5 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
According to recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), American employees are moderately engaged at work. On a five-point scale that measures engagement, the average worker registered a 3.8. While 88% of respondents in the same survey reported overall job satisfaction, there's clearly room for improvement. First, how can a company determine if it is dealing with disengaged workers? From there, how might this be impacting their bottom line? And lastly, what steps can companies take to address problems with employee engagement and proactively promote a culture of engaged workers? Here are five important strategies.
Strategically Measure Engagement Through Employee Surveys
One way that companies can successfully identify problems with disengaged employees is to use tools to measure engagement. For example, an employee engagement survey can ask key questions about employee satisfaction, help target different elements associated with engagement, and identify areas for concern and improvement. Administering a survey can also help your company identify what it is doing well, and provide a data-driven basis for ongoing engagement initiatives.
Use Analytics to Identify a Problem
Beyond asking employees questions, companies can access insights about their business using HR analytics. For example, certain human capital management systems allow HR managers to pull reports that can help signal a problem. Signs to look for might include absenteeism, declining productivity, or poor performance reviews. Whether you're looking for trends to inform company-wide programs or specific individuals and departments that need more support, analytics can provide an objective perspective on what's happening in your business.
Start Engagement-Related Conversations Early
Starting employee engagement initiatives early in the process can help companies minimize disengagement. In many cases, this process really begins in the interview stage. What are a candidate's strengths, skills, and long-term plans? Are they a good fit with the pace and demands of the company? Look for employees who are a strong fit with your company's culture and whose long-term plans align with growth opportunities that your business offers. By prioritizing engagement as early as the recruiting process, it's possible to build a long-term foundation for employee satisfaction.
Explore How Your Senior Staff is Faring
While many companies have embraced initiatives to more effectively engage employees when they are onboarded, one segment that can be highly vulnerable to disengagement are long-term employees. Whether the root cause is feeling unappreciated or simply stagnation, it's critical to have a strategy in place for assessing employee engagement and satisfaction among your established staff. Look at senior management, middle management, and high-level individual contributors to name a few. These individuals can be especially important to your business – and improving their engagement levels can be as simple as increasing recognition, making sure your compensation is market competitive, and having mid-to-late career development discussions.
Consider Employee Engagement a Holistic Effort
Ultimately, employee engagement is the culmination of a number of different factors. Are you hiring the right people? Are your managers doing a good job communicating expectations? Does your company offer competitive compensation and benefits? Have you built a culture where people feel recognized and appreciated? When you're thinking about employee engagement, it's important to consider it as a cornerstone of broader human capital management initiative.
Disengaged employees are a significant concern for HR managers. They can have a negative impact on your company's bottom line and can even bring down your overall employee morale. By focusing on employee engagement as a priority in your human capital management strategy, your HR leaders will be able to take proactive steps to address disengagement issues throughout your organization.