In the past several years, strong employee engagement has become one of the more sought-after elements of business operations management, as the advantages of sustaining high morale are vast.
In the past several years, strong employee engagement has become one of the more sought-after elements of business operations management, as the advantages of sustaining high morale are vast. However, the highest engagement rates do not necessarily come easy, and demand a significant amount of planning, effort, oversight, persistence and diligence over time to reach and maintain.
From employee rewards and recognition programs to operational refinements that boost the fluidity of a given company, the impacts of enhanced engagement strategies can do a lot more for a company than just boosting morale. What's more, the rising volume of companies that have started to partake in these types of strategies has provided today's business owners with a variety of best practices, guidance, recommendations and more to help their programs succeed in practice.
Executives at larger firms, as well as small business owners and agency managers in the public sector, must remember that optimal employee engagement will only be realized when a team effort is put forth that brings together the various departmental leaders in the organization. The C-Suite and human resources will need to play a central role, but getting as many individuals involved in a cohesive engagement program will tend to yield the most positive outcomes, especially in terms of returns on the relevant investments.
"Between 10 and 15 percent of employees in the global workforce are estimated to be entirely disconnected from their employers."
First, how to get it done
PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report that highlighted some of the more important aspects of a successful employee engagement strategy. The organization pointed out that somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of employees in the global workforce are estimated to be entirely disconnected from their employers, representing significant risk of high turnover and poor productivity, among other problems.
Here are a few key takeaways from the PwC report on how to build employee engagement proactively and effectively:
- The three 'C's': The organization affirmed that engagement programs should involve high levels of connection, consistency and continuous improvement efforts. Connection is characterized by increased collaboration among employees, consistency pertains to the uniformity of employee treatment and continuous improvement relates back to the need for agile programs that are frequently assessed and refined.
- Plan of action: Engagement programs that are not guided by intelligent and forward-thinking plans will rarely succeed. As such, the firm suggested moving through a "PDCA" cycle, which consists of planning, doing, checking and acting. Set a plan, stick to it in a consistent fashion, but do not allow poorly performing aspects to continue over time.
- Measurement: This one is especially important for leaders trying to pitch engagement-related investments to officials, and is equally critical to ensure long-term performance improvements. PwC recommended a simple index that could be used to measure the program, but each business should build a unique metrics framework to customize oversight of the program.
The three core aspects of employee engagement programs can act as the foundation of the strategy, but businesses should strive to make these initiatives more robust over time. Using a reliable provider of engagement program services can expedite the returns for a company.
What to expect
When employee engagement programs are operating like a well-oiled machine, the direct and indirect benefits are vast. Harvard Business Review reported that one Gallup study found organizations that have the highest levels of engagement generally enjoy an average 22 percent increase in productivity, as well as 25 percent less staff member churn and a 48 percent reduction in safety-related incidents.
According to the news provider, Gallup Research's chief scientist Jim Harter, Ph.D., explained that engagement also breeds attentiveness and vigilance among staff, leading to a more stable and resilient organization.
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