Much more than a catchphrase, the focus on employee engagement is here to stay, and cannot be ignored. Employee engagement is vital to a successful business seeking growth and prosperity but what does it mean and how can you achieve it?

A thriving environment

A study in 2015 from Aon Hewitt highlighted that those organisations reporting the highest levels of employee engagement demonstrated a 58% higher return for their shareholders: good motivation for ensuring you are providing the environment to promote excellent engagement levels.

Employee engagement is about having the right framework for growth and good practice. This results in an environment which encourages, and allows, employees to be their very best.

An employee’s perspective

Being engaged from an employee’s perspective means:

  • Feeling valued – through recognition for achievements, having a clear link between activity and the success of the company
  • Being energised and maintaining a level of interest – having a varied work plan, the opportunity to develop new skills and be stretched
  • Having a clear understanding of their role – allowing them to focus on appropriate priorities, having ownership of targets and successes
  • Strong team ethics – a willingness to provide and accept support, with the focus being the overall good for the organisation and team, not the individual in isolation
  • Trusting the organisation’s decisions and strategies – with a feeling of confidence and security in those decisions
  • Skill development opportunities – succession planning, investment in an individual’s futures and recognition for skills
  • Involvement in decision making – increasing the feeling of value and appreciation, heightening individual’s interest in the success of the organisation as a whole rather than just themselves, and encouraging a feeling of personal investment in the organisation
  • Pride and loyalty in the organisation – reflected in work ethics, productivity, “going the extra mile” and a keenness to do their very best

An engaged workforce is a happy workforce with a high level of emotional well-being. (Read our blog on encouraging your employees to be happy)

Employer’s perspective

Having an engaged employee from an employer’s perspective means:

  • High staff retention – talent remaining in the organisation, minimising risk and cost
  • Low sickness rates – saving time and money
  • Increased productivity – which comes from having a stable team that does their very best at all times, buying in to change and innovation, and commitment to the organisation’s vision
  • Champions for the company – at all times, impacting on the reputation and credibility of the organisation
  • Improved customer retention – through increased customer satisfaction, impacting on profit and turnover levels
  • Innovative and creative workforce – prepared to think out of the box, work together, accept change and drive the company forward to achieve growth and success
  • Staff conflicts and grievances reduced – through teamwork allowing conflict to be discussed and dealt with at early stages, and a trusting workforce having faith and belief in the policies and procedures in place
  • Open and honest communication channels – encouraging those with the skills, experience and knowledge to be key players in decision making encouraging early buy-in to change
  • Increase in profit – due to all the factors above. Innovation, creativity, commitment, stable customer base, lower recruitment and staff management costs, and every member doing their best, inevitably leads to an increase in profits

With those benefits, employee engagement needs to be at the top of your agenda. There is a checklist in our blog on employee emotional well-being which will help identify whether you are on the right path for engagement. However, engagement needs to be lead from the top to ensure decision making, communication and policies encourage the environment and results that you need to promote employee engagement.

Need some advice or want to get going?

If you would like help reviewing the level of engagement in your organisation and identifying how it can be improved, please do give us a call. We’re a friendly bunch and provide outsourced HR support that has a really positive impact in your business. Let us make a difference by finding a solution that works for you, so call us on 01473 360160 or through our contact page.