Employee Engagement: A Non-negotiable for Success in Business

What does the word “success” mean to you? What does a “successful” organization look like? Maybe you measure your success by the number of figures in your annual revenue. Maybe your definition is correlated to the size of your team. Maybe it’s how many repeat customers or positive Google reviews you have. As Kamloops’ leadership experts, New Quest Coaching & Consulting believes an organization’s success is about a lot more than bottom line metrics — it’s about having inspired teams who are actively engaged in their work. If all you’re focused on is balancing the books and making money, you’re missing a key part of the success equation.

Employee engagement has become a strategic focus for many leaders in recent years. It’s for good reason: the strength of your organization is only as strong as the people on your team. If your employees are checked out of their jobs, then they’re not doing their best work for your company. But when you take care of your people and take their happiness seriously, they’ll take care of your customers.

Higher revenue, growing teams and more customers might look good on paper — but this doesn’t give you an accurate understanding of your organization’s health. Here’s why employee engagement matters and how to improve engagement rates at your company.

Why Employee Engagement Matters

For the past 20 years, employee engagement has been dangerously low, with less than a third of workers actively engaged in their work. Fortunately, the tides are changing and employee engagement rates were at an all-time high last year. Unfortunately, that still means only 34% of employees report being enthusiastic about and satisfied with their jobs. While the upward trend is promising, there’s still a long way to go to improve employee engagement.

So why are so few people happy at work? The workforce today has very different priorities and goals from previous generations. While past generations were satisfied to stick with one job for life, millennials (who make up more than half of the working population) aren’t willing to settle for a job that doesn’t meet both their personal and professional needs. Simply put, if your employees aren’t engaged, there’s a pretty good chance they’re looking for new opportunities, which can cause a drain on recruiting and hiring resources.

Engaged employees, on the other hand, aren’t just more likely to stick around — they’re also more likely to be advocates of your business. They’re more productive and more innovative, making them stronger members of your team. Leaders simply can’t afford not to focus on employee engagement. Your organization’s success depends on it.

How to Improve Employee Engagement

It’s one thing to understand why employee engagement is important. The real work is to implement strategies to boost employee engagement rates at your company. As a leader, it’s your job to support your employees and create an environment where they can do their best work. The first step is to put your employees’ satisfaction at the heart of your corporate culture. Here’s how.

1. Understand What Employees Want

To improve employee engagement, you first need to understand your employees’ needs, wants and working styles. Employees today value flexibility, so consider offering flexible schedules or remote work options. They also value autonomy, so ensure that managers are giving their teams space to do what they do best. Of course, every workplace has different needs. To determine what your employees need to be engaged, have them complete a survey or hold a townhall meeting. Giving people a chance to feel heard is a positive first step towards boosting employee engagement.

2. Celebrate Wins (and Support Failures)

All too often, leaders get so caught up in running and growing their organizations that they forget to validate the hard work their teams are doing. But everyone likes to hear that they’re doing a good job, especially from their boss. That’s why one of the easiest ways to improve employee engagement is to give credit where credit is due. Your words of encouragement will go even farther if you offer just as much support in times of failure as in times of success. After all, mistakes are opportunities to improve and will make your company stronger in the long run.

3. Get Clear on Company Goals

Today’s workforce wants more from their employer than a paycheque. They want to know they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. To really inspire your employees to be engaged in their work, your company needs to have a clear direction. Employees need to know why they’re there, what they’re working towards and how they fit into the bigger picture. So get clear on where you’re headed as a company and share your vision with your team. Your engagement rates will start to soar in no time.

4. Create Team Building Opportunities People Actually Enjoy

Team building activities are designed to inspire collaboration and camaraderie within and between teams, making people happier to come to work. Unfortunately, most organizations have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to creating team building opportunities. They’re typically awkward, boring and eye-roll-inducing events.

Effective team building starts with thoughtfully designed programs tailored to the unique individuals within your organization. Forget boring sessions in the conference room — at New Quest Coaching & Consulting, we’re experts in creating team building experiences that employees actually enjoy. No matter how big or small, your team will come away from our team building programs feeling engaged, inspired and ready to work more effectively together.

Ready to learn more about how customized team building can improve employee engagement at your organization? Contact us today.


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