Improving Employee Engagement
August 30, 2021 | BY Simcha Felder
For most of us, having a job, a boss and a workplace where we have a genuine sense of purpose is very important. Steve Jobs famously said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
As a business leader, motivating your employees and ensuring that they are engaged in their work is one of the most important things you do for your company. Research has shown time and again, that employee engagement is vital to a business’s success and profitability. According to the analytics and advisory company Gallup, engaged employees display higher levels of enthusiasm, energy and motivation, which translates into higher levels of job performance, creativity and productivity. This correlates to greater revenues and profits for your organization, as well as higher levels of well-being for employees and less turnover.
Despite the importance of employee engagement, just 35 percent of employees in the United States are considered “engaged” in their jobs. So, what is employee engagement and how do you improve it at your company?
Gallup, an industry leader in employee engagement, defines ‘engaged’ employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. For engaged employees, it is about more than just a paycheck – they work harder and are more dedicated towards their employers, which is then reflected in their individual productivity. Disengaged employees are more likely to only do the bare minimum or even actively damage your company’s work output and reputation.
As a business leader, what can you do to improve the engagement of your employees? Well, it turns out that leaders and managers have a significant amount of input on employee engagement. According to Gallup, 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 75% of Americans say their “boss is the most stressful part of their workday.” So here are a few ways that business leaders can increase employee engagement:
Include Me: Assuring your employees that their work and opinions are important is a simple yet important step to increase engagement. According to cloud-based software company Salesforce, professionals who believe their voice is heard are over four times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work. When you are considering solutions to business problems, encourage your employees to participate in the decision-making process, and give equal consideration to each employee’s suggestions, so they feel valued. Following the success of an important project or initiative, offer praise and emphasize how much you appreciate your employee’s contributions.
Inspire Me: Trust and autonomy are core ingredients that inspire engagement amongst employees. Be sure to delegate important tasks and projects to your team because it demonstrates trust and empowers your employees. To delegate effectively, ensure you are assigning tasks to employees who are equipped with the knowledge, skills and resources to handle them. Take time to clearly define the expectations and the required results, but leave your employees to accomplish the assigned task and don’t micromanage.
Grow Me: Many business leaders and managers are so focused on their own careers or success that they often forget about the careers of their employees. It is important for leaders to recognize that most employees are looking to be a part of an organization that offers a visible path for career progression. People want to feel that they have partners in developing their careers – and that goes beyond timely promotions. They want personal and professional development, such as the opportunity to cultivate new skills and experiences or by pursuing valuable certifications or degrees. As your employees’ careers develop and grow, your organization will be poised to reap the rewards.
Now more than ever, good pay and benefits are not enough to fully engage employees. You need to give your employees challenging work, truly value their contributions and show that you care about them and their careers. If you follow these steps, you will find that you have happier employees who are willing to work harder for you and your business.