Employee engagement is a hot topic these days. With the rise of the gig economy and the increase in telecommuting, many businesses struggle to keep their employees engaged and invested in their work. Here are some challenges of employee engagement and tips to improve it within your business.
Challenges of Employee Engagement
1. Defining employee engagement
Employee engagement is often described as an “employee’s investment of physical, emotional, and intellectual energy in their work.” In other words, it’s how much someone cares about their job and is willing to put forth the extra effort to ensure they’re doing their best. A company with high employee engagement typically has employees who are more productive, have lower rates of absenteeism, and are less likely to leave the organization.
There are several ways to measure employee engagement, but some common indicators include job satisfaction, commitment to the organization, and whether or not employees feel like they have a good work/life balance. By definition, employee engagement benefits the individual and the organization, so it’s important to make sure that it’s a priority in your workplace.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all definition of employee engagement. What engages one employee might not engage another. And what works for a company today might not work tomorrow. That’s why it’s so crucial for businesses to be assessing and re-assessing their engagement strategies constantly.
2. Creating an engaging environment
An engaging environment supports and encourages employees to do their best work. It’s a place where people feel like they belong and are valued for their contributions. Unfortunately, not all workplaces are created equal when it comes to engagement. Some environments are more conducive to this, while others find they have a lot of changes to make.
3. Measuring employee engagement
Measuring employee engagement can be tricky because it’s not always easy to identify the metrics that matter most.
Do you focus on attendance rates? Productivity levels? Turnover rates? Or something else entirely? There’s no right or wrong answer – it depends on what you hope to achieve by measuring employee engagement.
But regardless of how you measure it, one thing is sure: if you don’t have a way to track and measure employee engagement, you’ll never know if your strategies are working or if there’s room for improvement.
Tips for Improving Employee Engagement
1. Encourage Communication
One of the best ways to improve employee engagement is to encourage communication between employees and managers. Employees who feel they have a voice in the workplace are more likely to be engaged in their work.
One way to encourage communication is to have regular team meetings where employees can share their ideas and concerns. Another way to facilitate communication is to use an anonymous feedback system so that employees can give feedback without fear of retribution.
2. Recognize Achievement
Another way to improve employee engagement is to recognize achievement. When employees feel like their hard work is being recognized, they are more likely to be engaged in their work. One way to recognize achievement is to give awards or bonuses for a well-done job. Another way to recognize achievement is publicly acknowledging an employee’s accomplishments at company-wide meetings.
3. Offer Training and Development Opportunities
One of the best ways to engage employees is to offer training and development opportunities. Employees who feel like they are learning and growing in their careers are more likely to be involved in their work. Some ways to offer training and development opportunities include providing access to online courses or attending conferences relevant to your industry.
Consider financing specific offers like project management professional or PMP certifications to employees interested in becoming project managers. This shows employees that you are invested in their development and want them to grow within the company. It also allows them to learn new skills that can be applied on the job. And, as a bonus, it can help to improve retention rates by making employees feel like they have a vested interest in the company’s success.
4. Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to improve employee engagement is to encourage a healthy work-life balance. When employees feel like they have time for their personal lives outside of work, they are more likely to be engaged in their work. Some ways you can encourage a healthy work-life balance include flexible work hours, a telecommuting policy, and an unlimited vacation days policy.
Employee engagement is essential for businesses that want to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. But it’s also something that can be challenging to achieve.
By understanding its most significant challenges—defining it, creating an engaging environment, and measuring it—you’ll have better chances of improving it. Similarly, you can set your business up for success in this area by encouraging communication, recognizing achievement, offering training and development opportunities, and promoting a healthy work-life balance.