Building employee engagement is a fundamental concept for every organization.
Sadly, not every business owner or entrepreneur understands this concept or how to achieve it.
The result is that their business suffers loss in resources and finances.
If you’re a business owner and you’re wondering how best you can build employee engagement in your organization, stay glued to this blog post as we reveal everything you need to know and more.
An Overview Of The Concept How To Build Employee Engagement
Employees are the people who you hire to perform particular duties and roles in your company.
You might probably be familiar with the concept “people are your greatest assets.”
In business, even when you have the best resources, be it money, energy, or time, you still need to have the right people to work with you.
Without the right people on your team, you cannot get the best results, even with the best resources at your disposal.
One way you can ensure your greatest assets in your organization are functioning at their optimum best is through employee engagement.
When your employees are properly engaged, they tend to feel happier, and it reflects in their productivity on the job.
On the other hand, having a group of disengaged or unmotivated employees can adversely affect your business results.
You might find out that you keep investing in the business, but you are not getting returns.
This is because unmotivated employees are generally unproductive employees.
Not only that, there is even the danger of losing your employees to other organizations with a better offer in engagement.
Sadly, most of the causes of poor productivity and diminishing results in the workplace today are closely tied to a lack of engagement.
With that in mind, you should be really interested in learning how you can build employee engagement.
But then, let us begin by considering what the term ‘Employee Engagement’ really means.
Understanding What Employee Engagement Means
The term ‘Employee Engagement’ is used regularly in the business sphere, and chances are you are familiar with it.
It simply refers to how your employees or staff are actively committed to your organization’s dreams, goals, and plans.
And, of course, what they contribute to the implementation and actualization of these goals.
Your employee engagement level is actually a measure of how passionate your staff is in the work they do.
Sometimes, it is easy to confuse engagement with job satisfaction.
While they are quite similar, they are not the same thing.
An employee might be satisfied with his/her job meaning that he is content and happy.
But that doesn’t really indicate engagement.
Engagement goes beyond the contentment that comes from getting a dream job or the desired pay.
It is not just about being happy that you work for an organization and get what you think is a ‘good salary.’
Rather, engagement focuses more on how motivated, encouraged, and passionate an employee is on the job.
It might surprise you to note that sometimes even the big companies that pay a whole buck might not have the level of employee engagement as smaller companies.
More workers are adequately motivated and have the drive for the organization even when they are not luxuriously.
This is because there is more to building employee engagement than just throwing money around.
How to Build Employee Engagement – Why is it Beneficial?
You know, there are many subjects one could explore about businesses and their owners.
We can talk about how to get more customers or how to make more profit.
Also, we can discuss how to grow your business.
Looking at it on the surface, these subjects might seem more important than other employee-related topics.
Due to this, you might wonder why we must talk about how to build employee engagement.
Well, we already said, and you might as well know, that employees are like the soul of any organization.
Right from the top managerial position, down to the cleaner or janitor, everyone is important.
And therefore, if you are committed to building employee engagement as a business owner, you will benefit immensely from it.
Find below some of the outstanding benefits of this, and building employee engagement should be important in business.
Employee Engagement is Directly Proportional to Productivity
Without mincing words, the level of employee engagement in your organization or company dictates employee productivity.
What you as an employer do in engaging employees is giving them the morale and drive to work.
When employees are duly motivated, they are more likely to stay committed and give their best, increasing productivity.
This is unlike what happens when you do not invest in employee engagement.
You’ll end up having a group of disoriented employees with zero output and results.
Employee Engagement Gives you a Group of Happier and Satisfied Employees
If you think that money can help you buy happiness and job satisfaction for your employees, wait till you try engagement.
People generally are happier in an environment where they feel their opinions count and are a part of something big.
This is exactly the kind of environment you create when you engage your employees.
The truest job satisfaction is achieved when everybody on the team feels important and stays committed to achieving the same goal.
The truth is that most often than not, such a team gets success, and this success gives them the joy and satisfaction they so long for.
You Get Lower Employee Turnover Rate/Higher Retention
If you fail to build employee engagement in the office, you risk losing more of your employees.
This is because the best employees are always looking to work for organizations that challenge them to be the best they can be.
You can do this by getting them involved and engaging them in vital parts of the business.
When you fail to do this, they will most likely walk out of your doors and jump on the next available offer.
Of course, you need not be told what impact having a high employee turnover can have on your business.
You might lose the best hands with needed expertise and knowledge and have to settle for mediocre.
This is because no goal-oriented person will want to work for an organization without a structure for employee engagement.
Better Customer Service and Customer Retention
One thing about good vibes, motivation, and commitment is that they are infectious.
Have you ever seen a once calm and great customer get rude and dissatisfied because of frequent encounters with a poor employee?
It happens all the time.
On the other hand, if you have employees committed to their duties, they will serve your customers better.
They are generally happier and satisfied like we earlier mentioned, and this happiness will spread to the customers.
That way, your customer service experience will improve, and you will be in a better position to retain customers.
Engaged Employees Contributes to a Positive and Healthy Culture in the Workplace
Motivated and engaged employees do not sit around in the office environment or play introverts.
