A content, loyal and hard-working workforce contributes to the success of many businesses. Most companies grappling with balance sheets, supplies and premises really know that the ultimate key to their success is people – and specifically, the quality of their own staff. It makes sense then for businesses to put employee engagement at the top of their agenda.
Put simply, employee engagement is the emotional connection which an employee feels towards their employer/company. The strength of this connection will influence the employee’s behaviour and their level of effort at work. The greater the level of engagement, the greater the focus.
Employers will get better results from their workforce when:
- An employee feels mentally stimulated by their work
- There is trust and good communication between employees and management
- An employee can see how their own work contributes to the overall company performance
- There is an opportunity for growth and development within the firm
- The employee has a sense of pride about working or being associated with the company.
Now it may seem a stretch for employers from a variety of sectors to be able to apply all of these factors to all levels of work within their company. However there is always something more which can be done to improve employee engagement whether it concerns a shift manager in the cleaning sector, a labourer in the construction industry, or the assistant director of a hospitality start-up.
Some strategies for improving employee engagement include:
- A positive induction programme for new starters – starting as you mean to go on will give a real boost to the loyalty and hard work you get from new staff
- Great communications – keep in touch with employees about what’s going on in the company, recent highs and successes and consult them about new ideas and invite feedback.
- Be generous and fair with praise – saying thank-you and recognising individual employee’s efforts leads to a more engaged workforce
- Offer opportunity for development – have regular appraisal meetings which include finding out how each employee wants to develop or how their existing work can be made more interesting
- Improve your employees’ work environment where possible (e.g. free tea/coffee, changing and washing facilities)
- Consider what perks and benefits you could offer e.g. flexible working, training, childcare. Offering a better work-life balance for employees can improve engagement.
If you’re serious about driving up the performance of your business then systematically examine how you can improve employee engagement. Don’t make it a footnote to your business plans but bring this essential management tool centre-stage. If you’re successful you’ll find the tangible benefits of employee engagement include:
- A motivated and valued workforce which reflects positively on how they make customers and clients feel
- Ideas for more efficient and improved ways of working coming from the ground upwards rather than from management alone
- A higher staff retention rate with less time and money spent addressing staff turnover
- A reduction in time fraud or ‘buddy-clocking’
- Higher productivity from a more content and focused workforce
There are a myriad of good management practices which the savvy manager or supervisor needs to stay on top of. Make sure that you have good workforce management systems in place and that you can assess accurate data about your workforce. This will enable you to evaluate and implement vital strategies for improving your business.
The Chronologic Workforce Management System is designed to make life easier – it brings together HR information and time and attendance data in one place. The system makes it simple to manage flexible working, TOIL and banked hours which can help employees enjoy a better work-life balance.