Employee Engagement – Your No. 1 Blind Spot?

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Woody Allen

The famous quote above might have been true in the past, but businesses today require much more than good attendance. The new buzz word in business is Employee Engagement!

Except this isn’t just the newest fad or keyword in business, successful business owners and managers are recognising it’s essential to staying ahead in the market place.

Deloitte claims, “In an era of heightened corporate transparency, greater workforce mobility, and severe skills shortages, culture, engagement and retention have emerged as top issues for business leaders.” They go on to say that, “Organisations that create a culture defined by meaningful work, deep employee engagement, job and organisational fit, and strong leadership are outperforming their peers and will likely beat their competition in attracting top talent.”

So how would you define employee engagement? For me, it’s the extent to which people enjoy and believe in what they do and how valued they feel while doing it.

People tend to receive more pleasure and satisfaction from what they do if they’re in jobs or roles that match both their interests and their skills. As we already know, some individuals thrive in a team environment whereas some may prefer one in which they work more independently. Some people like jobs that require travel, while others prefer to be office based. Others like a high-risk/high-reward bonus plan, where others prefer a more predictable salary.

If employees feel and believe they’re making meaningful contributions to their jobs, their organisations, and society as a whole they tend to be more engaged. The connection between what people do every day and the goals, mission and culture of the organisation is crucial to engagement.

People want to be recognised and rewarded for their contributions. Rewards and recognition come in many forms, including competitive bonus packages, V.I.P. trips, even Duvet days. But perhaps more important is the heightened sense of worth employees feel when their leaders take just a few minutes to let them know that they are doing a great job and that their contributions are valued and appreciated. And please folks, don’t just do this in an email!

Deloitte research shows that in most companies engagement is very low globally with only 13% of workforces being “highly engaged.” And that most companies have a poor program to measure and improve engagement or no programme at all.

The problem company’s face is how to measure these things. How do you measure how much someone enjoys what they are doing whilst working, and to what extent they feel valued? Well you could just ask them, but not all employees will honestly tell you how they feel, or even have the vocabulary to express it best. So what’s the best way of finding out the truth so you can improve on your employees experience at work and so improve your client retention, get more return for your investment and have a more productive workforce?

One way, and the best way in my opinion, is for you to be in possession of an assessment surveying tool, so you and your management team will have a detailed understanding of which factors influence or hinder employee engagement within your business. Luckily there are now new tools to monitor employee engagement as easily as we monitor customer satisfaction and HR departments are raving about them.

Assessment surveying helps management determine whether or not employees align with their corporate values and if they are truly engaged and connected to their work. After all, an employee’s attitude toward their job will ultimately affect their productivity, enthusiasm and more. No matter how big or small your company, factors like a poorly implemented peer hiring process, high employee turnover, high recruitment costs, lack of communication, poor job fit and more are all things that can negatively impede your business. Employee engagement is essential in the overall success of a business and if you are a business owner, you play a truly pivotal role in employee engagement assessment surveying.

I now play devil’s advocate and ask, do you truly and honestly know how engaged your workforce is and how valued they feel, or are you just guessing?

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