03 Nov Top Three Ways Your Company Can Improve Employee Engagement
A 2021 Gallup Poll on Employee Engagement showed a decline for the first time in a decade, and the trend has continued in 2022. Given this trend and the continued robust job market, how can leaders, supported by their Human Resources departments, improve employee engagement and strengthen work culture?
First, let’s identify some findings from Gallup surveys:
- Engagement for hybrid and remote workers is 27% higher than that of fully in-office workers.
- Disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity, and 15% lower profitability.
- Fewer than 1 in 4 U.S. employees feel strongly that their organization cares about their well-being — the lowest percentage in nearly a decade.
Gallup surveyed a random sample of 14,705 U.S. full- and part-time employees and measured several workplace elements, including:
- Employees’ level of agreement about clarity of expectations
- Opportunities for development
- Whether they believe their opinions count at work
In general, the survey found that engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace, while actively disengaged employees are disgruntled and disloyal because most of their workplace needs are unmet.
Actions You Can Take to Improve Employee Engagement
There are some simple and effective strategies organizations can implement to improve employee engagement and create a more positive work culture.
- Set clear expectations –Vague, unclear or ever-changing expectations are symptoms of a larger issue. The age-old problem of leaders not doing a good job or knowing how to set performance and development objectives with their team members is common as is failing to implement a regular feedback loop to let employees know where they stand. Creating a process for regular one-on-one communication will greatly improve expectation-setting.
- Create a connection to your mission – This is a more strategic action, but it is also more subjective on an organizational level. It’s not hard for a company to come up with positive linkages between their service/product and making the world a better place. While this is more of a younger generation theme, it is impactful, and everyone wants to feel they are contributing to the greater good. Positive communication organization-wide creates a spirit of shared purpose.
- Set clear guidelines around a hybrid work policy – I believe most companies have not made it a priority to set clear guidelines around a hybrid work policy post-COVID. As we have come out of the pandemic, it is critical to know your own expectations as a company, put them in writing, and disseminate them to employees. Good communication and a positive culture are difficult to create if employees see different approaches being taken in different departments.
Additional Practical Tools to Improve Employee Engagement
Here are some simple tools to help you start improving employee engagement right now:
- Pair your strongest and weakest people managers in a mentor program.
- Set guidelines for the frequency managers are required to meet one-on-one with team members as well as with their entire team. Use an agenda that stays away from tactical problem-solving and focuses more on discussions around bigger-picture topics.
- Start a manager’s book club. Here is a suggested title to start – “Everyone Deserves a Great Manager” by Scott Miller.
- Revisit the performance management process your company uses and breathe new life into it. It can be the ‘tip of the spear’ for turning things around.
- Look for free courses on platforms like Coursera to learn more about one-on-one communication and encourage managers to complete them.
With all of the economic uncertainty we have faced globally, it is not surprising that employee engagement has declined. But how you, as a leader, approach it is what will set you apart from the competition and enable you to attract and retain top talent.
For more information on how to improve employee engagement, please contact us at the email or phone number below.