INTRODUCTION Employee engagement, also called worker engagement, is a business management concept. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. According to Scarlett “Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform is at work”.
Thus engagement is distinctively different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organizational culture. Employee engagement was “an employee’s involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with work. Employee engagement is a part of employee retention. ” This integrates the classic constructs of job satisfaction, and organizational commitment for understanding the impact of engagement. The opposite of employee engagement is a zombie employee. A zombie employee is a disengaged employee that will stumble around the office, lower morale and cost the company money.
More recently employee engagement has become an area of focus within organizations for the purpose of retention as a means of avoiding expensive employee replacement costs resulting from staff who voluntarily quit their jobs. 10 Common Themes: How Companies Measure Engagement Employers typically assess their employees’ engagement levels with company-wide attitude or opinion surveys. A sampling of the criteria featured in such instruments reveals 10 common themes related to engagement: 1. Pride in employer 2. Satisfaction with employer 3. Job satisfaction 4. Opportunity to perform well at challenging work . Recognition and positive feedback for one’s contributions 6. Personal support from one’s supervisor 7. Effort above and beyond the minimum 8. Understanding the link between one’s job and the organization’s mission 9. Prospects for future growth with one’s employer 10. Intention to stay with one’s employer Trends in Employee Engagement Over the past decade, and particularly in the past three years, employers and employees have faced human capital challenges and an uncertain economy. The economic downturn had a significant impact on companies and the resulting decisions made by management.
These decisions have impacted employee engagement levels and perceptions globally, leading to changes in leading drivers of employee engagement. In uncertain times, organizations need to focus on harnessing the discretionary effort that engaged employees deliver. This makes the difference in how companies are affected during the economic downturn, how quickly they emerge from it, and how strong they are in the future after the downturn passes. Top 5 Employee Engagement Trends 1) The recession was a perfect storm for Disengagement as pay freezes, benefit cuts and layoffs permeated the workforce.
The organizations will utilize their most Actively Engaged employees as mentors to help motivate and re-energize their disenchanted colleagues. 2) Company morale and Engagement levels fluctuate dramatically during tough economic times. Now the economy is slowly rebounding, such ambivalence will lead more organizations to get a pulse on company morale through Employee Engagement Surveys, department meetings and focus groups. 3) As the economy continues to improve, more and more employees will begin to look for other job opportunities.
According to Harris Interactive, over half (54 percent) of employees plan on looking for a new job once the economy improves. The importance of retaining employees, especially high performers, cannot be underestimated. HR professionals will start to devote more time and money toward establishing a strategic retention plan and understanding their organization’s key retention factors. Beyond compensation and benefits, offering effective training and professional development, increasing career advancement opportunities and improving work/life balance will prevent companies from losing their top talent. ) More organizations and HR leaders will embrace social media as a means of not only engaging employees but also recruiting new ones. For example, organizations can use internal social networks to recognize employees for a job well done or promote initiatives that the organization is doing in the community. Companies can also use social media to reach potential job candidates. 5) Multi-national “super unions,” which represent employees in multiple countries, are predicted to skyrocket in the coming years. Over the past decade, the healthcare industry in particular has been very susceptible to union formation.
