13 Aug Increase Profitability with Employee Engagement
Why Employee Engagement is Important
From your very first hire, it is crucial to begin thinking about employee engagement. We all know employees are vital to our business, but engaged employees can have a significant impact on the growth and profitability of the company.
What is Employee Engagement?
Working with different business leaders, I have learned there are a lot of misconceptions out there on what employee engagement is. Let’s chat about what isn’t!
It is not an employee who is:
- Satisfied with how much they make.
- Happy with their boss.
- Drinking the company Koolaid.
- Friends with their co-workers.
- Stoked with the benefits package.
- Satisfied with their job.
These are all pieces of the puzzle, but engagement is more in-depth and looks at the employee’s enthusiasm and commitment to their work AND workplace.
Let me share a personal example. I was working for a large company, I made an excellent salary, the benefits were fantastic, and I got to work from home! The people I worked with were a great group of people and considered many of them friends. The company invested in my development, and I had regularly been nominated for leadership development programs. It was a stable job and company.
The company had a high focus on employee engagement, and every six months, the company sent out a survey asking my agreement level with the following question:
“I rarely think about leaving the Company.” My response… for the last three years … Strongly Disagree.
I thought about leaving all the time; I would casually apply to positions that piqued my interest and took calls from recruiters. I was comfortable where I was, even if I wasn’t happy. I did my job, but I didn’t go above and beyond anymore.
Why was I not engaged? I had lost trust in leadership.
My husband had been noticing the decline in my engagement for a while and one day said “you clearly aren’t enjoying it anymore why don’t you just quit? “
It was scary, probably a little reckless, but that is just what I did. I started an HR Consulting company, and I got my grove back. My husband jokes he has not seen me throw myself into my work like this in almost a decade. I am engaged in what I am doing and the companies I am supporting.
Understanding What Drives Employee Engagement
It’s essential to understand what drives engagement, as there a many pieces to the puzzle, and if some of it is not together, it impacts employee engagement.
Quantum Workplace is a leader and the research firm behind the “Best Places to Work” programs. They have identified six drivers of employee engagement that have the most significant impact:
- The leaders of their organization are committed to making it a great place to work.
- Trust in the leaders of the organization to set the right course.
- Belief that the organization will be successful in the future.
- Understanding of how I fit into the organization’s future plans.
- The leaders of the organization value people as their most important resource.
- The organization makes investments to make employees more successful.
Employee engagement surveys are the best way to begin understanding IF you have an issue and help to provide you guidance on where to FOCUS your energy.
DO NOT WAIT until you see high turnover or decreased productivity; these are signs that there is a systemic engagement issue.
There are companies out there who can help administer an employee engagement survey for you like Qualtrics, Culture Amp, or Glint. They all help ensure the anonymity of the survey and provides the results in a friendly to read dashboard.
If you do not have the budget to use a service like this, you can always try using survey monkey, but it will require you to do some analysis on your own.
6 Must Do’s with Employee Engagement Surveys
- It HAS to be anonymous; this is not negotiable. Whichever service or platform you use, you have to ensure employee responses will be private and anonymous. You can quickly destroy trust or not get truthful responses if you cannot guarantee this.
- You have to communicate it and get the buzz going. Have a solid communication plan, including what you will do with the information, why you are requesting it, and committing that it will be anonymous.
- Do something with the results! Employees will quickly lose interest in an employee engagement survey if you do not do something with the results. You need to communicate the results to the employees (even if they are not positive!) and share what you are going to help improve engagement.
- Pick the right questions! The first question should always be one to assess engagement. There are dozens of questions you can include on an engagement survey to see what is impacting the engagement levels (we call them drivers).
- You should run engagement surveys regularly to keep a pulse. For a company just starting or one that has concerns that they have low engagement, I would recommend quarterly. For a more engaged team, I would run them semi-annual to annually.
- They should be short! It should take less than 5 minutes and have less than ten questions!
Do you have any more questions about employee engagement?
Ask us in the comments below – we’d be happy to answer!