The value of employee engagement in human resource management

Liselotte Evers

In this article we outline the value of employee engagement in human resources management. We will also share also tips on how to increase employee engagement.

Employee engagement in human resource management – Effectory

This article is part of a series about employee engagement. To have a clear definition of what is employee engagement in human resource management check this article also:

What is employee engagement?

At present the challenge for many organizations is how to create high levels of employee engagement. Decision makers recognize the added value of employees being involved into their job (engagement) and their organization (commitment), and the combination of the two to create the best scenario for both employees and organizations.

The benefits of measuring employee engagement

How to leverage employee engagement in human resources management

Despite the recognition from human resources management of the enormous added value that engagement can bring, there’s still some way to go before we realise the full potential of it. The Global Employee Engagement Index research conducted by us in 2018 revealed that globally just 25.3% of employees were engaged, whilst in Europe the figure was slightly lower, at 23.9%. 

Download the latest version of the Global Employee Engagement Index

Across Europe we also saw large regional differences. Leading the way were the Nordics, where 27% of employees were engaged. At the other end of the spectrum, just 17% of employees in the UK & Ireland were engaged.

The influencers of – and HR’s role – in employee engagement

In some of our previous research we also investigated the influencers of engagement, and discovered that the following four employee survey statements have the biggest correlations with high engagement:

  • My manager motivates me in my work
  • The work of my team contributes to the success of the organization
  • I feel that I fit in at my organization
  • I feel that I am appreciated by my organization

From our work with organizations around the world, we see that the above four influencers provided managers, CEOs and directors with tangible and actionable points that helped improve engagement. Working alongside those individuals and driving the two key themes should be HR.

Employee Engagement strategies – the top 7 according to Effectory

Human resources have the tools and knowledge to create strategies that really increase employee engagement within organizations and, in doing so, can show stakeholders both their contribution to business performance and their added value as part of the business.

Employee engagement roles and responsibilities: management strategies for HR

We believe HR can help create high employee engagement in organizations, and illustrate their added value, by focusing on positively impacting the latter two influences.

1. Employees fit within organisations

The first area that HR can positively impact is the cultural fit within organizations, and this can be achieved in three ways:

Hiring based on cultural fit

Skills can be taught, cultural fit cannot

HR’s role here is to focus on creating a match between employees and organizational culture.

Prospective employees should complement an organisation’s culture and there should be an immediate feeling from HR that the interviewee matches with the organization’s culture. 

The ultimate guide to employee onboarding

Safeguarding culture

Once employees are hired, human resources also have a key role in making sure new employees remain on board by safeguarding organizational culture. Human resources have a unique position within organizations because they are the mediators between an organization’s stakeholders, its business objectives, and employees.

By inhabiting such a position, human resources can make certain that the direction and strategy set by stakeholders fits with the culture of the organization.  In this way, human resources adds value by helping organizations to avoid any potentially damaging rifts that could jeopardize their culture. 

Communication of values

Alongside safeguarding culture, human resources have a duty to ensure the continuous communication of their organization’s values. As mediators and business partners, HR are perfectly placed to facilitate continuous communication by helping to keep organizational values on the agenda. Not only is this valuable for stakeholders, it also helps maintain employees’ feeling of belonging and pride in the organization they work for.

2. Appreciation from the organization

Alongside cultural fit, human resources can make sure that employees receive adequate appreciation from the organization and add further value by recognizing performance and building a culture of praise and recognition.

Recognizing performance

In liaison with managers, human resources need to make sure that outstanding individual and team performances are recognized and rewarded. Taking the lead in sharing regular performance related insights (obtained from measuring tools such as employee surveys) is one area where HR can illustrate real added value.

Key organizational metrics should be made visible throughout the organization, and no-one is better placed to do this than HR. 

Building a culture of praise and recognition

HR can build a culture of praise and recognition. Ideally, employees not only receive appreciation from managers but also colleagues. Encouraging employees to do so and creating an environment where praise is well received has a tremendous positive impact.

Make sure you have the right employee engagement partner to support you in enhancing employee engagement. You may be interested in our ”6 key criteria to find the right employee engagement survey provider” article, or finding out more details of Effectory’s solutions and plans.