Posted January 19, 2022
Despite investing millions to create employee engagement programs, few employers experience long-term benefits. Towers Watson research shows that two-thirds of employees are not fully engaged at work. They are less productive, costing companies over $225 billion a year. Even worse, business experts say that many companies still are spending money on activities that employees don’t find useful. Consider these four tips for increasing employee engagement.
Many employers offer a variety of well-being programs to support employee engagement. But experts say these programs alone aren’t the answer. Companies also should focus on understanding the issues employees face, along with their personal and family needs.
Measure employee engagement by surveying workers and conducting informal listening sessions to understand their benefits needs and concerns. Create a list of employee pain points and track trends of employee needs so you can modify the work culture. This helps you provide better programs, benefits and services to support workers and increase their engagement.
Focus on trust
For years, many employers evaluated employees visually and tactically on their performance and productivity. They thought high scores in these areas were a sign of worker engagement. However, Gallup reports that many employees worked remotely due to the pandemic, so managers couldn’t visually track work performance. Instead, many employers learned to focus on trusting employees to do their job.
Business leaders realized that employee engagement is not a group concept but an individual worker state of mind. Giving employees the freedom to complete their work independently caused them to take more ownership for completing projects correctly, efficiently and on time. This switch gave employers more time to have one-on-one conversations with employees to learn more about their needs, interests and professional goals.
Meet employee expectations
When employers understand employees’ concerns and expectations, it’s easier to offer the benefits, programs, and perks that encourage engagement. Business experts recommend asking employees what advancement means to them. Then, identify job growth opportunities, such as shadowing and upskilling. Offer online and in-person learning opportunities to expand workers’ knowledge and skills. Keep a list of the training activities that employees complete and their job growth interests. Notify them when job opportunities open up.
Connect engagement to company objectives
Regularly listen to employees’ ideas and feedback on business operations. Share business objectives and show workers how their job contributes to business success. Employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform at their best. Also, research shows that employees who feel connected to company values feel more engaged with their work and have a higher sense of belonging. They feel appreciated and tend to stay longer on the job.