July 29, 2015

Article

Employee engagement is hard to measure but easy to improve

Measuring employee engagement may not be easy to do with any precision, but improving engagement levels is crucial nonetheless. Often, managers hold the key to increasing employee enthusiasm and participation. However, this is not something that is done in silos. Instead, make employee engagement a part of your culture and reap the benefits.

Employee engagement levels are inaccurate, but still important
According to The Guardian, employee engagement is at an all-time low. A recent Gallup survey indicated that, in the U.S., the overall employee engagement level sits at just 31.7 percent. While that should be taken with a grain salt, as any measurement of engagement is an attempt to quantify the abstract, the low levels should be regarded as opportunities for improvement more than anything else. Improving morale and employee participation will always require work. If it didn’t, the New York Daily News wouldn’t report that approximately 70 percent of American employees are miserable at work. Numbers aside, the fact is if people are reporting it, to some extent, it must be true.

“Make employees feel part of a legacy, not just an HR head count.”

The main reason employee engagement continues to capture media attention is that it is widely regarded as an essential element in increasing productivity and overall profitability. Employees that are interested in doing their jobs perform better at work. Additionally, in 2015, company culture and brand persona are as important in business as following workflow processes and generating sales. We live in an age where everything is interconnected, information is immediate and social causes often form an undercurrent for larger business trends. As such, it is important for organizations to engage employees at work and make them feel that they are part of a legacy, not just an HR head count.

Organizations should think from the bottom up
The Guardian pointed out that many business leaders have not mastered the art of delegating and involving, which does not help promote employee engagement. It is better to empower staff members by giving them responsibilities and the corresponding training and development if needed. Giving directives from the top is not an effective approach, and delegating responsibility does not have to be a sink-or-swim scenario. Mentorship, performance reviews and access to resources will help employees get better at their jobs. The result will be improved organizational operations and collaboration. According to the Huffington Post, employees’ direct supervisors, not their corporate leaders, are the ones who can influence engagement levels the most.

Employee engagement is intangible but important nonetheless. Make employee engagement work for you.

If you want to increase employee engagement at your company, make sure you involve yourself with the reality on the ground. Get knee-deep in the trenches and listen to what employees have to say. Here are just a few ideas on how you can use your managers to increase employee engagement at your organization:

1. Provide mentorship and opportunities for develop
Managers at your organization should work with staff members when they take on new responsibilities. Show them how to develop and move up the corporate ladder. If they need training and development, you can make that possible. Empowering employees to do more is an excellent way to improve organizational performance.

2. Provide feedback constantly
Don’t let your employees work in the dark – that is what it’s like doing something and not knowing how or why it contributes to company goals.Allowing employees to view and quantify their own contributions will help keep them more engaged. If your staff members fully understand why their work is valuable, they will be more enthusiastic about doing it well. Also, show your employees that if they work hard, they will be considered for promotions and raises.

3. Use technology to humanize your brand culture
In 2015, company culture plays a big role in driving organizational performance. That is because an attractive brand is a source of inspiration and pride for employees. Accordingly, you should use enterprise video solutions, social media and other communication tools to make your company culture as modern and collaborative as possible. You can use these tools to explain to your staff how the company is performing, what activities are the most valuable and what strategies you will employ in the future.