What is it about an employee’s experience of the workplace that keeps them engaged and makes them stay with that employer?
Is it the company culture, the management, the workplace, the salary, the benefits, the colleagues, the hours or is it a mixture of factors? And why does it matter?
Employees can be disengaged if they don’t understand the direction of the organisation and don’t feel a part of where the organisation is going. Perhaps they don’t feel listened to or valued. Creating a culture of demonstrating that you listen and care as an employer can reap rewards for your business.
How can poor engagement affect your business?
If morale is low then you may find that this affects productivity. If your employees are unwilling to provide feedback then there is almost certainly a problem. Increased levels of absence can be an indicator that there is an issue in your business.
Difficulty recruiting may mean your company has a poor reputation as regards employees (although other factors can play into this problem of course). Negativity, unwillingness to use initiative and poor quality of work produced can also be indicators.
A staff survey is one way to find out more. Areas for improvement will be highlighted in a survey so that you can focus on what you need to be improved..
Ideas to improve to increase engagement
Employees are likely to be more engaged if they are free to speak up, understand the importance of their work and where it fits in to the overall business. Opportunities for learning, flexibility, advancement and challenges are also key. Do you and your managers recognise and value your staff for their achievements and commitment?
Giving employees help to achieve their goals can be a great help and regular one-to-ones, appraisals and providing opportunities for training can help employees feel involved and part of the team. Clear paths for advancement are a must and clear job descriptions can help to avoid issues.
Helping employees settle into their roles with a structured induction is a good starting point in the employment relationship. Good first impressions that are followed through can help avoid new starters leaving the business after a short period of time – this is a high risk time for leaving.
Find a way of reaching everyone when communicating benefits, changes, new clients etc. and be as transparent as possible. The vision should come from the top and the management team should all demonstrate their integrity and commitment to the Company vision.
Staff morale may be low due to the environment your team is working in. Is it a high pressure environment? Can the physical workplace surroundings be improved? Do you have customers who are difficult to deal with? Is there minimal flexibility? These are factors you may need to look at and try to resolve in order to improve the morale of your team.
How do we know that engagement has improved?
After a suitable period, another staff survey should help to check that any low scoring areas have improved. Employees may visibly go the extra mile and productivity should increase.
Your reputation with customers and potential employees should improve as employee engagement improves. Word of mouth and online comments about the reputation of your business cannot be underestimated.