Improving your employee engagement will help grow your business

Finding the right employees is one of the greatest challenges facing organisations. Retaining those employees is an even bigger challenge.

Building a strong employee brand is something that takes a long-term, strategic approach and is not something that can be achieved overnight.

Leadership must take a holistic approach towards attracting and retaining the best talent, from talent acquisition and cultural integration to ongoing employee relations and positive growth for employees within the organisation.

Your employee brand touches all aspects of the employee lifecycle.

There a number of key strategies and engagement approaches to unlocking the power of your employees to drive business success.

5 strategies for driving employee engagement

1.     Communicate

The greatest responsibility lies with the CEO and management to engage with their people; and the ownership of any engagement program should be shared by the architects of the business strategy.

Two-way communication between management and employees is key to a successful journey of employee engagement. Not only does it build trust between management and employees but it forms the basis for personable engagement, emotional attachment, involvement and commitment by all parties.

2.     Employee values align with the organisation

Research demonstrates that individuals whose personal values are aligned with their employer’s culture are more engaged and are more likely to stay longer in the role and become organisational advocates or ambassadors.

Make sure you clearly identify values and communicate and act on these regularly.

3.     Measure and act on feedback

A common failing with many organisations is not understanding their culture as their employees see it. Companies who actively engage employees can measure their competitive edge in the form of increased profitability, productivity and customer loyalty as well as decreased employee turnover, safety incidents, and absenteeism.

Feedback can be gathered through employee surveys, performance reviews, mentoring and career development sessions and one-on-one meetings.

4.     Identify engagement gaps and rectify

Insights and performance engagement gaps can be identified by analysing the results and responses to the following questions.

  • Is your company’s vision and purpose clearly communicated to employees and stakeholders with an outline of how you intend to achieve them
  • How do you communicate to employees? Do you provide regular and transparent updates about the business? Do you provide regular feedback on their performance (not including the annual review?)
  • What learning and development opportunities do you offer employees?
  • What benefits and compensation do you offer employees?
  • Is there clarity and commitment around career development and clear opportunities for employees to progress their career or to be promoted?
  • Do you provide employees with opportunities to improve their mental and physical wellbeing?

5.     Report to all employees in a way that matters

While program metrics of success can be focused on top level executive requirements, acknowledging the successes and improvements, as well as engaging all employees in a manner that’s relevant to their jobs, will encourage active participation in the journey.

When working together towards a common goal, the collective force of engaged employees can bring companies to new levels of innovation, growth and performance.

To clearly understand what areas your employee brand and engagement need to be improved, refined, reviewed or reconsidered, undertaking an internal audit will provide valuable insights necessary to help leaders determine how to improve your employee brand.

It’s not enough to just focus on marketing your business to potential employees. Existing employees and their experiences must also be considered.

Building strong employee engagement takes a long-term strategic approach and is not something that can be achieved overnight.

Senior leaders can unlock the power of their employees to drive business success by using the strategies and engagement approaches discussed in this article.