The definition of Employee Engagement as described by Forbes is the emotional commitment the employee has to an organisation and its goals.
This emotional commitment means that the engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They aren’t just there for the next pay check or for the next promotion; they care about the company’s goals. In real terms this means staying late when not asked or doing tasks outside of their remit because they want to help the greater team.
Studies show engaged employees are more productive leading to better service, more customer satisfaction which in turn leads to increased sales and more company profit.
How do we engage our workforce?
The drivers for employee engagement have changed over the last few years and corporate perks such as ping-pong tables, massage chairs and free snacks no longer hold the big attraction they used to.
Employees, and millennials in particular, want effective mentoring from senior management and effective collaboration throughout their workplace. This has led to a change from performance management to coaching and development. HR professionals have encouraged a move towards a coaching culture that champions skill development, regular feedback and growth opportunities. There is a shift from an annual review process in favour of more continuous feedback.
It’s also important to take into consideration the more holistic approach to employee engagement. With Millennials now representing the largest part of the workforce, they have a reputation for working hard – getting to the office early, leaving late and picking up emails in the evening. With advances in modern technology it’s now increasingly more difficult to switch off and achieve a true work life balance. However it is more important than ever that your employees achieve this work life balance.
Employee’s now seek a sense of purpose within their role and this can play a huge part in their happiness and overall engagement. Purpose is created when an employee feels proud of their work and feels that they are an important, needed part of the company. A feeling of mastery or competency within their role while having the opportunity to learn and develop coupled with a strong working relationship with the people leading them are all a strong recipe for increased employee engagement.
So how do we measure employee engagement?
Traditionally this was done by an engagement survey but over the past number of years, there has been a gradual shift towards culture surveys. Company culture survey questions are allowing employers to look for ways to reaffirm their cultural touchstones and develop ways to strengthen the employee experience.
2017 will see a massive shift in what Employee Engagement means and with the use of culture surveys companies will need to identify what works for their own teams.