Employee Engagement and Recognition Work Together
No business sets out to have disgruntled, disengaged employees, but that’s the unfortunate reality in most American workplaces. The Gallup organization recently released the results of their “State of the American Workplace” study, which concludes that 70% of American workers falls either in the “not actively engaged” or “actively disengaged” camp.
That’s certainly discouraging, unless you look at it as an opportunity to improve your workplace leadership by actively investing in your employees. Even if not specifically discussing your company, the Gallup findings indicate most employers can and should improve their employee engagement efforts.
Why Employee Engagement Matters
Engaged employees are the ones you’d call your “dream” workers, the ones who stay late and come in early just because the job needs to be done. These workers are likely the ones your customers rave about, the people who take customer service to another level. Workers who are engaged are invested in their future with the company, making them perfect candidates to become your management bench talent and future leaders.
If those abstract benefits don’t convince you, think about this, from the Gallup report: “Organizations in the top decile of engagement outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share, and have 90% better growth trend than their competition.”
In short, engaged employees increase the profitability of your business.
How to Improve Employee Engagement
A fascinating article published by Fast Company gives some key suggestions for employers looking to improve employee engagement.
Make sure the right people are in the right jobs.
Previous success in one area of the company does not ensure good managerial style, and promoting a bad supervisor is a surefire way to alienate promising employees. Make sure you are promoting employees who have successful leadership qualities—namely, a balanced focus on both results and cultivating employee talents.
Make your expectations clear.
Mystery is great—in a thrilling film or edge-of-your-seat novel. In the workplace, employees should always know what you are expecting of them and how they can achieve it. Benchmarks and goals should be established together, and supervisors should be following up regularly with employees to ensure that they are getting the training and mentoring necessary to reach those goals. When changes happen, communicate them clearly so that no one is left in the dark.
Provide employees with everything they need to do their jobs effectively.
Every company is cutting costs where possible, but those cost-cutting measures shouldn’t undermine the efforts of your employees. Give them what they need to do their jobs, whether that comes in the form of equipment or training or institutional knowledge.
Recognize and praise your employees often.
No one likes to feel ignored or undervalued, so don’t underestimate how much a bit of recognition can improve employee engagement. Good workers deserve to be honored for their efforts, and that recognition can work to teach other employees what specific behaviors the company values and appreciates.
Implementing the advice here, and recognizing how important employee engagement is to a successful business model, will help you reach your goals more quickly. Investing in your employees is a crucial element to successful business leadership.