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How to Increase Employee Engagement in the Workplace

01 February 2023

The Gallup State of the Global Workplace survey revealed that only 15 percent of employees feel engaged in the workplace. According to the same survey, 67% of the participants felt "not engaged", while 18% saw themselves as "actively disengaged".

If you belong to the large majority of organizations struggling to get their employees engaged, there is a fair chance that you have started to feel glum and hopeless about ever being able to change this around.

Thankfully, the truth is that, not only is employee engagement very much possible, but it is actually considerably easier than most organizations think it to be.

In this blog, we will be talking about employee engagement, its importance, and the ways in which you can increase employee engagement in the workplace.



What is Employee Engagement?

Before diving any deeper into the subject, let us come up with a working definition of "employee engagement".

Simply speaking, employee engagement can be defined as the level of dedication and enthusiasm that a worker feels toward their job. Hence, an engaged employee is one who cares about their job and the organization that they work for.

Unsurprisingly, then, employee engagement has a significant impact on a number of crucial aspects of a business, including employee motivation, customer experience, revenue and profitability, and employee turnover – and this brings us to our next question:



Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Like we mentioned, employee engagement is crucial to pretty much every important facet of your business.

After all, your employees are your company's biggest asset, and if this asset is not performing up to the mark, the consequences are likely to be dire. Research reveals that 92% of business executives think that engaged employees are more efficient and productive, and play a key role in enhancing the success of their specific teams as well as of the organization as a whole.

So, what are some of the core benefits of high employee engagement?

Higher Retention and Lower Employee Turnover:

Naturally, an engaged employee will not feel the need to seek out new employment opportunities. An employee is likelier to stay loyal to an organization when:

They are being appreciated and recognized for their efforts

The organization offers opportunities for career and personal development

They are kept in the loop about any major organizational changes that could affect their role or responsibilities within the organization

Higher Productivity:

The more engaged an employee is, the more productive he is going to be. The more productive an employee is, the more work they are going to get done in a given amount of time with minimal wastage of time and other resources. Research has shown that engaged workers are 17% more productive than their unengaged counterparts.

Moreover, the quality of the work they produce is going to be impeccable, helping to create maximum value for your clients and organization.

Reduced Absenteeism:

Engaged employees are more aligned with and committed to the organizational vision and mission, and they are likely to put in every effort possible to make sure that that vision is realized and the mission achieved.

This commitment and alignment are going to serve as a strong motivator for employees to get up, show up, and get the job done. Unsurprisingly, then, highly engaged organizations report 41% lower rates of absenteeism.

It is important to note here that an employee taking the occasional day off is also a sign of their engagement: they feel secure and stable in their role and are confident that a day off is not going to jeopardize their job or significantly impact their workload.

However, once you start noticing absenteeism patterns, it is time to start investigating a deeper problem.

Hence, companies that focus on making their employees feel valued will benefit from a skilled, dedicated, and productive workforce.

On the other hand, businesses that fail to adequately nurture and reward their staff are unlikely to maximize their employees’ potential, even if they hire the most talented people on the block.

Since you are researching ways to increase employee engagement, you probably currently belong to the latter group. However, all is far from lost – as the next section of this blog will cover a number of tips, recommendations, and suggestions that will help you take your employee engagement to heights that you never thought possible.



How to Increase Employee Engagement in the Workplace?

Focus on Your Employees' Wellbeing:

Individuals are far likelier to engage with your organization when they feel that it is going above and beyond to ensure their well-being.

One way to improve employee well-being is to emphasize workplace ergonomics. Ergonomics in the workplace can be improved by:

Installing adjustable chairs and desks like the Willow Pro Solid Wood Standing Desk

Encouraging movement and physical activity

Creating the right environmental settings (ideal lighting, humidity, and temperature, for instance)

Minimizing repetitive movements by switching tasks

Other ways to improve employee well-being are:

Offering flexible working schedules and work-from-home options

Reducing stigma around mental health

Promoting a healthier lifestyle

Making your employees feel heard

Accepting regular feedback

Provide the Right Tools:

This is one of the most important (and overlooked) ways of enhancing employee engagement. According to the 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, an "enabling infrastructure" is at the top of the list of global employee engagement factors.

A key aspect of a company's infrastructure is the processes and tools that employees use to perform their jobs and the organizational capabilities at their disposal. When employees encounter obstacles in effectively performing their roles (something that is more common in larger organizations), engagement levels tend to take a hit.

For instance, if the company's protocol requires employees to obtain four or five approval signatures before ordering even simple stationery items, things can get very frustrating very quickly.

Despite the increasing complexity of businesses in general, employees need to be able to sail smoothly in order to remain effective in a dynamic environment. Hence, organizations need to ensure that their employees have all the required tools and resources at their disposal, and they are not operating in an overly bureaucratic or inefficient environment that hampers their ability to get things done.

Promote Interaction:

Your workplace need not always be a workplace.

In fact, developing healthy relationships beyond the professional environment is crucial for enhancing communication, collaboration, and, by extension, engagement throughout the organization.

Workplace communities and events allow like-minded employees to bond together and develop relationships that they might not have been able to create otherwise.

Promoting cross-team projects and developing intranet hubs are two easy and effective ways of encouraging employees to bond and connect.

Provide Individual Attention:

The workforce has become more multigenerational and multiethnic than ever before; such diversity means that employees need to do away with a "one-size-fits-all" approach to boosting employee engagement and identifying a unique and personalized solution for each employee.

The Philadelphia-based organization, Timberlane, requires each of its employees to fill out a test. This test is associated with the Predictive Index and helps the company understand each worker's individual tendencies.

These results are then shared with the managers so that they know, for instance, which employees thrive on public recognition, or which employees struggle to adjust to new groups. The data also helps managers assign tasks that their workers are likely to be most comfortable doing. Moreover, the test results are also used to make better hiring decisions – another factor that leads to higher employee engagement levels. At the same time, managers can use the survey results to alter their own communication styles according to the personalities of their teams.

Train:

Earlier, we talked about providing employees with the right tools to do their jobs – something that is closely intertwined with creating a culture of continuous growth. By fostering such a culture, you also send the message that you believe in your employees' abilities and potential and are willing to hone them.

Thankfully, training and development initiatives do not always require huge budgets. Cross-training – where employees learn to perform other employees' jobs – is an inexpensive and seamless way of enhancing your workers' skill sets.

Many employers feel that owing to the prevalent culture of job-hopping, providing regular training opportunities makes little sense. However, when you create a platform for employee growth and development, you not only increase the likelihood of current employees not jumping ship but also put yourself in a better position to attract top talent. The Container Store, for example, offers over 250 training hours during an employee's first year at the organization – and it is no coincidence that the organization has been part of the Fortune Magazine list of best places to work, for more than two decades.

Final Word:

To sum up, employee engagement is crucial to the short- and long-term success of your business. The investment you make in your workers will pay you back manifold.

Now that you know the steps you need to take in order to boost employee engagement in the workplace, it is time to get down to work.