Employee engagement data can be used to determine how your employees feel about working for you. Why does creating and sustaining employee engagement matter? Higher levels of engagement have been shown to increase productivity and profitability while decreasing employee turnover.
Curious about how to create and sustain engagement in your own organization?
First, it’s necessary to understand what drives engagement.
What drives engagement?
According to the 2019 Employee Engagement Report, nine of the top 10 drivers of engagement relate to the company and its senior leaders. This includes company culture, benefits and compensation, and trust of senior leadership, amongst other things. What this means is employee engagement initiatives have to start at the top. Senior leadership must be bought into changes being made to improve the employee experience.
With that in mind, here are five ways managers can impact employee engagement:
1. Empower your employees to navigate their own growth.
Career growth doesn’t have to mean simply developing skills relevant to a current position. It can also mean finding opportunities for personal growth or developing skills that will allow them to take on a new role in the future. Ask your employees to assess their current strengths and passions. Then, work together to create a career path that marries their long-term goals with those of the company.
2. Recognize the accomplishments of your employees.
Employee recognition goes beyond pizza parties, recognition gifts, and certificates. Your recognition efforts should be as diversified as the team members that make up your company.
Successful recognition understands that each individual receives appreciation differently. Get to know what makes your team feel validated, then create a system for recognizing your employees that way. For instance, how would you recognize a team member with low extraversion who values words of appreciation? A simple handwritten note of thanks or a 5-minute personal meeting can help them feel recognized and validated.
3. Meet employee expectations through continuous learning.
The same engagement report found one of the top ten engagement drivers relates to learning and development. Workforce education is often offered in the form of college tuition repayment, internships, and management training programs. But what about coaching and mentorship opportunities? These programs allow employees to get more support with their personal and professional development. When employees grow, your company yields a return on the investment.
4. Maintain consistent communication
Another driver of engagement is communication—open, honest, transparent, two-way communication about the organization and any changes being made. As part of your engagement plan, look for ways to clearly and consistently communicate with your employees. This could include all-company meetings, an internal site where key communications live, or regular 1:1 meetings between direct reports and their managers.
5. Develop self and other awareness.
The same engagement report also found companies that use behavioral assessments to improve team communication and collaboration see 33% higher employee engagement rather than companies that don’t.
These assessments can help employees generate self-awareness so they can better understand how they’re wired to work and how to best interact with others. When employees are made aware of others’ results, they can better tailor communications and interactions with one another. This increased self and other awareness can contribute to higher performing work teams and a more cohesive, collaborative work environment.
Leaders play a key role in engagement efforts.
From senior leaders establishing benefits employees want and creating a culture for employees to thrive in to managers who offer personalized rewards and recognition, leaders play a key role in employee engagement.