Engagement continues to be a hot topic for top-level management, directors, CEOs and HR. Its importance in productive and successful organisations is without question, and there continues to be a wealth of evidence to support the benefits of engaged employees.
So what’s the key to employee engagement? The single most important thing with employee engagement is empowerment. In order for employees to be engaged, they must be empowered.
The following three steps are all linked to empowerment, and were created from our experience in conducting employee surveys and partnering with organisations to increase employee engagement.
1. Innovate with your employees
Ask your employees what can be changed to make working better, quicker, more flexible and more customer oriented. Innovation does not always have to be on a grand scale; small-scale innovations also contribute to better organisations, working environments and higher employee engagement.
Many organisations often struggle with where to start, but asking employees to contribute to ideas about the necessary equipment or customer orientation issues are always a good starting point. Other topics that are great starting points for involving employees in innovations, are speed of service and recurring customer issues.
Employees are in a prime position to be able to contribute ideas and knowledge about such topics, and this is one of the most effective ways organisations can innovate. Asking employee’s opinions is a great motivator, and is a win-win for businesses; it both improves the organisation, and increases employee engagement!
2. Tracking down energy leaks
A second step to increase employee engagement is to track down and stop energy leaks within your organisation. Energy leaks happen in every organisation, and most commonly occur when teams don’t function properly and when there is tension between employee(s), management and/or departments.
In order to identify the energy leaks, organisations and HR need identify exactly what is going on; not by listening to rumours of the loudest employees, but by thoroughly asking the opinions of all the employees that are involved. Once the leak has been correctly identified, an effective solution can be found- which will not only stop the energy leak, but will also significantly increase the engagement of your employees!
It is important that organisations encourage employees to get better at their job. Employees often think that personal development and advancing their career, automatically means that they have to take the step from being an employee, to becoming a manager. This doesn’t always have to be the case.
Organisations that benefit most from developing employees make sure that employees are empowered, and given the freedom to hone their skills so that they develop from employees into specialists, and develop from specialists to experts. Employees that are adequately supported in their development gain more expertise and get better at their job, which in turn makes the job more enjoyable and ensures that the employee’s engagement increases.
As discussed the above are three steps that can be adopted by any organisation. Not only are they attainable steps, but experience has shown is that the positive effect on the engagement of your employees will be noticeable!