On the contrary, they are always out there at the forefront of important activities.
They also bring positive vibes and spread joy and excitement in everything they do.
Before long, this positive spirit will affect others positively and motivate them.
On the other hand, disengaged employees are at the forefront of causing chaos and making the work environment a living hell.’
There is actually a need to ask which of these employees will improve the company’s culture.
Of course, the engaged employees.
It Increases Creativity and Innovation
Another benefit of building employee engagement is that there is a better chance of getting creativity out.
Unlike disengaged employees who are idle and disoriented most of the time, the engaged ones are actively involved in office activities.
As a result, they are always looking for innovative and creative ideas to move the company forward.
Not only that, but they are also great problem solvers because they see no other way out of a problem but to find a solution.
It Builds Employees’ Trust and Loyalty
How do you measure employees’ loyalty in your workplace?
Let’s give you a hint.
Ask yourself: ” How many percentages of my employees will take another job offer today if another opportunity comes?”
The answer reveals whether or not you have the trust and loyalty of your employees.
The good news, though, is that you can increase employees’ trust and loyalty by building employee engagement.
Usually, when employees have good engagement, they are more likely to stay put and work for your organization regardless.
This is not because of a lack of options, but because they care about the firm and have the right motivation.
Therefore, they want to see the business succeed, and they will commit their time, presence, and attention to ensure that.
You Can Say Goodbye to Frequent Absenteeism
Have you been struggling with frequent cases of absenteeism from your employees and don’t know what to do about it?
Well, the solution to that might be here already.
Working to build employee engagement can be what you need to cut out this ugly trend.
When you have employees who are adequately motivated and committed to work, they will hardly miss work.
The only reason they would be absent from work is under certain circumstances beyond their control.
Otherwise, they will wake up every morning, looking forward to coming to work and ever so eager to want to come and make their contributions.
This is a positive effect of building employee engagement.
However, employee engagement is not rocket science. Likewise, employee disengagement doesn’t happen without some mitigating factors.
Let’s consider what some of these factors are.
Factors Responsible for Low Employee Engagement
As beneficial as employee engagement is, it is not an automatic property of every organization.
Today, some companies suffer low employee engagement because they fail in one or more management areas.
Hence, they miss out on the immense advantages and benefits that come with employee engagement.
We are committed to helping you to avoid that same path of failure.
This is why we deemed it fit to reveal some of the factors preventing you from having good employee engagement in your organization.
Inappropriate Job Roles for Employees
One factor working against employee engagement is when the employees are not best suited to the roles they handle.
Individuals have peculiar talents, skills, and abilities and should be working in the areas of their skills and talents.
However, if you have many employees doing jobs or handling roles where they do not fit, they cannot give their best.
With this low output comes frustration, laziness, and a lack of motivation.
This would undoubtedly affect employee engagement in the long run.
An important factor in building employee engagement is frequent open communication.
Communication between the employer and employees and also between fellow employees is essential to staff motivation.
However, when there is a gap in this communication channel, it can cause your employees to feel engaged.
To stay committed and motivated, your employees need to hear from you at all times.
A Lack of Appreciation and Recognition
Another factor responsible for low employee engagement is a lack of recognition from employers.
When a staff gives his best to the organization he works for and gets results, he wants to feel valued.
Many business owners who fail to recognize/appreciate top-performing employees will ultimately have discouraged and disengaged workers.
Burnout occurs when your employees are overworked and hardly have time to rest and relax.
While hard work is essential and integral to business growth, there should be a balance between work and leisure.
If your work schedule does not make provisions for this but is designed to stress out your employees, you are treading a dangerous path.
You might record minimal success at first, but your employees will suffer burnout and have low engagement over time.
Unclear Company Goals, Mission, and Objectives
The first thing you need to do if you want to build employee engagement is to make your goals clear and direct.
Employees can only passionately work towards a common goal that is clear and easily understood.
On the other hand, if your employees do not fully understand the firm’s mission, they might not know where to turn.
There would be confusion in the workplace, and you are not going to get them engaged.
Lack of Personal and Career Growth and Development
All your employees, or at least the goal-oriented ones, are not just concerned about working and getting paid.
As they go on their journey with you, they are actively interested in improving their personal and forging a career path for themselves.
To help them achieve this, their organization must provide the avenue and opportunity for growth and development.
However, if your establishment does not give this opportunity, the employees feel it, and it is only a matter of time before they lose engagement.
A lack of feedback, either from the management to the other employees or from the employees to the top, is also responsible for low engagement.
Feedback is needed to identify recurring problems within the organization.
When there is no adequate feedback, you will find that employees are not always in the loop of events and don’t know what to do.
This can, in turn, diminish or even extinguish their engagement.
Having discussed the benefits of employee engagement and some of the mitigating factors to employee engagement, let’s discover how you can build employee engagement.
How to Build Employee Engagement
If you are ready to build your employees’ engagement, you are ready for a big chance.
However, the first thing you need to do is decipher if there is a problem of engagement in the first place.