Smart employers will begin to determine which of their departments are vulnerable to union formation and decide what steps need to be taken to preempt unionization before it occurs. Things important to Employee Engagement * Employee clarity of job Expectation * Career advancement/improvement opportunity * Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors * Quality of working relationship with peers, superiors and subordinate * Perception of the Ethos and values of the organization * Effective internal Employee communication * Reward to Engage 5 Keys For Developing An Employee Engagement Strategy
Engagement is built one team at a time, one person at a time. And each person has different needs and expectations. They use impact planning to start a conversation with employees about engagement and work with employees to build their engagement over time. The most effective long-term engagement strategies build a foundation on which front-line managers feel empowered to create an environment that promotes employee enrichment. Whether you’re just beginning the journey, or you’re evaluating your current strategy, here are five key considerations for strengthening you engagement strategy. 1. Draft a provocative vision and values
The operative word here being, “provocative. ” A company’s vision and values should excite and inspire its employees and they should help you find and attract like-minded loyalists to your organization. Often the companies weaken their own identities with vision statements and values that suffer from overly safe or generic terminology. Rather than investing in the words that clearly articulate the foundational ideals and beliefs that make the company unique, they opt for popular, catch-all phrases to describe their core values – such as “Problem Solving,” “Innovation,” “Collaboration,” and “Client-Centric. Frankly, those should be the givens in every organization. Rather than inspiring everyone, they’re actually inspiring no one. To build trust and confidence in the direction and future of your company, take the lead on finding provocative messaging that will not only align your talent around a common purpose, but also engage their hearts and minds with the belief that how you work (values) is as important as what you accomplish (vision). And, if you’re not in a position to do this for the company as a whole, look for ways you can start to apply it in your division, department or functional area. . Create opportunities for personal and professional growth The employee’s responsibility, define their next career opportunity. In turn, it is the manager’s responsibility to help clear a path and coach their employees into a new position. Of course, it required disciplined communication. Managers and employees engaged in candid, direct and authentic coaching in real time. Whether your company has formalized career paths in place or not, it is your responsibility as a manager to engage your people in those type of conversations.
Connect with them. Let them know you genuinely care about their future and then encourage their development. 3. Help team members find the purpose in their work People fail to realize is that it also discounts the work everyone is doing. It suggests the work being done doesn’t matter. And sadly, people start to believe it. Soon after, it starts to show in the quality and outcomes of their work. If a person does not have a purpose for why they do what they do, it is hard for them to produce meaningful work.
As a manager, you can help team members define meaningful work by engaging them in strengths-based conversations. It can be as easy as having your team complete the to identify each team members’ five dominant strengths. Talking through the results as a group, you will undoubtedly uncover a few interesting surprises while team members find new ways to relate with one another. 4. Introduce meaningful, memorable (and measurable) recognition The most powerful, memorable stories are related to simple, personal – and often random – acts of appreciation.
The stories that consistently stand out are not about extravagant gifts or bonuses, but rather small and sincere gestures made when the recipient least suspected it. As a result, it helps to have a formal, enterprise-wide recognition solution in place to provide managers with tools to inspire and connect with team members. Formal recognition solutions create visibility for the recognition that is occurring and help infuse those behaviors into the culture. Managers and employees begin to learn from each other, and as a whole, the organization can learn what behaviors are most valued.
If your company does not have a formal recognition program in place, create one for your division, department or team. It doesn’t have to be extravagant as long as it enables genuine, timely and relevant recognition that is visible to the entire group and simple to evaluate. In time, you will realize the whole will become so much more than the sum of the individual events. 5. Effectively managing through the ebbs and flows of engagement Many people believe employee engagement is a “fixed” destination.
One that, once achieved, is static over time. However, in reality, engagement levels are continually influenced by complex and diverse factors and will ebb and flow over time. Sustainable engagement can be achieved by a manager’s ability to execute a traditional engagement strategy while also focusing on enablement and energy opportunities. We can enable sustainable engagement by removing the obstacles to great work, providing access to the right tools and resources, and coaching team members through challenges.
We can elevate energy levels by restructuring work flow to allow mental breaks during the day, encouraging a supportive and social environment, and amplifying the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding your team’s accomplishments. Conclusion Engaged employees can help your organization achieve its mission, execute its strategy and generate important business results. This report has highlighted ways in which different HR practices, including job design, recruitment, selection, training, compensation and performance management can enhance employee engagement. But these examples also show that employee ngagement is more complex than it may appear on the surface. Organizations define and measure engagement in a variety of different ways, suggesting there is no one “right” or “best” way to define or stimulate engagement in your workforce. The decision to invest in strengthening engagement or commitment (or both) depends on an organization’s strategy and the makeup of its workforce. For these reasons, it is vital to consider your own organization’s view of engagement, as well as its strategy and workforce composition when deciding which HR practices will receive scarce investment money.