One of the biggest buzzwords or buzz-phrases in business at the moment is “employee engagement”. And as with any business-related buzz-phrase, the more people who start using it, the more its meaning starts to evolve and change into something that everyone has their own individual take on.
So before the essential meaning gets away from us, let’s arrive at a stable, reasonable definition. According to Forbes, employee engagement equates to “the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.” That pretty much hits the nail on the head. It’s not necessarily about productivity or even happiness – it’s how the employee feels about where they work.
Sounds simple enough. But in practice, it can be a difficult thing for managers and bosses to maintain. That’s where your HR managers come in. HR managers:
Help to create employee engagement
A HR manager ensures management offer a supportive, honest environment for employees. Having that supportive environment is an essential part of feeling valued as part of a company. When employees feel like their concerns are paid attention to, it’s easier for them to let go of potential sources of frustration.
Create a people-oriented culture and gear it towards your employees
Research shows that millennials / Generation Y / whatever you want to call them are starting to represent the majority of the contemporary workforce. So if you want to stay ahead of the curb, you’ll want HR to help you gear your company culture towards them.
Gen Y workers are unique in their desire to feel especially fulfilled by their work, as well as their predisposition to a people-focussed culture. They also expect regular, honest feedback from their supervisors.
Rather than resisting those expectations, managers should be careful to listen in and foster them. A culture that circulates honest feedback and communication drastically improves morale and confidence.
Reinforce the value of what your employees do
It doesn’t stop at giving good or bad feedback. Both managers and HR managers need to reinforce the importance of every employee’s role. There are simple ways to acknowledge this – for instance, by just saying “thank you” at the end of each day.
Most importantly though, help them draw tangible connections between what they do and the business’ overall success. It’s often not easy for employees to see how their actions influence the big picture. Use the perspective that your unique position gives you to illuminate their understanding of how valuable their work is.
Reap the benefits of high employee engagement
According to that same Forbes article we quoted:
“Engaged Employees lead to:
- higher service, quality and productivity, which leads to higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…
- increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…
- higher levels of profit, which leads to…
- higher shareholder returns (i.e., stock price).”
Experienced business executives and leaders will all tell you the same thing. Optimised employee engagement will work wonders for your company.
Did this article help? Check out the rest of our blog, which is aimed at helping you optimise your workplace culture and employee engagement thanks to CarterLambert’s HR expertise. Start off with 5 HR Mistakes That Can Cost Your Business or Tips for Managers – Effective Human Resource Management.