Employee Engagement: A Significant Challenge for Growing Companies

Unlike work, which is a duty, engagement comes from the will, the attraction, and the responsibility that we recognize to have for someone or something. Employee engagement is often defined as the emotional connection they have with their company. 

Engagement is what drives employees to not only do their job well but to be highly productive, innovative, efficient, retain customers at a higher rate, and reduce turnover. Also, Gallup’s research work found out that engaged employees are happier, both at work and in their lives too.

However, in a fast-growing company, where hiring is happening fast, individual teams expanding quickly, several meetings here and there and a vast amount of data at hand to manage, it becomes tough to measure the level of engagement of employees in the company.

This is a significant challenge for many growing companies, and sometimes, they end up being afraid of growth. Similarly, 90% of businesses agree that there is a significant influence of disengaged employees on their success. Unfortunately, only 25% have an engagement strategy.

A report from Forbes Insights and SilkRoad survey of 212 U.S.-based CFOs and financial executives reveal the fastest-growing companies put greater emphasis on understanding their employees and engaging them compared with slower-growing firms. Therefore, employee engagement is a critical element for growing businesses.

Employee engagement is an investment we make for the privilege of staying in business.

Ian Hutchinson

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Benefits of employee engagement

In a highly engaged workplace, everyone is a beneficiary of the good packages that come along with it. The company becomes a big happy family. Leaders are committed to providing regular supports to their subordinates. And employees perceive the goals of the company as their own, thereby creating harmonic enablement for them to work diligently to achieve the goals.

A- Benefits for the employees

When employees are engaged, their work becomes a passion. Employees are satisfied and proud of what they’re working on. They develop their skills and become more efficient. Their work is appreciated, and they are less likely to be replaced. Other benefits of engagement for employees include:

  • Better overall healthcare outcomes
  • Increase in the number of highly motivated employees
  • It reduces the rate of employee absenteeism
  • The rate of employee turnover decreases
  • It increases productivity and profitability
  • Employees feel safer and sound in the workplace
  • It promotes the emotional well-being of employees
  • Higher customers scores and sales
  • It decreases losses in inventory and quality defects (less theft)
  • Employees will find true meaning in their work and not just for paychecks

B- Benefits for the managers

With engaged employees, managers no longer need to control everything because everyone knows and does what is expected from them. Managers develop trust for their employees and are reassured. They can focus on new goals and manage their tasks more quickly. Moreso, Gallup has found that managers in an engaged workplace focus on employees’ strengths and stand a better chance to practically eliminate active disengagement and double the average of U.S. workers who are engaged nationwide.”

C- Benefits for the company

Studies have found that disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually. On the other hand, highly engaged employees can have incredibly positive effects.

When employees are happy and satisfied, they will be motivated to contribute to the company’s success. Hence, goals can be easily achieved. Goal achievement is the number one key element that keeps a company alive and employee engagement has a lot to do with that. Other benefits of employee engagement include:

  • Having a better reputation as the best place for employees to work.
  • Strengthens the company culture
  • Enhances a better workplace relationship
  • Increase in retention rate as opposed to turnover
  • Huge impact on the organization’s financial performance

Different types of employees according to their engagement

In a company, not all employees have the same level of engagement. However, the engagement level of an employee affects their performance and influences the overall performance of the company.

Here are the three levels of employee engagement in a company:

1. Engaged employees

They are the dream of any company. Usually representing about 15% of the workforce. These groups of employees are the most productive and, therefore, the most desired. They innovate and bring effective solutions. They think about the development of the company as if it was their own.

This group of employees does not need to be under pressure to do their work because they are always undoubtedly active. PWC study says that engaged employees put 57% more effort into their work – and are 87% less likely to resign. Similarly, A survey conducted by Gallup showed that engaged employee outperformed their peers with 147% in earnings per share.

2. Indifferent employees

They are neither engaged nor disengaged. Focusing only on their duty and do not go beyond it even if they can. They are the most common group of employees in companies representing, on average, 67% of the workforce.

It appears that it wouldn’t take too much of an incentive to make an indifference employee leave his or her job. 69% of this group would leave for as little as a 5% increase in pay.

