According to the Harvard Business Review, 70% of employees are unable to select their own company’s strategy on a multiple choice quiz. As employee interests and company interests fail to combine, companies themselves become disconnected. Employee engagement is incredibly important to the health of a business. But how can it be improved?
Strategies for Improving Employee Engagement
While many companies have been focusing on soft benefits (such as being able to bring their dog to work), studies have shown that these benefits aren’t really increasing engagement. Rather, companies have to focus on methods such as:
- Looking towards their analytics. Statistics show what employees really want, rather than what they might say they want. For instance, employees might say that they want flex-time, but in fact, it becomes apparent that they are less engaged and less productive with flex-time because they are out of the office too much to interact with their colleagues. (On the other hand, a different company might say they want childcare, but statistics show that flex-time actually helps them perform better.)
- Speaking with their employees. The employees can tell their employers what is and isn’t working for them, though again, analysis is important to ensure that employees aren’t just reporting their point of view. Too often, managers make sweeping changes without consulting their employees and can end up in a situation that’s worse than the start.
- Interacting with direct management. Direct managers and supervisors often know quite a lot about what their employees need or don’t need. Furthermore, employees are far more likely to leave management than they are to leave a job; if managers have issues with specific employees, it’s those employees who are likely to be most at risk of leaving.
The truth is, a one-size-fits-all solution will never work when it comes to employee engagement because all employees are different. Introducing a “free breakfast bar” doesn’t work if employees would rather have work-from-home. Analysis is the only thing that helps leaders to lead.
The Long-Term Importance of Employee Engagement
Why is employee engagement so important that businesses need to start collecting data on it now? While it may be difficult for companies to know how to engage employees, they definitely know that employees should be engaged. There are many measurable benefits:
- Better work product. Engaged employees understand the company’s direction. They are able to produce better work because their missions and values align with corporate interests.
- Greater revenue growth. Study after study has shown that the bottom line grows when employees are engaged. Engaged employees are continually looking for ways to improve rather than just punching the clock.
- Less turnover. Most employees don’t want to leave work if they don’t have to. But employees who aren’t engaged are going to jump at any opportunity. Turnover leads to high costs.
As you can see, employee engagement is critical to the success of a business. But it can be hard to tell how employee engagement can be improved without the right data. Contact Starr & Associates to find out more about how to get started.