Part of any astute business’s Employer Branding campaign should include a heavy focus on Employee Engagement. But what is meant by the term ‘employee engagement’? Another HR buzz phrase pulled over from our American cousins or a term for a policy that actually adds value to your company?
First, let us define Employee Engagement: essentially, it is a workplace practice developed to ensure optimum conditions for your staff such that they will be motivated to deliver their best efforts each day and are committed to helping the organisation achieve success. It’s about creating an environment where they have bought into the company’s goals, genuinely want to help make success happen and feel good about their part in it.
It’s a far cry from the old days when people should ‘consider themselves lucky to have a job’. These days, the world is getting smaller, there’s no such thing as a job for life, and candidates are looking to work in an environment where they actually want to be each day. It’s not unreasonable to want to love your job – the best part of each day is given over to it! It’s a job seekers market, so companies now have to put forward the best versions of themselves in order to attract the best people.
So, how do you go about creating a positive employee experience?
It helps to know what staff value about their working lives. HR Grapevine recently published the results of a survey conducted by The Institute of Leadership & Management, looking at the reasons people leave their jobs.
- More opportunity for progression (59%)
- Better pay (56%)
- More interesting job (50%)
- Better management (30%)
- More opportunity for training/development (27%)
- More opportunity for flexible working (18%)
- Nicer people (5%)
- Better options for parental leave (3%)
This list seems a good place to start when determining the aspects requiring attention to foster employee engagement.
The top reason cited for resignations in this article is the opportunity for progression. Within smaller companies, this can be more limited. However, progression could be translated into the desire to grow, rather than to remain static. Therefore, increasing the opportunities for training and development, delivered with additional responsibilities to put the training into practice will eventually give the employee a role requiring a salary bump. The new responsibilities will have the added effect of making the job more interesting. As the new skill set should generate new business for your company, it’s a win-win situation. The company retains Talent, the Talent grows and generates further success for the company.
Employees need to feel valued, that their role is integral to the success of the business. An effective way of communicating this is through regular feedback, whether by way of formal appraisals or through frequent, shorter, less formal one-to-one sessions. For the employee, if a manager notices what they’re working on, how they’re progressing and is able to provide helpful advice and constructive criticism, then clearly the work they’re doing is important.
A supportive management hierarchy is also essential. In order to provide this, managers require training in the art of managing people. So often, employees are promoted to a management or supervisory role due to their own abilities within that field. For example, a successful salesperson may be promoted to management, yet the very skillset that made them successful at sales is completely different to the skills a manager is required to have. So, rather than setting successful people up to fail, make sure they receive training in how they can best manage their team.
Set up a method for measuring the engagement level of your workforce. This can be tackled during appraisals, or it can be through other collective methods such as surveys. This should highlight areas where staff may feel less than happy and give management the opportunity to put corrective measures in place.
Employee Engagement is an on-going process requiring constant monitoring and tweaking. However, getting it right has immense benefits, the most prominent of which are low staff turnover, high talent attraction rates and increased productivity. Therein lies the ‘value-add’ for your business.
QPLtalent provides contract and permanent staff to the Finance, Marketing and Human Resources sectors. To discuss your requirements, or for help with your recruitment requirements, get in touch on 024 7699 2004.