Employee engagement is the emotional commitment employees have to an organization. According to Gallup, employee engagement is up in the United States. The poll saw an increase from 36 percent in late 2020, to 39 percent in January 2021. Only 14 percent of surveyed employees report being disengaged. If this ratio of engaged to disengaged workers continues for the remainder of 2021, the United States could hit a record level of employee engagement.
These numbers are encouraging, especially considering the current challenge of employee retention. Some employees in your organization may have been waiting for a better job market (hint, hint: it’s here) to make a career move. Capitalize on the current engagement momentum and bring greater meaning to your employees at work with these six ideas.
Ask employees what motivates them
First, treat each employee in your organization as an individual, not merely one of the masses. Learn how your people work best, what workplace benefits they value most, and what career goals they hold. When employees believe that they are seen and heard as unique individuals, they will feel valued and become increasingly loyal.
Prioritize employee engagement from day one
Employee engagement starts with new hires. Ensure the onboarding process incorporates a purposeful engagement plan, along with basic training and other introductory activities. For example, create clear goals for the first 90 days of employment—what you want people to learn and accomplish during that time. Share information about who employees will be working with, including how those people fit into the broader organizational structure. A new hire who understands how their job impacts the organization will have greater buy-in from the start.
Communicate career paths
Ensure all employees know the opportunities available to them to grow their careers. When individuals voice interest in a particular open position or next rung on their career ladder, work with them to build steps toward these specific goals. It’s more cost effective to retain engaged employees than to train new ones, so keep your staff growing and moving internally.
Focus on feedback
A consistent exchange of information between supervisors and employees is especially critical for remote teams. According to the aforementioned Gallup study, 45 percent of employees say they were receiving feedback from their manager either daily or a few times per week in 2020, up from 26 percent in 2019. Ongoing feedback ensures employees are on track to meet their goals, keeps them focused on performance targets, and reminds them how their work affects the organization.
Develop mentorship opportunities
Offer an open program where employees can apply to be mentors or mentees based on the skills and abilities they can impart and the knowledge they wish to gain. Mentoring relationships can be traditional (an older worker teaching a younger employee), reverse (a younger employee teaching an older one), or peer (small groups of employees who want to learn various skills from each other).
Champion learning and development
Engaged employees like to learn. Offer opportunities for staff to develop their knowledge and skills. Allow employees to identify which strengths they’d like to optimize and how they want to grow. Enroll them in professional education or learning experiences. Above all else, involve employees in their own development from day one.
Engaged employees feel that their jobs are meaningful, provide autonomy, ensure growth, and connect them to the organization’s mission. Are your employees engaged? Brighter Strategies believes that when your people are working to their full potential, the entire organization wins. Learn more about partnering with us to better engage your employees this year.