Today, brand image is the most important and needs to be protected fervently. Millennials and Gen Z are the most active demographics online and are very outspoken about their rights. A company that treats its workers poorly is not spared. For example, recently a popular makeup company came under fire for their workplace conditions which resulted in reduced customer loyalty.
Conversely, when the same demographics hear of a place where the employees are nurtured, it creates a positive image.
Any employee can take to social media and expose poor workplace practices. So, when they work in a wholesome environment, they are more likely to share positive stories of your company.
The induction of a new worker in the organisation is a rather long process. After the initial recruiting, the company also needs to provide training and allow the employee to adapt to the work culture. This period costs money, time and effort. Furthermore, the new employee could take up to 2 years to reach the productivity levels of a seasoned employee.
How do we fix this?
Many believe that people quit due to monetary reasons. This isn’t exactly true. In fact, an employee is more likely to quit if they aren’t committed or motivated by the goals of a business. Working conditions are a major motivating factor; a growing environment is rewarded with loyalty.
“In fact, according to a survey by Deloitte, 37% of employees will consider quitting their position if the company does not offer any career growth“
Focusing on cultivating a loyal workforce can lead to a reduction in employee turnover and save the company time, effort and money in the long run.
The idea of motivation and productivity has been explored for centuries. Some believe that pressure and negative reinforcement are more effective than incentives. However, according to Forbes in 2019, a person is 4.6 times likely to perform their best when they feel empowered. To put it simply, a motivated employee is an asset for your company. They tend to achieve more and care for the overall goals, sometimes even putting in more work than required to achieve the same.
High productivity of employees will result in greater profits for your business. This also means that a single person will be able to achieve more and reduce the need for superficial posts and recruitment.
Customer is king—plain and simple. After all, they are the ones to determine the success or failure of your sales. Therefore, those who represent the organisation must put their best foot forward. We have established that when an employee is engaged in their job, they are likely to be more motivated and productive. Which means a worker dealing with consumers will then provide them with more options and help better the sales.
Customer satisfaction increases when they are handled by someone excited to do their work. The energy is infectious. Incentivised customer service employees are also likely to be in a better mood to handle their consumers.
A great way to ease your employees’ work and allow them to achieve their responsibilities is by investing in good technology. Cloud telephony provides many features such as IVR, virtual numbers and call recordings that can simplify the workers’ call processes and give them time to focus on the bigger picture.
This might be surprising but workplace safety is also affected by how engaged an employee is. An engaged employee is not only motivated but also more vigilant and focussed. They will be more careful when operating precious equipment and pay attention to any anomalies. According to Harvard Business Review, companies with highly engaged workers report 48% fewer safety incidents and 41% fewer patient safety incidents.
Workers that are committed to the company create a safer environment for their co-workers. Each employee affects the attitude and attentiveness of the overall workforce.
Remember feigning illness to get out of a boring school day? Chances are, you did so to avoid the cut and dry teaching methods of the teachers. Children are more encouraged to attend school when there is an interactive class lined up. This pattern is generally carried to adulthood, as well.
If your employees do not enjoy their work, they will prefer taking leave even if it means lying to their superiors. It indicates a lack of trust and inclination. Those who are interested in what they do are willing to attend to their duties without neglect. A holistic environment invites people to work, and keeps them interested and motivated.
Businessman and author Stephen R Covey has said, “always treat your employees exactly the way you want them to treat your best customers.” A good leader knows the difference treatment can make to an employee’s attitude.
When you see a productive and active workforce, you know that their team leader is effective. It is an indication of strong management. On the other hand, a group of demotivated and detached workers can certainly be traced to a weak management program.
If you see lack of engagement in your workforce, you might want to invest in leadership programmes for your upper management. At the same time, you are responsible for their performance, so make sure that you are always striving to be better.
A popular running joke is that a group can be divided into those who work towards the result and those who watch from the sidelines. This distinction causes a lack of effectiveness in collaboration. Uninterested workers are unlikely to appreciate the value of collaborations and invest time in it.
Encouragement can make all the difference. With the right push, they will not only perform better in large teams but also inspire and improve the work of their teammates. This results in a team that works together and produces the best possible results. After all, two heads are better than one!
American motivational speaker and author Simon Sinek once said “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” This sums up employee engagement. A motivated and inspired worker who cares about the company is likely to contribute more than what is required of them.
They will think of the organisation’s success; this will not just benefit the company financially and increase customer satisfaction but also create an environment that produces capable and loyal workers. Apart from the monetary savings, employee engagement also builds a better brand and enhances customer experience. And when it comes to putting employee engagement in practice, there’s no time like the present.