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Critical, yet often overlooked catalysts for employee engagement

Since about five years ago, decision-makers have been more aware of the need for employee engagement, as well as the complete lack of this asset in the average business.

Since about five years ago, decision-makers have been more aware of the need for employee engagement, as well as the complete lack of this asset in the average business. Studies were released by several firms that revealed many organizations were simply not taking any targeted steps at boosting morale, productivity, engagement and efficiency among their staff members, leading to very tangible damages that were peeking through in a variety of areas. 

For example, when engagement is at extremely low levels, organizations are likely experiencing much higher turnover rates than are necessary, which comes with indirect and direct costs. Some studies put the figure at roughly one-third of the given employee's salary as the damage the company can expect when that person leaves, while other issues such as setbacks in productivity and a lingering essence of poor morale can also have dramatically negative impacts on any firm. 

This is why leaders should be looking at certain initiatives such as employee recognition and rewards programs as investments, and ones that not only work to improve the organization on a daily basis, but also ones that boost continuity of services for stronger brand images. Before turnover, churn and disengagement become significant problems, putting time and effort into bolstering employees' experiences should be a top priority. 

First, commit
Any of these programs or initiatives meant to boost engagement will simply not succeed when the company's managers and decision-makers have not put forth a full effort. Business Management Daily recently explained some of the ways that TIAA-CREF, a major financial services organization, has communicated its commitment to its employees in the past few years, highlighting some of the takeaways for others to consider when launching similar programs. 

For one, the source pointed out that leaders and managers of the firm have taken ownership of the program and worked closely together to get the job done, rather than paying little to no mind in this regard. According to the news provider, the firm also worked to make it clear that engagement was placed in the core line of objectives for the organization itself, which can have significantly positive impacts on all employees in the staff. 

Research and case studies have shown that employees will react much more preferably when they can clearly see that their employers are valuing the workforce and putting staff members first above all else. In the fast-paced, talent-thin environments of the modern market, having these values will not only attract new professionals, it will also work to retain those members of staff that make the company a better, more profitable entity. 

Finally, Business Management Daily noted that engagement should be approached similarly to virtually all other types of strategies and initiatives – seriously, with gusto and a steadfast resolve. 

Then, make it a brand matter

Channel Partners Online recently reported that engagement programs can have a positive impact on brand stature, and that this is something many underestimate in terms of value. Consumers are becoming more intelligent and engaged in their searches for organizations they wish to do business with, and when there is plenty of evidence that staff members are not happy at the firm, it will quickly turn off customers. 

According to the source, enhanced training, employee empowerment and rewards and recognition programs can all have a desirable impact on engagement, and subsequently the image of the company in the eyes of current and prospective clientele. 

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