Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel committed to the organization, passionate about their jobs and understand their contribution to the organization. Engagement can’t be imposed nor can it be instilled. It’s about creating a culture of recognition. Over the last 20 years there has been an organizational culture shift towards employee engagement. Organizations are now recognizing the importance of employee recognition and the impact that negative engagement has on organizational success. Recent research by Aon has estimated global employee engagement to be at 65%. This means just over a third of the working population are neutral or feel disengaged. In this post we've got 5 tactics to get your employees engaged during 2018 and beyond.
A Gallup (2016) poll indicated that 87% of millennials (69% of non-millennials) recognize career development and growth as an important factor in their professional careers. Many employees strive to achieve continuous professional development and enjoy the challenges of the workplace. They do not want taxing, monotonous tasks. To avoid this, you may want to adopt different strategies. For example, you may offer educational interventions to aid employee development. It shows employees that you value them at an individual level and want them to grow. Other tactics include a job rotation program or adding new challenging job roles and tasks, to keep them active and interested.
There is a strong association between employee recognition and engagement. Employees can quickly become disengaged if they feel they are being unnoticed. Acknowledging employees for their work generates a stronger emotional commitment to the organization. But how does recognition generate engagement? Initially, recognition provides immediate gratification, and subsequently improves employee productivity and engagement. Secondly, according to the Globoforce Employee recognition survey (2017), recognition programs tied to organisational values outperform other programs. A final method is to use company-wide communication for recognition. To maximize engagement and morale, employee recognition should be company-wide, explaining what the recognition is for, the contribution made by the employee and the impact that it has for the organization.
Micromanagement is a style in which a manager meticulously observes and/or controls the work of their employees. It is widely considered to have a damaging effect for an organization, largely as a result in a lack of freedom. Micromanagement also holds negative connotations for employee engagement. Micromanagement incurs the penalty of reduced motivation and autonomy. In a sense, employees become robots.
Setting goals monthly, quarterly, biannually and annually gives employees a clear target to work towards. This involves employees with organizational goals and allows them to reflect on their contribution to departmental and organizational success.
The employment engagement survey allows employees to voice their opinions coupled with the expectation that change will follow. However, organizations often fall foul of the trap of taking no action and instead collect irrelevant data which is uninterpretable. This creates a façade which appears to look like you don’t care about the employee’s opinions. Any employee engagement survey must be relevant, specific and actionable. With this in mind, you’ll soon see that your survey is only a springboard to engagement, and it is the actionable elements which engender employee engagement. To further engage employees, you can go one step further than structured employee surveys. One could create channels where each employee can raise issues and give feedback for problems and possible improvements. Consider using discussion forums where feedback can be received from managers and peers alike.
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Our references for further reading:
Aon - 2018 Global Employee Engagement Trends Gallup - Millennials Want Jobs to Be Development Opportunities Globoforce - Employee Experience as a Business Driver 30 Tips to Increase Employee Engagement What is the Average Cost of Employee Engagement Surveys in 2019?
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