Employee Engagement Creates Sustainable Business Success
Employee Engagement Means Sustainable Business Success
Welcome to 2018! It certainly seems to have got off to a flying start. The news seems to be dominated by appalling examples of behaviour, the economic outlook continues to be uncertain and the UK’s political situation is as volatile as ever. For many, having a workplace that is safe, friendly and purposeful provides one place of relative sanctuary in our turbulent world.
So how do we create such a positive working environment?
At Beyond Theory we believe that work is a force for good. It provides people income, gives people a sense of purpose and enables people to develop their network of friends. Our own company mission is to help companies grow and prosper by creating productive places to work. And we’ve got a very good track record of making this happen.
For us, employee engagement is the key. We know that delivering a great customer experience is the only way to create long-term and sustainable business success. We all want our customers to remain loyal, come back for more and tell others to do the same. However, we also know what it’s like to deal with someone who is not fully engaged. We also recognise what it’s like to be let down by a colleague who does not demonstrate the same passion for internal customer service as ourselves.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement requires a two-way relationship between employer and employee. As employees, people cannot be made to be engaged. They need to feel that they want to be engaged. Engaging employers provide the conditions for employees to give their best. Engaged employees work with colleagues to improve performance for the benefit of their organisation and customers. Employee engagement requires a clear alignment between personal and organisational objectives and values.
How can I increase employee engagement where I work?
Employees will not feel motivated and engaged unless they are well led and managed. Employees need to understand and buy into the direction that their company is heading. Take time to explain the long-term plans that you have. Allow time for questions.
Employees need managers that give them the direction, coaching and support they need. Employees crave the freedom they need to let them get on with the job you’re asking them to do. They reject both micro-management and abdication.
Employees need clearly defined goals and accountabilities. Ambiguity and a lack of clarity will only de-motivate. When things are tough inside and/or outside of work they need tending and caring. But they won’t react well to indifference or smothering. Think and act on employee well-being.
Employees do have a voice so allow this to be heard. Regular one-to-one meetings, appraisals and employee surveys are fabulous opportunities. However, just don’t rely on the formal company processes to find out what employees are thinking and feeling. Create an environment where ideas for improvement are welcomed and acted upon. Reward them too.
Last but by no means least make sure everyone is living your values. Behaviour breeds behaviour and role-modelling starts at the very top. Employee engagement is a leadership issue and managers at all levels need to walk the talk. To fail to do so will mean employees’ psychological contracts (i.e. the emotional relationship they have with your company) will be shredded.
Taking action to increase levels of employee engagement in your company
Our tip for 2018 is to review your company vision and values. Are they fit for purpose? Are they fully understood? Is everyone working towards the company vision and truly living the values? If so, how are your rewarding them? If not, what action are you going to take? How happy are you with your company culture?
Director & Senior Consultant, Beyond Theory
Beyond Theory is proud to be sponsoring the Commitment to People Development Award at the Northamptonshire Business Awards, organised by Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.