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Employee Engagement – It’s not all fluff!

Employee engagement is a favoured term amongst us HR folk, and many people may think it’s just one more nonsensical term to add to the HR jargon list, but alas employee engagement is not all fluff and I’m about explain why, so pay attention people! So, what is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to a business and its goals.

So what? You are probably saying why the hell do I care if someone is “emotionally committed” to my business? How does that even matter? Well according to Gallup it does, and believe me, they know what they are talking about.

Gallup has been conducting analytics and delivering advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems for literally decades they have worked with thousands of organizations around the world, studying engagement survey results from more than 25 million employees. They are now seen as Guru’s when it comes to employee engagement and have used their countless years of experience to perfect their survey questions. From this endless research they created their unique Q12 survey: 12 employee survey questions with proven links to workplace performance outcomes.

What Gallup’s research has proved over and over again is that;

“Engaged employees lead to better business outcomes…”

Through their research they have demonstrated that there is direct link to how engaged your employees are and 8 key business metrics. So what can an engaged workplace mean to you?

  • 37% Lower absenteeism
  • 25% Lower staff turnover
  • 28% Less shrinkage
  • 48% Fewer safety incidents
  • 41% Fewer patient safety incidents
  • 41% Fewer defects
  • 10% Higher customer satisfaction
  • 21% Higher productivity
  • 22% Higher profitability

Are you listening now! So clearly employee engagement is not all fluff, it can have a real quantifiable impact on your bottom line.

So what can you do to improve employee engagement in your business?

Most business owners and leaders think that improving employee engagement must cost a fortune, but they are wrong! I am about to share a few really cost-effective ways to improve employee engagement starting today!

  • Conduct an employee engagement survey and share the results!

The first step in improving employee engagement is benchmarking where you are currently at! If you have never done an employee engagement survey before then now is the time to actually ask your employee’s “Hey Guys – how do you feel about working for us…?” By asking for the feedback employee’s will instantly feel like you care about them and their opinions… So step one is really about engaging in a conversation with your employees about how they feel about things formally or informally! So simple! But don’t stop there you also need to communicate and share the results… AND be willing to act on areas that need improvement… You may think this will cost a fortune but you can do the survey yourself, if you google employee engagement survey questions you will be able to use survey monkey or question pro to do it yourself online. Or HR Gurus can assist by giving you access to the Gallup Survey – it is not as expensive as you may think it is!

  • Implement a Bottom-Up Management Structure

Some of the most successful organisations have a non-traditional management structure of bottom up not top down? This theory is not new but put simply works. How many decisions have you made behind closed doors without getting the buy in of the people who will actually be impacted by the change? Well stop and think next time you have an issue or a big decision to make in your business – get your key stakeholders in a room and get them to come up with ideas on how to solve the problem, you will be surprised by the results! Not only will the ideas be much more practicable when it comes to implementing the changes your people will be much more likely and willing to comply!

  • TALK to your people and LISTEN to them.

They want to feel valued. A quick, ‘how are you?’ or ‘thanks for your effort today,’ will go a long, long way. And, mean what you say. People are intuitive and will know if you don’t actually care. People want to be a part of the team. Plus, they probably know more about their job than you do. Hey, you might even LEARN from them.

  • GIVE DIRECTION – Implement a formal review process….

People need to know what they are supposed to do and how to do it. Don’t be afraid to coach when they need it, and praise when they are doing something well. Most people want to a formal review where they receive feedback about their performance about twice a year. HR Gurus has implemented our Performance Development & Planning Program across countless SME’s across Australia… The results have been improved performance and increased profits!

  • REWARD your people – What gets rewarded gets repeated

As a basic need, people want to feel they are being paid FAIRLY for what they do. But add some creative rewards in, too. A day off on someone’s birthday doesn’t cost much, but it makes people think, ‘This is a great boss to work for. They care about me.’ At HR Gurus we give out $50 Sportsgirl vouchers every month at our team meeting to employees who have been living our values, once again not a big cost, but big impact!

  • HAVE FUN – People work better in a positive space

Of course, within reason. Laughing at work and enjoying yourself is not a bad thing. People will work harder if they enjoy their workplace. Don’t be afraid to encourage a positive place where people can actively feel part of a team and even better a community!

  • LEAD by example.

Your managers will follow suit if you are walking your talk, and your people will respect you. So don’t forget to practice what you preach! The fish rots at the head and if your behaviour and attitude is on the nose, this will trickle down throughout your organisation… So think about this, if you think its ok to berate your Managers publicly or arrive late to meetings you are setting the tone for you culture without even knowing it!

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? We think so, and it’s not just us. We have actually used this formula with many of our clients, and it really WORKS. You just have to get it, stick to it, and do it. It is no secret that this is what gives you a competitive edge. (Why do you think the big corporates have an entire team of HR professionals slaving away working to improve employee engagement? Because big business gets that this HR stuff matters, and they completely understand that it is not just fluff. People’s performance = money!) We may sound like a broken record, but it’s because we are so passionate about this!

So if you would like assistance to improve employee engagement in your organisation give us a tingle!

This blog was written by resident Head Guru Emily Jaksch…

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