Your employees are the most important investment your business has. They’re the ones that put in the work to create products and provide services. They interact with customers the most. And when push comes to shove, they’re the ones putting in the hours to make a project successful.
This is why employee engagement is one of the most coveted metrics in human resources. It measures how passionate workers are about their jobs and how committed they are to your organization.
When they’re highly engaged, they’re more likely to put in more personal effort into their jobs.
The Difference Between Engagement and Satisfaction
Although their definition may sound similar, employee engagement and satisfaction are two very different metrics to track.
Employee satisfaction is all about measuring how content or happy a worker is about their job. This doesn’t tackle the employee’s commitment or motivation while working. One of your workers can be satisfied with their work if it means they don’t do much for what they’re paid for. As such, efforts to increase employee satisfaction don’t always lead to increased productivity and performance.
Increasing employee engagement, on the other hand, brings out the best in your high-performing employees. The best performers want to be committed and passionate about their work. If you keep them engaged, your organisation has nowhere to go but up.
A study done by Qualtrics on employees in Australia and New Zealand found that highly-engaged workers are more likely to surpass their performance expectations. It affects your bottom line, too, as employers get about 2.5x more growth in revenue and 40 per centless worker churn when their employees are engaged. The study also found that over 53 per cent of Australia and New Zealand’s workers are engaged.
If you feel like your workers aren’t emotionally committed or motivated about their job, it’s time for you to take action.
Hire or Promote the Right Managers
According to the Qualtrics study, one of the top drivers for employee engagement in Australia and New Zealand is confidence in senior management in making the right calls. As such, you shouldn’t just promote high-performing employees into management positions. They may have all the traits of a good worker, but they don’t always have what it takes to be a great manager.
Mastery of soft skills is the priority when it comes to choosing a manager. After all, they’ll be focused on coaching their staff and pushing them to do better.
According to management training site, ResourcefulManager, the essential soft skills that leaders should have include:
- Good communication – Apart from being able to put their thoughts across, good leaders should also be great listeners. When promoting from within, look for workers that others love to talk with about their lives and their work. Communication is a skill that they’ll be able to use in a variety of situations, like coaching employees, negotiating deals and building workplace morale.
- Adaptability – Great leaders should be able to adapt to change, no matter how drastic. Apart from providing solutions to help the company stabilize during big shifts, managers should also provide employees with reassurance and guidance.
Provide Rewards for Top Performers
Another driver of employee engagement in Australia and New Zealand is recognised for good work. Your top performers worked hard to get where they are. And apart from a monthly paycheck and a raise every few years, they need other forms of recognition for their labour.;
According to the Incentive Research Foundation, non-monetary rewards are much more meaningful to workers than money. This is because cash just fades into their everyday lives, they’ll just end up spending it on bills or things they actually want – just like what they do with their normal paycheck. Non-monetary rewards, on the other hand, act more as trophies that they can look back on and think that their labour was definitely worth it.
Reward your top performers with memorable things, like airline tickets for vacation or exclusive corporate goodies. They’ll appreciate it a lot more than a cheque.
Give Them Opportunities for Growth
The best employees are never satisfied with where they are now. They’re always hungry for growth. Provide clear and concise metrics for promotion and appraisals and notify them of it. Provide training courses to help them up their skills and become better at what they do. Give them opportunities to make bigger decisions, too.
For example, your procurement officers in training can dip their toes into managing your workforce’s clothing and PPE together with your uniform management system provider. When employees know that you care about their performance and their progress, they’ll be driven to do a better job than yesterday.
When you want your company to grow, start with your workers. They’re the ones on the frontlines, putting in the labour to make your business profitable. As such, you want them to not only be satisfied but also engaged in their job.
Another great way to offer your employees opportunities for growth is to actually be a little more active when it comes to educating them. Large companies use a Learning Management System like myAko to offer their employees small courses and educational lessons to help improve their knowledge and teach them new skills. Since all of the learning content is created by your business and distributed to just your employees, it’s a fantastic way to pass down knowledge from senior members to juniors so they can learn more about how your business runs and what skills they need to make it better.
Use these suggestions to improve employee engagement within your company, and you’ll have a loyal and successful squad supporting you towards success.