One way you can do this is to measure employee engagement in your organization using employee engagement surveys.
This survey is prepared to get feedback from the employees, which would then be used to create an action plan.
After that, the necessary steps to take to build employee engagement include;
1Keep the Line of Communication Open
In your work environment, the employees should feel free to approach their superiors at any time to air their views and opinions.
This you can do by keeping an open line of communication or flexible management structure.
When you do this, you are giving them a feeling of belonging and that their opinions matter.
This would only serve to keep such employees happy, motivated, and engaged.
2Clarify the Company’s Goals and Objectives
Working hard without understanding the company’s goals and objectives is like walking blindly.
It isn’t easy to make headways or get to any reasonable destination in such circumstances.
As an employer, if you want to build the engagement of your employees, your goals must be clear from the word ‘go.’
Only then can they work together towards achieving those goals with understanding, unity of mind, purpose, and commitment.
3Give Timely and Effective Feedback
Your employees want to know how well they are doing.
They want to know if they are not doing so well and need improvement in certain are in a similar vein as.
The last thing you want to do as an employer is, give your employees silent treatment or not give them feedback.
Therefore, make it a goal to always get back to them on what they do and their level of productivity.
When you provide feedback, though, be sure to make it constructive and give a listening ear.
Also, it is best to provide such feedback in private rather than in front of others, which might humiliate the individual.
Doing this can help you build engagement in your employees.
4Help your Employees Develop Themselves
Here comes the tough question: “When last did you send one of your employees out for training?”
A month ago, 3 months, a year, a few years ago, or never?
If you do not have a system to help your employees also work on personal growth and development, it might be hard to keep them motivated.
You can drive engagement when you show your employees you love them enough to want to see them make progress.
5Emphasize and Enforce Rest and Work-Life Balance
The truth is that you might probably have within your ranks employees that are very hard workers and possibly treading the path of a workaholic.
Employees like these value work so much, and they are always ready and willing to make themselves available for work.
This might even be during times when they are not expected to be at work.
While you appreciate such spirit, you do not want to encourage it.
Overworking your staff will only make them suffer exhaustion/burnout and reduces productivity.
Instead, always encourage a work-life balance in the workplace and allow your employees to rest.
That way, you’re making them feel important and boosting employee engagement.
6Appreciate and Celebrate Employees’ Achievements and Milestones
Evidently, what makes people feel more loved and appreciated is knowing that they truly matter to others.
This is especially so when those they matter to are also important to them.
Therefore, you need to cultivate the qualities of a good friend if you are a business owner with employees working under you.
This would mean that you do not just talk to them about work.
Instead, you are conscious enough to recognize their personal milestones and achievements.
Be sure to mention this and celebrate them in the presence of their peers.
As a matter of fact, this would boost the employees’ morale and also build their engagement.
7Create Avenues for Team Bonding
To stay engaged and motivated, it is important that your employees feel they are a part of a happy family.
What this entails is having co-workers who are like brothers and sisters to them.
You can not achieve this through a rigid 9-5 routine and repetitive work schedule.
Outside the regular work, you would need to create opportunities for the team to bond.
This you can do by arranging for picnics, parties, and office trips.
These occasions provide your employees with ample time outside of the work environment to get closer to one another.
When with their friends, their engagement can only get better.
8Focus on Employee Reward
A whole lot has always been saying about customer reward programs and how they benefit a company.
However, the other important matter of employee rewards should not be overlooked.
When you take good care of your employees, taking care of your customers is easier.
Therefore, it is not out of place to have a structured employee reward program, just as you do for customers.
This can also help you build employee engagement.
9Have Flexible Work Schedule When Possible
Truth be told, the everyday formal 9 am to 5 pm work hours in the office might be taking its toll on your employees.
Many employees have admitted that this harms their engagement and subsequent productivity.
You can join lots of top businesses that are now in the habit of tweaking the work schedule to get more engagement from their staff.
You can do this is by creating an opportunity for your employees to work at home when the circumstances allow for that.
We understand that businesses differ, and what works for some might not work for others.
However, if your industry allows for it, remote work can improve work-life balance in your organization and help you improve employee engagement.
Also, it doesn’t have to be permanent; it might be once a week, once a month, or even quarterly.
10Collect and Share Customer Testimonials with your Employees
Often, employees are simply in and around an organization, giving their best, but not knowing if it’s good enough.
Having many repeat sales and increased patronage might indicate customer satisfaction for you as the business owner.
But it doesn’t really do justice to what the other employees know.
However, when you have a system to collect positive customer reviews and testimonials, you can share this success.
It can boost employee morale and, of course, build their engagement.
Our Final Thoughts on How to Build Employee Engagement
Do you really want to know what we think about building employee engagement in the workplace?
Let’s put it simply then.
Your business is not going anywhere, and you will not achieve those big dreams you have for it if your employees are neglected.
To stay at the top of the game and beat the competition, you need to carry them along and keep them motivated.
This motivation, passion, and commitment they show is what is termed employee engagement.
Also, it will propel your organization to greater heights.
So what are you waiting for? Why not start taking these steps that will inevitably change your business for the better.