Employee engagement isn’t just corporate jargon. Effective employee engagement strategies are not new to the HR scene, but in recent years, has become increasingly important to corporations. One of the primary reasons it has become so essential is to incentivize talented workers to join organizations. An inclusive, passionate and trustworthy corporate culture and work environment motivates employees and keeps them engaged. So if everyone is talking about it, how do we get it?
BUILDING AN EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY
Determine employees’ current engagement level
Create a way to consistently and accurately benchmark employee engagement. According to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2016 Report, 64 percent of organizations only measure employee engagement annually. Pulse surveys allow managers and leaders to create a “listening environment” where feedback from employees is ongoing and is close to real-time.
Employee engagement strategies are top-down ideas, so leadership needs accurate feedback regarding what is and isn’t working and how employees feel about their work and the company. Obviously it’s impractical to survey all of your employees weekly, so measure on a local basis.
The basis of an effective employee engagement strategy is empowering employees, and giving them the resources they need to succeed. Deloitte identified five fundamental elements to an effective employee engagement strategy which are the building blocks to sustainable employee engagement. We outline them below:
Employee engagement begins at hiring. Some critical questions you should answer are:
- - Have you hired the right person for the right job? It doesn’t matter if you have a great
- person if it’s the wrong job
- - Can you identify the right people to fit the position and your company culture?
- - Once you hire, do your employees have the tools they need to succeed?
- - Do they have the opportunity to work independently and have ownership over their work?
- - Or, are they overwhelmed and overworked?
Consider providing time during the week for employees to relax, take a break, and recharge.
Middle managers (not company leadership) are the people that support employees’ day to day work and solve problems. They are the closest to employees and are the best people to help make things happen. Include managers in creating goals and aligning teams, and hold them accountable for their efforts. Encourage managers to coach employees instead of just delegating. Get to know employees and make sure their strengths are being utilized, and their weaknesses are being improved.
POSITIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Creating a culture of appreciation starts as simply as telling your people thank you regularly. Encourage employees to pass gratitude along with peer-to-peer recognition, as well as between employees and managers, and managers and leadership. Perks are another way to bring some excitement to work. While perks can be trendy, the point of having free food or onsite gyms or day care is to help work fit better into your employees’ lives. They can be a great way to energize employees, but don’t let them distract from the mission to build an employee engagement strategy that works and lasts.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
Internal mobility is a necessity for employee engagement. Your employees need to have opportunities to grow and learn within their position or area of expertise. Obviously you can’t promote everyone or offer big raises every year, but providing regular and meaningful time and opportunities to develop new skills can prove to be more valuable.
TRUST IN ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Employees need something they can get behind. How can your organization create purpose? What is your mission? Does your organization’s leadership support, share and inspire employees through their words and actions? Employee engagement strategies start from the top down. Your employees need to have confidence in their leadership. Give leaders responsibilities to invest in your people and develop future leaders. Drive loyalty by encouraging transparency in communications. However, real change happens at the local level, so leadership and managers need to think in realistic terms and build a program that fits employees’ day-to-day needs.