Employee engagement is a critical aspect to a productive and prosperous corporate culture. After all, only an engaged workforce is truly vested in the success of their company. That means there is an issue when, according to Business.com, 70 percent of American workers described feeling that they, “aren’t being engaged by their current position.”
Not only is employee engagement crucial for productivity, a recent report indicates that disengaged employees actually cost their company money. The study conducted by the United States-based Gallup Organization revealed the high price of poor employee engagement to be between $450 and $550 billion USD.
“If employees aren’t engaged, they aren’t actively involved in your company and their work. This translates to poor productivity and work that routinely falls below par,” wrote David Drummond in Business2Community. “If employees don’t care, they won’t care what they produce. And if that’s the case, your customers won’t care about what you’re offering them.”
While the statistics are alarming, especially for those in managerial roles, there are initiatives and ways employee engagement can be enhanced. Business.com elicited the advice of small business owners with a high level of employee satisfaction. Fostering teamwork was one of the recurring themes that emerged.
“The key to promoting the team spirit and turn your team members is showing each person how their individual efforts impacts other people and the company as a whole,” says Philip Kushmaro, Business.com writer.
Tim Eisenhauer with Entrepreneur suggests creating unabashed transparency at all levels for maximum employee effort. “Management transparency has a direct 94 percent correlation with employee happiness,” says Eisenhauer. “Trusting employees with sensitive information gives them a sense of deeper investment in the company and helps to create a more cooperative team atmosphere.”
Open lines of communication and transparency create a communal atmosphere that dismantles the counterproductive ‘us versus them’ mentality that can arise between management and employees.
Another often overlooked key component to a happy and productive staff is a clear definition of roles and expectations. As Michael Genereux, a Montreal based transportation executive who has experience overseeing large and small groups of employees, points out, “If an employee is unfamiliar or unaware of what needs to be done in order to facilitate a project or role they are less likely to get excited about their work”. Montreal’s Michael Genereux adds, “Be very detailed when giving directions and setting expectations, and ensure your employees know they can voice questions and concerns freely.”
Genereux also suggests letting employees know how the project they are working on or the job they do benefits the company as a whole. “Most importantly, I think employee engagement is enhanced most when the management and executives lead by example,” comments Michael Genereux.
Experts also recommend implementing a company intranet that allows for collaboration, communication and cooperation. “The internet is a social place – people can voice their opinions in almost all corners of it. Your intranet should be the same. Make it a place where your employees can communicate with one another, not just a place where you communicate to them,” reported David Drummond.
Employers have begun to implement a variety of these suggestions, as well as others, to increase engagement and productivity. Good news: their employees are noticing. In October, Gallup conducted a phone poll of more than 7,000 US adults and found that employee satisfaction in the United States is up to 32.1 percent. A number that is up almost two percent from March of this year.