What Is Employee Engagement?
When your employees are committed to working with your company and its objectives, they’re engaged. While there are multiple definitions of the term “employee engagement” the general consensus would be employees who are working towards the company’s goals and objectives. It’s seen as a mutual relationship between the employer and the employee. To be a bit more technical, engagement is characterised by energy, involvement and efficacy.
Why is it so important? Engaged employees are more likely to stay in your company compared to disengaged ones. This reduces turnover rates in your company and it also increases revenue growth of the company.
All in all, having good employee engagement reduces cost, increases revenue, and retention. It’s a win-win situation.
The Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report found that 79% of organisations around the globe are putting a huge emphasis on employee engagement.
But how engaged are the employees?
Employee engagement has seen a decline in many markets globally. Malaysia has seen a decline in employee engagement by 2% and is tied with Singapore for having one of the lowest percentages compared to its Asian counterparts.
Unfortunately, Asia isn’t the only one experiencing a problem with engagement. In 2014, Less than one-third (31.5%) of U.S workers were engaged. This number which would seem low, is actually an increase in employee engagement.
Why employees leave and how can you engage them?
Lack Of Career Advancement Opportunities
One of the very many indicators of why an employee may be disengaged is to look at the reasons for jumping ship. According to a research conducted by LinkedIn, more than 50% of Malaysian professionals chose “Lack of career advancement opportunities” as one of the reasons to leave their job.
While sending your employees for training and workshops are good initiatives, the question is how well do they translate to the career of employees. Does management hold one-on-one meetings with employees regarding their career goals and progress? Have they made an active effort in understanding the career goals of employees?
Listen to the feedback of your employees and let them tell you what their career goals are, and how the efforts of management can help.
An Unhealthy Relationship With The Manager
There’s an old adage that goes around, and that is “People leave managers, not companies”. It’s a saying that is so often heard that you start to wonder if it is even true. According to a study by Gallup, 50% of adults left their jobs because they wanted to “get away from their manager”.
This being said, employee engagement also starts at the top. Good managers would encourage employees to do their best and not slack off. However, just because a manager is strict about working doesn’t necessarily mean that the manager is bad. There is a proper way of managing employees by not looking like the Hellraiser though.
A Poor Onboarding Experience
A good onboarding experience lets employees catch up to speed on what can and should be done in the company. It also serves as the first impression for a company, and like first dates, it lets people decide whether something or someone is worth the commitment.
It’s important to go through just how an employee can contribute, and just how long it takes for them to start contributing. Well-structured onboarding experiences go a long way in engaging your employees.
We’ve talked about how a good onboarding experience can help increase productivity, engage your employees, and help retain your employees.
Doing The Wrong Job
Hiring the right person for the right job holds a lot of weight in the context of employee engagement. It is fundamental that employees assigned to a particular task, are capable of execution. The hiring process should be well informed on what is required of new hires to work in a particular role.
A survey from The University of Phoenix suggests that half of the working adults in the U.S are still searching for the right career.
This also means that just because you’ve hired someone with an MBA to be a receptionist doesn’t mean you can’t relocate them internally. Properly carrying out surveys on your employees can give you valuable data on how you can engage your employees and what role suits them the most. Hiring internally even costs less than hiring externally.
Not Getting The Recognition They Deserve
Even if employees are engaged, have companies done a good job at giving them the recognition they deserve? An employee may have been engaged with a company, but when they’re being undervalued it’s hard to imagine engagement to continue.
IM Flash which had a lower turnover rate than the average in their industry went ahead and drove it even further down by leveraging on their employee value proposition (EVP). This meant compensating their employees and giving them a set of unique benefits, making them feel valued.
What’s important to note is that IM Flash didn’t just throw a stack of cash to compensate their employees. They conducted a survey and listened to their employees, and started working on properly compensating them.
For a long time in history, Google has been known as the “best place to work”, it’s the dream company for many people and a benchmark for HR departments globally. Aside, from all its great benefits and compensation packages. Google has done a good job building its employer branding.
Realistically, not many companies out there will have the resources to build a cereal bar in the office. However, employer branding isn’t just about how many perks are offered to an employee.
It’s about how the employees resonate with the brand. Do the interests of the organisation and its employees align? Are employees involved with the brand personally? But most importantly, do organisations trust their employees?
Letting your employees generate content about your company can be one of the most rewarding initiatives to improve your employer brand. By giving employee generated content a chance, companies get to show how much they trust their employees. That by itself is a value worth working for.
Do keep in mind that it is very important to keep in mind that it is more cost effective to retain employees rather than hiring new ones as mentioned in our onboarding article.