3. Disengaged employees

They are at the bottom of the ladder. There’s, on average, 18% of disengaged employees in a company. Working because they have to earn a salary. They have no interest in what they do and do not care about the results. This set of employees is the concern of business leaders as they pose to be unproductive and have a negative impact on company performance.

Factors determining engagement

Several factors can influence an employee’s level of engagement, but in this article, we will sum them up into five categories.

Factors determining engagement

1) Passion

It is good for employees to be in a place that suits them and do a job for which they are passionate about because the things we love doing, we won’t find stressful. The goal is to have the right employee for each job. “Choose a job you love, and you won’t have to work a single day of your life,” said Confucius.

2) Integration

This is about developing a sense of belonging for the employee through interaction. For a new employee, it reduces stress and anxiety. It puts the employees in a state that makes them do their tasks faster

3) Diversification

This routine is the hardest to implement for most companies. Diversification involves all employees and charges management to support employee differences. Hence, A diverse workplace is birthed. 

A good way to implement diversification is by creating an environment where employees can participate in other activities outside their role and have the opportunity to contribute ideas and solutions on different issues concerning the company.

4) Motivation

Employees must be motivated to do high-quality work. They must be inspired by the objectives to be achieved and motivated by them. Motivation is the energy that compensates for employee’s exhaustion and pushes them toward contributing to the goals of the company.

5) Interest

Without being the most important, interest remains the most crucial factor. It is illogical to engage in something without benefit. Interest is spread over several aspects. The employees must have to gain experience, know-how, and/or financial gain commensurate with what they are doing. They have to know that their efforts are appreciated to give them some sense of fulfillment in their work.

Methods to stimulate employee engagement

It is important to have engaged employees. Studies show companies with higher engagement rates are 21% more profitable than others. Here are some effective ways to boost employee engagement.

1. Encourage employees in their efforts

You have to be interested in what employees are doing, praise them when they do good work and encourage them to do better. Recognizing the merit of employees can motivate them to get more involved and improve themselves. Listen to their ideas and show them that they play an essential role in developing the business.

2. Encourage a good life-work balance

You must understand that employees are not machines. After long periods of work, a few hours of rest or entertainment would be welcome. Avoid putting too much pressure on employees to avoid stressing them or burning out. An exhausted or overworked employee becomes unproductive.

3. Job rotation

Most times, employees feel bored working on a particular project or role for a long period of time. They often need to change positions to allow them to learn and do other things. In addition, it will also enable them to appreciate the work of their colleagues. These will often be short rotations.

4. Allow employees to develop their careers

No one likes to stay at the same level. People want to realize themselves, evolve, and make a difference. So you have to give employees opportunities to grow and opportunities to do something great. Also, encourage them to do personal projects.

5. Encourage transparency

Share your ideas and successes with employees and allow them to share theirs. Do not hide your challenges and tell the truth when necessary. They will develop absolute confidence in you and will, in turn, be more transparent. Admitting that you also make mistakes will not make you less perfect because you can never be perfect.

6. Respect employees

It is crucial to assert your authority, but it must be done gently. Remember that your employees are also human beings and deserve respect. Talk to them with respect and avoid creating a hostile environment. They should not be afraid to approach you and share their ideas with you.

7. Train employees

Providing training to employees makes them more competent. They will have the opportunity to learn and develop their performance for their interests and the interests of the company.

8. Surprise employees

Offer employees paid holidays, bonuses, promotions, or make small gestures to encourage them. It takes a budget to do this. Therefore, it’s an investment because the more employees are satisfied, the more they work efficiently.

9. Communicate and give feedback

Communicate with employees to find out their opinions and their progress in achieving their objectives. Listen to them and provide them with feedback. It is essential to keep in touch with employees and to make sure they communicate with each other. It may be difficult with a large number of employees. Still, for large companies, there are several tools to facilitate feedback. There is Happierco, for example.

10. Conduct regular assessments

Organize assemblies every weekend or every month to track activities. This allows you to evaluate the level of employees, to congratulate those who have progressed well and to help those who are not making enough progress. Discuss any difficulties encountered and suggest solutions.

11. Don’t forget to have fun

Include moments of play in your planning. Organize parties, board games, or team outings. This strengthens the bonds between employees, facilitates integration, and, above all, relieves stress.

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