As you scroll through your daily feed on LinkedIn one of the recurring themes is employee engagement and well-being. Slowly but surely, both employers and employees are beginning to understand the the significance and reciprocal positive impact of a work and life balance.
How and why does this matter to your company? Whether you work in an HR, a managerial or board level position – it’s time to pay attention as employee expectations are shifting.
For many years Sir Richard Branson has pioneered a people-focused strategy throughout his businesses. Virgin’s cultural philosophy is “people are our greatest asset.” He’s right. People are the foundation of most companies, so keeping a happy and engaged workforce is pivotal to a business’s success.
Here are three key areas of focus to begin your journey of increasing employee engagement within your company.
CREATING A SENSE OF ‘TEAM’
According to a recent Gallup study, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. Most of us naturally yearn for person-to-person interaction. When we are placed within a team and that team runs like a well-oiled machine, the potential is endless. In order to achieve this type of efficient and happy work space, there must be a clear company message that is recognised and supported from the top down.
Let’s say Employee A has been given a set of objectives to achieve within their team in order to help the company to surpass an overarching goal. This employee is given a direct path and purpose for why they do what they do. Employee B is not given a set of objectives and company goal, but rather continues a daily routine of ticking off their ongoing to-do list each week. The second approach naturally leads to a decline in self-motivation and lack of purpose within the role. The sense of being part of a larger goal and team is inspiring and encourages engagement and the desire to perform well.
Other ways in which you can increase engagement amongst a team:
- Open communication and support should be constant
- Opportunities for reward and recognition when teams hit goals
- Employees to feel they have a voice and are heard
PROVIDING A CLEAR CAREER GROWTH PATH
We currently have the largest ever workforce generation range – with five generations working side by side. More than ever, it’s important for companies to set a solid structure for growth and support for each employee. Businesses with a strong learning culture enjoy employee engagement and retention rates around 30-50% higher than those that don’t (ROBERT HALF).
Take for example employees born between 1981 and 1996 – millennials. It’s becoming recognised that generally this group transition between jobs every 1-2 years. But rather than see this as a negative within a business, perhaps we should consider why this is happening. Does this group have higher job satisfaction expectations? How will the workplace adapt to attract and retain the best talent? A report from The Bridge shows 86% of millennials would not leave their job if their employer offered career training and development.
If a company truly invests in their people, they will feel valued and therefore offer their loyalty and commitment back.
OFFERING BETTER BENEFITS & PERKS
We’ve been through decades of burning the candle at both ends and have seen this only makes for a poor work environment and demotivated employees. It’s becoming more prevalent for companies to now offer better benefits and perks from unlimited holiday and shared maternity-paternity leave to flexible hours and remote working.
Technology enables people to connect across the globe instantly. Offering flexible working hours puts the responsibility back in the hands of the employee to be accountable. Allowing employees to work from home builds trust, commitment and the desire to perform well. A 2017 YouGov survey of British business and employees found 89% considered flexible working to be a key motivator to their productivity.
Through benefits like these – companies will recognise a shift in attitude towards work quality and a task oriented focus, rather than hours completed. Many companies such as Apple, Vodafone and Unilever have already made this transitional shift and are realising the benefits of a happier and more productive workforce within their bottom line.
Silicon Reef is passionate about promoting better employee engagement. Within the next article in this series we’re breaking down how the Microsoft O365 platforms can support organisational employee engagement.