Employee Engagement

  • Employee Conduct
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

In this guide, we'll discuss what employee engagement is, why it's important, and ways to improve it in your business.

When running a business, the happiness and engagement of your employees should be one of your main priorities. The more engaged your staff are, the more likely they'll want to stay with your company for longer, work harder, and align with your business outcomes.

However, disengaged employees can negatively impact your company. For example, absenteeism rates might increase because staff aren’t committed to attending the workplace. So you must manage the issue of employee engagement correctly.

In this guide, we'll discuss what employee engagement is, why it's important, and ways to improve it in your business.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is how involved and enthusiastic employees are about their work and the company they work for.

It's the measurement of how much a staff member is committed to helping your business reach its goals. As well as how they feel towards the company, their job, and their colleagues.

Having an idea of employee engagement in your business can help you gain a perspective on crucial elements of your company culture.

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is vitally important for a number of reasons. For example, successful employee engagement initiatives can make your staff more inclined to work harder.

Let's discuss some outcomes of having a highly engaged workforce:

Increased employee performance

The more engaged employees are, the more likely they'll be to reach their key performance indicators (KPIs). Staff members regularly hitting their KPIs can aid with organisational success, which - as an employer - should be your number one goal.

But if someone doesn't feel engaged, they feel less motivated to work as hard. This may lead to other employees doing the same, meaning you can’t reach your business goals.

Increased employee retention

Organisations with high employee engagement typically have higher employee retention and lower turnover. Engaged employees are likely more invested in your business. As a result, they may feel encouraged to stay with your company for longer.

Increased retention is one of the most important benefits of employee engagement. Not only will you spend less time constantly training new staff, but you’ll also save money on recruitment. Which, you can then spend on your current employees' career growth.

Increased employee satisfaction

Another benefit of employee engagement is the increase in overall employee experience and job satisfaction. The happier your employees are, the further enriched your workplace culture will be, and ultimately, healthy workplace relationships form.

But the less engaged your employees are - there's an increased chance of a toxic workplace culture forming. Which can have detrimental effects on your business, such as an increase in absenteeism and workplace conflicts.

Better overall customer satisfaction

Engaged employees lead to better business outcomes, including customer experience. The more engaged someone is, the more likely they are to put more effort into speaking with customers and clients.

Whereas if someone feels disengaged from their role, they might feel less motivated to be polite and helpful to customers. This may lead to a decrease in overall business revenue.

What are the different levels of employee engagement?

Employee engagement is split into four different categories. It's important you become familiar with each of them - doing so means you can fully understand employee engagement as a whole.

Let's discuss each of them in more detail:

Highly engaged employees

Highly engaged employees will have high opinions about your company and their job. They don't just feel connected to their job, but have positive feelings about your business outcomes, and speak highly about it to their family and friends.

An engaged employee will more likely encourage their colleagues to do their best, which can further increase engagement within the team. They are also more likely to work effectively and make discretionary efforts in their role.

To put it simply, engaged workers will perform better, want to develop, and stay with your company for longer.

Moderately engaged employees

Moderately engaged employees will see your company in a moderately favourable light, meaning they like working for you but can see opportunities to improve.

Unlike highly engaged employees, they probably won't ask for more responsibilities and may underperform from time to time.

Moreover, they'll feel there's something about their job or the company that's holding them back from engaging fully.

Barely engaged employees

Barely engaged employees will be indifferent to your company and its successes, and may lack motivation for their position. Meaning they may only do as much as they need to do to get by, and sometimes less.

These employees will start to lack passion for their role and have no drive to develop within your business.

As a result, they may start to research roles in other companies, and in turn, be a high risk for turnover.

Disengaged employees

Disengaged employees will see your company and their place of work in a negative light.

They'll feel completely disconnected from your business goals, missions, and your future. As well as not committing to their role and the responsibilities that come with it.

Someone who is disengaged within a team may lead other members to feel the same way. So you must manage the issue correctly and do what you can to engage all your staff more.

How to measure employee engagement

There are several ways to measure employee engagement. You can do this by speaking with your employees to gauge their happiness, or you can carry out an employee engagement survey.

What's an employee engagement survey?

An employee engagement survey is designed to measure and assess how motivated and engaged your employees are. Typically, these are carried out annually or quarterly.

Carrying out employee engagement surveys is a fantastic way to gain insight into how your staff members feel.

They can also make you aware of issues you previously had no idea about, which you can then put right. For example, if you have a toxic company culture.

