Solving the Employee Engagement Mystery
Now more than ever, organizations are realizing the importance of an effective employee engagement strategy. According to the 2017 State of Workforce Management Trends Report, 88% of respondents stated employee engagement was either “Extremely” or “Very Important.” However, just over 50% of executives admitted that they did not have a strategy for engagement, or that their strategy was outdated. Achieving the optimal level of employee engagement is no overnight task, but there are a few areas for organizations to consider while evaluating or implementing an effective strategy:
Ensuring that employees stay engaged and motivated starts with the new hire onboarding process. A recent report from Glint stated that 40% of new hires who experienced poor onboarding were more likely to be disengaged within their first three months of employment. The sad truth at many organizations is that a typical onboarding is often manual, paper intensive, rushed, or uninformative.
Efficient onboarding should reduce manual paperwork by digitizing the process, provide a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and goals, and facilitate a simple introduction between the new hire and their coworkers. This will not only allow the new employee to smoothly transition into their new role, but also create a good first impression of the organization.
Employees who receive regular, informative feedback are more likely to be engaged at work. Creating an honest and open work environment results in better transparency throughout the organization and will help employees and managers become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
This information provides guidance for the employee to be recognized for their strengths and pushed to improve upon their weaknesses. Feedback can be provided as often as needed, whether that is weekly, monthly, quarterly and so forth, but keep in mind that the more consistent and informative the feedback is, the more it can directly improve their level of engagement. Additionally, when feedback and appraisals are kept on record, managers can use this information to assign future goals and tasks.
One of the top priorities for many organizations recently is becoming an "employer of choice." When employees feel a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment while at work, their connection and sense of unity with their coworkers strengthens. Building upon this unity, organizations can retain employees who care just as much about achieving their personal goals as they do goals of the organization as a whole.
Getting to Know Your Employees
One of the easiest ways an employer can increase employee engagement is simply by getting to know their employees. A study performed by IBM found that 83% of employees feel more positive in the workplace when they feel trusted by their managers. If managers took time out of their daily routine to have a conversation with their employees, work related or not, they may learn more about their employees’ personal and professional aspirations. If an employee sees first-hand that their organization is making an investment in them, they will be more likely to engage at work and even invest more time and effort.
With 51% of the workforce reporting that they are not engaged and costing employers between $450-$550 billion annually, employee engagement strategies should be a top priority for organizations if they plan to remain productive and profitable. Organizations within the Health and Human Services industry typically have tight budgets and can’t afford the additional expense stemming from lack of employee motivation. Fortunately, implementing strategies like the ones mentioned above can help avoid these costs.