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5 Considerations for Employee Engagement Programs

Studies have warned about the impending talent gap which many companies have already started to feel, and this has been a difficult ordeal for the average business owner to handle in a proactive sense.

Studies have warned about the impending talent gap which many companies have already started to feel, and this has been a difficult ordeal for the average business owner to handle in a proactive sense. When a company cannot staff itself properly, the chances of excelling in the market begin to dwindle, as operations will come to a halt when key employees are not present and ready to complete the tasks defined by their respective responsibilities. 

One of the best ways to combat the skills gap is to focus on the attraction and retention of talented staff members, which is firmly rooted in the level of investment a company is willing to put toward its workforce. With employee recognition and rewards programs in place, firms will be far better positioned to make their staff members content and even excited about their responsibilities, rather than putting them into a position where morale is low and a new job is desired. 

With the right level of attention to detail and understanding of what makes for a strong employee engagement strategy, businesses can begin to more proactively defend against the risks coming with the impending skills gap. Leveraging the services of a professional recognition and rewards program provider might be the best path forward, but having a tight understanding of engagement should be the first priority before provisioning commences. 

Here are five considerations to keep in mind:

1. Engagement is not synonymous with morale
Some decision-makers might believe that when morale is high in their organization, engagement is likely similarly positive, but this is simply not the case. High morale is a positive addition that often accompanies engagement, but not the other way around. Engagement is more fundamentally based in the ways in which the employee feels about his or her own performances, productivity, empowerment, responsibilities and more. 

Building morale is not necessarily a bad idea, but engagement should be a higher priority given the fact that it will yield strong improvements with respect to culture and satisfaction.

2. Engagement can be financially advantageous
Aside from the indirect benefits of employee engagement programs, businesses can also expect to enjoy direct advantages when cultivating and managing an effective initiative. When staff member turnover is minimized, this should be viewed as a significant and direct source of savings for an organization, as the average cost of a departing employees can be as much as two-thirds of their annual salary. 

3. Engagement does not demand investment
Although employee engagement programs do not necessarily need to be an expensive proposition, staff members do need to see some form of investment coming from the business for them to be truly effective. Part of engagement is ensuring that each workforce member believes that they are valued by their business and managers therein, meaning that a simple nod and handshake is not going to get the job done. 

Investing in robust rewards and recognition programs can come back with high returns when managed properly, while not putting enough effort into these matters can have the exact opposite result of what decision-makers will likely expect. 

4. Recognition boosts engagement
When employees are receiving recognition for strong performances in a consistent and amicable fashion, the chances of those staff members being a bit more engaged will be high. The best recognition programs will often bring a wealth of resources into play, ensuring that as many individuals are getting involved and managers are setting a healthy example for others to follow. Peer recognition can be highly advantageous, but only when done properly. 

In some ways, recognition can be viewed as the easiest and most affordable approach to building engagement among employees, as long as decision-makers are well-informed before setting initiatives in stone. 

5. Engagement does equate to continuity
The most engaged employees tend to be the most innovative, productive and efficient, as they are highly focused upon the tasks at hand, while those who are not embracing their positions will be a lag on operational performances. Remember, the cost of employee churn can be devastating, while the operational implications of talented staff members leaving are even more troubling. 

When a firm invests properly in employee engagement strategies such as recognition and rewards programs, continuity of services will be sustained more proactively given the lack of leadership changes and staff switches that would otherwise commonly occur. 

Be smart in provisioning
If a business leader is not entirely confident in his or her managers' ability to create and manage an employee engagement strategy, the time is likely right for a more targeted approach that brings in the help of a qualified service provider. Rather than trying the old trial and error approach to these very important matters, get on board with a reliable partner to get the highest returns on investment possible. 

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