Let’s face it: employee engagement is imperative to running a successful company. Why? Employees that are committed to achieving the company’s bottom line help improve customer service sales, productivity and retention, among other components that are essential in sustaining a successful business and retaining employees. This is nothing new: according to a study conducted by Hewitt Associates, in 2009, companies with a 65 percent or higher engagement level proved to have an average of a 19 percent higher total stock market index than the average company. Moreover, companies with high levels of engagement on average have more than triple the return on equity and assets compared to those without. If you haven’t started thinking about how this affects your company, we encourage you to start.
Remember that engagement is directly correlated to how much employees want to see the company succeed; they not only understand the company’s values and goals, but they believe in them and want to work hard to accomplish those goals. Employees who are ’satisfied’ or ‘motivated’ don’t necessarily have an emotional stake in the success of the company, and that connection is key.
So think of it this way: the relationship employees have with their companies is similar to dating. Yes, the relationship may end at any time, but at the end of the day you want the relationship to last. How do you do that? Listen. Communicate. Respect their personal and professional goals. Celebrate them and their accomplishments. Grow together.
Here are the top 5 ways to keep your employees engaged:
Show them the big picture. Define the company’s goals and values and break down how their work is helping the company overall. This will prevent unintentional resentment from growing in employees who may feel uncertain about the future of the company or may feel under appreciated.
Consider whether your employees are getting what they deserve from their job. Benefits. Intellectual stimulation. Salary. Company culture. Appreciation. What one needs to feel valued differs from person to person, so talk it out and make sure your employees are getting what they need out of the company.
3. Invest in their Professional Careers
Keep your promises; show that you are equally dedicated to advancing your employees’ careers as they are. Mentorship programs can be a powerful way of expressing to employees at all levels that you want them to succeed and that they have a future at your company.
4. Employee & Manager Relationships
Remember, it’s like you’re dating right? Listen to your employees and show that you value their opinion. Celebrate in their victories, and know that a small “thank you” goes an incredibly long way. Trust is key: show them that you are invested in them and they will invest in you.
5. Ditch the Office for Play
Happy hours. Go-karting. Volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Choose an activity that fits with your company’s culture and take a company field trip. Encouraging social interactions outside the office space boosts internal communication and promotes an organic exchange of ideas. Team building activities are a great way to foster cohesiveness within your company and also encourage your employees to actively network both inside and outside the confines of the office.
Your employees – at any level – are your company’s most important assets. You have incredible human capital at your fingertips, so milk it.
Want to easily motivate your employees? Download our free whitepaper: How to Build an Awesome Employee Engagement Plan.