From blue-chip corporations to family-owned cafes, employee engagement has an enormous impact on the overall success of any business. Employees are the bread and butter of most workplaces and the difference between engaged and disengaged workers is huge.
Defining employee engagement
So, what exactly is employee engagement? The term describes the extent to which an employee is connected, invested in and motivated by their work. It includes the employee’s individual relationship with the company and their understanding of its values, vision and culture, as well as their emotional connections with colleagues and peers. Ultimately, engagement supports a set of behaviours and beliefs that unlock employee potential and ensure individuals perform at their absolute best.
Why employee engagement matters
While employee engagement may seem like an abstract concept, it’s actually one of the most important areas your business can focus on. At a glance, here’s why increasing employee engagement matters:
Engagement is one of the biggest drivers of productivity, with a new meta-analysis from the Gallup Organisation suggesting it improves performance by 22%. A positive and meaningful relationship with the company instantly improves efficiency and motivates an employee to work harder and smarter.
Engagement is a key driver of profitability, with a recent Gallup survey suggesting highly engaged teams translate to a 21% increase in profit. The findings confirm that employee engagement is much more than an undetectable mood and is instead something that can be measured and tracked.
A loyal employee is one of the most valuable assets a company can have. Not only do loyal employees work harder and hold themselves accountable, they also form genuine bonds with their workplace and become personally and professionally invested in its success. Loyalty is closely related to retention, which can have a significant impact on productivity and profitability.
- Health and wellness
Employee engagement has a direct correlation with health and wellness, with research suggesting engaged employees are more likely to exercise and maintain healthy diets. Engagement is also linked to less obesity and chronic disease, which instantly boost productivity and performance. Happiness is also linked to engagement, with strategies such as employee recognition, regular feedback and one-on-one meetings supporting the happiness and mental health of workers.
Employee engagement strategies
The benefits of employee engagement are clear. So how do you achieve or improve it? Here are some of the most effective employee engagement strategies…
Outline core values
Simple yet effective, outlining the core values of your company is a hard-hitting way to engage employees from the moment they sign their contract. A solid understanding of what your company stands for will help create a sense of solidarity among employees, as well as guide them when engaging with customers and making decisions. A slick onboarding process is a good place to start and will have your employees feeling engaged with your company and immersed in its culture from the very beginning.
Feedback can be a powerful way to build engagement and motivate employees. That said, according to the Harvard Business Review, offering negative feedback or ‘constructive criticism’ might not actually help employees. Instead, they should focus on positive feedback when staff get something right, which can work wonders for engagement.
Listen and learn
Feedback goes two ways and actively seeking feedback from employees is just as important as offering it. One-on-one meetings offer employees a chance to voice their opinions and more importantly, feel as though they’re being heard. A recent Salesforce study backs this idea, suggesting employees who feel heard are more empowered and are almost five times more likely to perform at their best.
Create a sense of purpose
With a staggering 89% of people believing sponsorship of charitable events fosters better corporate environments, there’s never been a better reason to introduce a little altruism into the workplace. From big gestures like volunteering days and fun runs, to smaller contributions like charity collection tins and thrift shop collections, introducing charity into the workplace helps to unite employees, create a shared sense of purpose and ultimately, increase engagement.
Prioritise employee health and wellness
Showing a genuine appreciation for the health and wellbeing of your workforce can have a huge impact on engagement levels. Something as simple as a daily bowl of fruit or a well-stocked tea bar can make your employees feel valued on a deeper level and is one of the most powerful ways to increase employee engagement. Focussing on individuals can also help to increase engagement. For example, offering flexible hours to working parents can have an enormously positive lifestyle impact.
Support growth and development
Offering your employees genuine opportunities to build their skillsets and advance their careers is a guaranteed way to improve engagement. Employees who associate their workplace with personal opportunities are instantly going to work harder than those who feel they’re being taken advantage of.
From the Starbucks rewards program to the Nike+ Run Club, gamification is a strategy used by the savviest of marketers. The concept describes the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts, using play-based strategies to engage, inspire and educate customers.
Gamification takes advantage of some of the most intrinsic human traits, including curiosity, competitiveness and desire for knowledge. It’s also fuelled by desires for recognition, as well as sense of belonging and community.
The Duo Lingo language learning app is another example of gamification at its best, and is packed with opportunities to advance through levels, win points and compete with fellow students.
Increase employee engagement levels in your workplace
At 3radical, we’ve taken the widely used concept of consumer gamification and reimagined it as a powerful workplace tool. With our help, you can drive deeper employee engagement across the board, including onboarding, mentoring, employee communications, teambuilding, talent management and workforce wellbeing. Want to know more about how to increase employee engagement in the workplace using gamification? To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact our team or request a demo of our unique Voco platform.