An employee engagement strategy can play a key role in productivity levels, long-term employee retention, and fostering a positive work environment. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2015 Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey, 39 percent of employees are "very satisfied" with their jobs and another 47 percent are "somewhat satisfied." Let's take a closer look at what factors can impact employee engagement and satisfaction, and how companies can implement a targeted employee engagement strategy within their own organizations.
Focus on Professional Development
Professional development opportunities are an important part of employee engagement. Employees need to be challenged, interested, and connected with the work they're doing. This engagement can look very different depending on the individual employees and positions involved. While certain staff may crave the challenge of solving complex problems, others may focus on using their skills and abilities to contribute to the team's goals.
Think about the professional development opportunities and paths for each position in your organization. Some ways to improve professional development opportunities may include expanding employees' responsibilities and training or improving communication around why specific positions matter to the company. Help your employees see how they can grow professionally over time to help keep them focused and committed.
Respect and Recognizing Contributions
Employees often feel engaged when their contributions, ideas, and efforts are recognized and respected. How frequently are you asking employees for feedback and ideas to help improve internal processes? Do you offer a formal employee recognition program? Creating opportunities for contributions and recognition beyond day-to-day work may help strengthen employees' connection to your business.
Find ways to solicit and incorporate ideas from staff throughout the company, from the C-suite to the front desk. Consider implementing formal recognition programs that help shine a spotlight on contributors whose work may not always be easy to showcase. Create an effective feedback loop through employee performance reviews and look for opportunities to provide ongoing positive feedback throughout the year. When your team feels appreciated, they are more likely to contribute at a higher level while wanting to remain with the company.
Improve the Quality of the Work Environment
The day-to-day quality of the work environment can also play an important role in how engaged employees are. How does your corporate culture stack up? Evaluate what steps you could take to improve the day-to-day work environment. Are relations between employees and management cordial? Do teams collaborate well and get along? Is there a positive energy that permeates the general work environment? Each of these elements can play a part in establishing a healthy, positive company.
Train your managers on how to establish and maintain a positive relationship with their direct reports. Invest time in team building and helping the workforce forge connections. Stronger teams and positive employer/employee relations may help staff feel connected and engaged with their work.
From enhanced productivity to better employee retention, an employee engagement strategy can have a large, positive impact on your organization. As you develop your overall human capital management strategy and focus on talent management, remember to keep employee engagement in the mix.