The Business Dictionary defines employee engagement as an “emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her employment organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work related activities.” Since a company’s most important asset is its human capital, employee engagement should be a priority for all companies. If it is not a priority for your company, it should be.
Establishing the Foundation for Employee Engagement
Studies have shown that the following items are necessary to inspire and motivate workers, and improve employee engagement:
- Respect – Respect is critical in the workplace. All employees want to be respected, by their co-workers and their boss, for who they are and what they do at work. (Respect is not only important to employee engagement, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has launched respect in the workplace as a measure to prevent workplace harassment. See previous blog article titled, Preventing Harassment in the Workplace Today.)
- Purpose – Any company should have an engaged purpose, which is a written statement that clearly communicates to the team: (i) the company’s products or services; (ii) the clients or customers it serves; and (iii) the reason for selling such products or providing such services. Additionally, each team member should understand that the work they perform for the company has a purpose that impacts the Company’s purpose.
- Relationship – Employees want to have a sense of belonging and feel a connection at work. A team member’s relationship with their boss or the individual they report to is particularly important.
Recognition of Your Team
After establishing the foundation for employee engagement, a vital tool to maintain employee engagement is recognition. Recognition does not need to take a lot of time, but it needs to be used regularly and consistently with all team members. The most effective way to recognize a team member is to: (i) identify the action the team member took that was worth being recognized and (ii) communicate the impact that action had on the company’s customers/clients or its workplace/productivity/profitability. Of course, there are other tools, besides recognition, which are effective and can be used to improve or maintain employee engagement. But, recognition is an effective and simple method, which has been proven to improve engagement.
Employee engagement cannot be overstated when it impacts a company in the following positive ways:
- It reduces turnover and improves employee retention. Employee engagement is critical for this reason alone, because companies spends so much time, money, and energy on the life cycle of an employee;
- Employee engagement also improves the productivity and efficiency of its employees;
- The use of employee engagement tools increases a company’s profitability as well; and
- Lastly, it ensures a higher customer/client retention rate.
In the current job market, where the unemployment rate is low, and the competition to hire and retain the best talent is tough, employee engagement is more important than ever.
Contact Nardone Consultants
Nardone HR & Management Consulting (“Nardone Consultants”) advises and represents employers in human resources ("HR"), management, and labor and employment law matters, including the development of HR structure and systems. When evaluating and developing a company’s HR structures and systems—such as a company’s performance management system—Nardone Consultants is always mindful of employee engagement, including recognition. A performance management system facilitates and ensures consistent and regular feedback and recognition to a company's team members. If your company needs: (i) HR structures and systems, including the development of a performance evaluation system or recognition program; (ii) representation in a discrimination or harassment matter; or (ii) in-house HR and employment compliance support, contact Nardone Consultants.