Have you heard of the fable of the chicken and the pig?
When cooking a dish made of ham and eggs, the pig provides the ham -- which requires his sacrifice. The chicken provides the eggs, which are not difficult to produce. Thus the pig is really committed in that dish while the chicken is only involved, yet both are needed to produce the dish.
Who is more committed? (Answer: the pig.) And how do you get the level of commitment from your own workforce?
Less than 15% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. Engaged workers are the lifeblood of a profitable and successful organization.
What’s an Engaged Employee?
An engaged employee is highly vested in your organization. They bring consistent high performance, passion, and a connection to the company. They help support new initiatives, cheerlead other employees to perform at top levels, and champion customer relationships. Disengaged employees can be a huge detriment to a company. They have a tendency to have low performance and customer engagement levels, and truly see a job as just a paycheck – and not a way to support an initiative or better the lives of others.
Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?
In Gallup’s Q12 Meta-Analysis, researchers studied nearly 1.9 million employees and found a connection between employee engagement and the following performance outcomes:
- Customer satisfaction
- Employee turnover
Now, how can you create more engaged employees and turn the collective group into a highly engaged workforce? Here are five ways:
1 - Offer Continuous Performance Feedback
A two-way communication loop is important in any aspect of life. This is no different in a workplace. Employees who get constructive and regular feedback from managers and business stakeholders are more likely to be a committed member of the workforce.
- Leaders learn how to lead not manage
- Provide bi-annual performance feedback; that is transparent, fair, clear, and actionable
- Upskill employees with skills like social selling
- Offer coaching or mentoring opportunities within your company
- Have activities where peers can openly share learning and provide each other with feedback
2 - Let Employees Make Meaningful Contributions to Your Company
Employees who view their job as a means to offer a meaningful contribution to the betterment of an organization are more likely to be committed and engaged employees. You should aim to provide an atmosphere that allows them to collaborate on the process of building your business, and in turn, they will feel like they are making an impact on a greater scale.
- Ensure employees understand the vision and goals of your organization – and are collaborative in the process of defining them
- Create personal growth goals with broader business goals
- Drive ideals of corporate social responsibility and community-based initiatives by company-wide volunteering programs
- Remove unnecessary rules and streamline processes – like logbook or employee notes
3 - Take Time for Play
While you may associate play with children’s activities, taking time for play removes the stigma that work is boring, mundane, and a ‘job”. Take time to introduce fun into your organization to gain a more engaged workforce.
- Get outside! Hold meetings or touch bases al fresco
- Plan activities for the staff to give them an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the regular work environment. This could include mixers, barbecues, or other all-company functions
4 - Reward and Praise Employees
Appreciation is a fundamental human desire. Employees respond positively to reward and praise because it validates the work they’ve put in is noticed and valued. And when your employees feel valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises. And this has a favorable effect on a business’ bottom line.
- Offer standard performance bonuses for quality work
- Creating standardized recognition plans
- Focus on giving employees positive feedback, not just negative
5 - Make Technology a Priority
Ease and efficiency is important to the modern-day workforce. Technology allows businesses to scale and work smarter. In fact, employee scheduling and online logbooks offer ways to improve communication between managers, keeps a team on track & accountable, and it measures important stats/data to inform future business decisions.