The best business leaders know that one of the highest indicators of successful employee retention and higher productivity is employee engagement. Many people assume that this means employee satisfaction or believe that if they provide a workspace full of perks, engagement is guaranteed. But what does employee engagement really look like?
- Sense of purpose: The most engaged employees report that they understand how their work fits into the overall mission of the company. They believe their work matters, and they know how it has an impact.
- Connected to goals: Relatedly, engaged employees buy into their company’s vision of the future and feel invested in their work because they believe the goals of the company matter. They also believe that the company is investing in them and supporting them as they meet their individual and professional goals.
- Good relationships: Employee engagement is seen through collaborative relationships and in people who feel accepted and valued in their teams.
If you feel like these areas are lacking and want to see more proactive, productive and passionate employees on your team, here are some things you can do.
- Solicit feedback more often: Engaged employees believe their company cares about them and that they should care about their company. Find out if your management measures up. Ask your employees for their feedback on their work, on their team and on anything related to their work life. Letting them know you care and want to make improvements creates more invested employees.
- Practice empathy: Listen. Don’t just go through the motions. Remember that your employees are people and not just there to churn out projects. You don’t have to be every employees’ best friend and should never play favorites, but practicing empathy and patience can create better employer-employee relationships.
- Communicate effectively: Since employees want to know that their contribution matters and want to feel connected to the mission of the business, it’s important that these things get communicated often. Status meetings give managers a chance to share what’s coming down from leadership and also can give context to projects and what the overall goal for impacting the business is.
Employee engagement can lead to better business success in everything from employee retention to recruitment to branding. Helping your employees be more engaged is well worth the time and effort management needs to dedicate to the task!