You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.
— Lee Iacocca
As is customary at this time of the year, a lot of business leaders will be refining their vision, setting goals and defining objectives for the coming year. All this is well and good, but then comes the stumbling block: communication. After all has been refined, set and defined, is anyone really getting the message? Yes some of your employees received the email and even took a leaflet home, but were they truly engaged? A staggering 63% of the world’s entire workforce remains disengaged (Gallup, 2015). And in case you are wondering, yes, businesses should pay attention to engagement: “companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%”. Got your attention?
Engagement does more than just contribute to the commonly cited and appealing ‘performance boost’. At its core employee engagement is about nurturing shared purpose and inclusion, communicating value, retention, and ‘buy in’. These gains alone make investing in employee engagement extremely appealing.
OK, so engagement might be important, but how do businesses engage their employees? By giving employees the tools and structures they need to participate in the dialogue of their work lives, no matter where they are based.
A recent study conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) produced a top 10 list of the topics that matter most to employees in order of importance (we’ve added an engagement translation for each area):
What employees want Engagement translation
- Recognition Value me
- A good team Include me
- To make a difference Empower me
- Pay Reward me
- Achievement Praise me
- The job itself Give me room to...
- Learning new things Progress me
- Being challenged Invest in me
- The work environment Keep me in the loop
- Responsibility Trust me
Are employers listening and acting on these topics? More importantly, can employers listen? Given the astonishing figures headlining recent engagement surveys, it’s highly likely that this is an area businesses find challenging.
Emerging employee app technology is increasingly being viewed by many as an innovative riposte. Employee apps enable businesses to deliver all of the following without geographical limitations:
- CEO/Leader monthly or quarterly video updates
- Training and refresher courses
- Instant feedback
- Company news and developments
- Performance updates and so much more
The employee app is just one of many initiatives that could empower employees to actively participate in the dialogue of their work lives. So, while you are refining, setting and defining, remember to ‘value, include, empower, reward, praise, give room and trust’. And yes, now there’s an app for that.