Employee Engagement | The Secret to Your Company’s Growth
At the core of business management success is the owners and leaders ability to find successful ways to grow and expand their company. There are many different strategies and techniques that provide a variety of ways of achieving that goal. One such powerful strategy to help your company succeed is employee engagement. Employee engagement is a broad topic, so breaking it down into sections is useful. In this article we ask: “What is employee engagement?” “Why should you invest in it?” And, “How do you as a business owner or leader actually foster it?” The answers to these questions will hopefully give you more direction in your management decision making.
According to Nikos Andriotis’ piece on eFront, keeping employees engaged means keeping them “… motivated, productive and happy.” Though this definition is fairly simple, it is a useful one. Essentially, the ideal state for workers in your company to be in is one where they actually want to work for your business. Because of this, they tend to stay with your company and continue to produce great work.
One of the reasons for investing in employee engagement has already been hinted at above: retention. As Andriotis makes clear in the article mentioned above, company leaders now have to figure out how to retain workers. Having a high turnover rate for employees at a company is typically not the best position to be in. This is especially true if your company’s reputation in the industry and among potential employees begins to be damaged due to your high employee turnover. This is one of the reasons to invest in employee engagement.
The second reason is somewhat related to the first but still unique. You should invest in employee engagement is because a company owner or leader it helps foster a better environment that in turn can help produce better work. In essence, if people like their job and the team they work with, they most likely will produce better work. What connects the first and the second reason is the environment. By investing in employee engagement, you can help to create a great environment that fosters both good work and the desire to stay with the company. These two elements create a powerful combination to help your teams and workers engaged.
First, it must be made clear that there are many ways to successfully foster employee engagement. Some options are simply not available to certain companies due to finances, location or simply the type of work that is involved. That being said, here are some general ways that you can help foster employee engagement in your company.
Gauge Your Employees’ Engagement: This is an important step and should most likely be done first in order to set some sort of baseline. This can be done using by using a job satisfaction survey, make sure to keep the questions to a minimum and open-ended.
Handwritten note: This idea comes from Sujan Patel’s article in Inc. The idea here is to write a handwritten note expressing your appreciation to an employee after they have done something well. According to Patel, giving a hand-written note praising an employee’s work shortly after it is done is better than waiting for annual reviews.
Internal Growth-Paths: This piece of advice also comes from Patel’s article linked above. Patel cites in his article that workers, Millennials especially, want clear paths for growth in the company they are working for. If there is not a clear path to move upward, they may end up searching for a job with a different company. This, of course, touches on the retention issue mentioned above. Patel suggests talking to employees to figure out where they would like to go within the company and then explaining ways for them to reach these goals. This can help find and create clear career paths for employees, and hopefully help retain them.
In the end, employee engagement can be something worth investing in. Investing in it can help create an environment that fosters great work and higher retention rates. These factors can be very important to the success and growth of your business.
Kevin Bugielski is the Marketing Manager for Victory Lap, a purpose-driven startup changing the sales game. Avid Snapchatter, SoulCycle lover, newfound runner, but ultimately, a foodie.