If you're looking to carry out a survey, you must make it effective. For example, you should:

  • Keep your questions simple but to the point.
  • Have at least one open-ended question regarding any improvements that can be made.
  • Make sure all areas are covered. For example, culture and management.

What to include in an employee engagement survey?

There are a range of questions that you can ask as part of your employee engagement survey. But to keep your survey effective, identify themes you want to measure, then create questions.

It needs to be clear to your employees what you're looking to measure, so their answers are true and honest.

Below are examples of themes and questions you can include in your survey:

  • Autonomy: Do they feel empowered in their roles?
  • Career development: Do they feel there are opportunities for people to grow and develop in the business?
  • Collaboration: Do they find it easy to work with other colleagues or other teams?
  • Communication: Do they feel there's enough communication in the company and that they're listened to?
  • Company leadership: Do they trust and believe in their managers or senior staff?
  • Diversity and inclusion: Do they feel the company is inclusive and treat all employees fairly?
  • Pay and benefits: Do they feel they're rewarded fairly for the hard work they put in?
  • Quality of services: Do they believe in the product or service the company offers?
  • Recognition: Do they feel that they're fairly recognised and appreciated by their manager?
  • Resources: Do they feel they're able to perform fully in their role with the equipment provided?
  • Training: Do they feel there are sufficient training opportunities to aid their development?
  • Work-life balance: How do they feel their work-life balance is?

You can either use an agreement scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree) or a rating scale (very good to very poor) for the questions you choose.

What should you do with the answers to the employee engagement survey?

Once you've carried out the survey, you should create a plan of action to combat any issues. For example, if one of the themes is a lack of work-life balance - then maybe introduce flexible working.

Failure to implement action after carrying out a survey will make it redundant and a waste of time. It will also show your staff that you're not willing to improve engagement and employee satisfaction.

How to improve employee engagement

Both improving and maintaining employee engagement are crucial to growing your business, and there are things you can do to ensure this happens. Doing so will show your employees that you care about them and want them to stay with your company longer.

Let's discuss ways you can engage employees further:

Implement employee engagement strategies

One way you can improve employee engagement is to implement employee engagement strategies. An employee engagement strategy comes in two forms:

  • At an organisation level: You work with your leadership team to find key drivers that will affect everyone in the company. For example, introducing an annual or performance bonus scheme.
  • At a team level: You work with the management team to make changes that will affect employees. For example, creating an achievable development plan for all employees.

Listen to your workforce

Another way you improve employee satisfaction in your company is to encourage open communication. This can seem small, but it can help make your employees feel listened to and valued. As a result, they’ll likely be more engaged with your business and its objectives.

Speak with your management team after one-to-ones and team meetings to see if any regular themes crop up. And if they do, make sure you act on them. Otherwise, you’ll fail to improve your staff’s work environment and culture, which could lead them to disengage.

Regularly carry out surveys

Don't just carry out one engagement survey every year or so, ensure you carry them out regularly. Conducting further surveys is a great way to track the progress of your employee engagement efforts.

They don't always have to be full surveys, if you've focused on a particular area - for example, development - produce a survey based on that issue. This way, you can see if the ideas you've implemented have worked.

Recognise your employees

If you want to create effective employee engagement, you must recognise your employees for the hard work they do for your company. Employee recognition is a simple task, but it can go a long way. For example, it can be as small as thanking someone for picking up an extra task.

It's good practice to hold weekly meetings with your staff to praise their ongoing work and highlight any wins. Doing so can boost both engagement and morale amongst your employees, thus creating a better overall workplace culture.

Communicate with your employees

Communication is a great way to improve employee engagement in your company. And this includes sharing the answers from any engagement surveys that you carry out.

If you're looking to make any changes to the business following the survey, ensure you communicate this with your employees beforehand. This will help you to understand if they are happy with the changes, as well as show them you're willing to make changes where possible.

Get expert advice on employee engagement from Peninsula

The success of your company can rely a lot on how happy and engaged your employees feel, making it highly important.

Having higher employee engagement in your business can lead to a decrease in turnover, an increase in morale, and lower absenteeism rates. Making it a highly important area that you should never ignore.

However, allowing your employees to become disengaged can lead to a range of adverse effects. For example, motivation, quality of work and employee morale might decrease.

Peninsula offers you expert 24/7 HR advice and support, to help support employee engagement. Contact us today on 0800 0282 420.



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