Employee engagement is a key factor in what makes a successful workplace. Without it employee morale and productivity can both plummet leading to increased staff turnover and reduced profitability. However, keeping your employees engaged isn't an easy task. The larger your workforce becomes the more challenging it can become to keep your workforce happy, motivated and committed. Here are the 4 top employee engagement challenges and how to overcome them.
"An engaged employee is an emotionally invested one."
We all know that employee engagement is good for business, right. But what are the biggest challenges and where do you start?
Communication is critical to the success of any relationship however poor communication in the workplace can cost valuable time and money.
On a day-to-day basis management teams are often preoccupied making sure that their departments are running smoothly and that objectives are being met. Unfortunately for employees this means that there's limited time to raise ideas that in turn could improve department performance.
Engaged employees want to feel as if they are making a valuable contribution to the business. Giving employees an outlet to contribute ideas that could improve efficiency, save money or improve employee happiness are critical to stemming disengagement and contempt.
Creating a centralised process for collecting employee feedback can be as simple as having a regularly reviewed suggestion box. If you're looking to proactively encourage engagement then why not introduce a small incentive such as a gift card for the best suggestion or perhaps an hour meeting to discuss their idea(s) with senior management. This simple but effective initiative is a great way to give employees a voice and improve internal communication between employer and employee.
However, as a company grows it's not just communication between employees and management teams that can become strained. Communications & HR teams are also finding it increasingly challenging to communicate with remote workers and/or employees across multiple site locations. With channels such as company email and the intranet only accessible to minorities HR & communication teams must look for new channels with a wider reach to deliver top down communication.
With most of us now owning a smartphone employee apps are becoming one of the must have tools for workplace communication. New to employee apps? Here's 10 reasons why an employee app might be right for your business.
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Trust is a two way street, every working relationship should be built on trust and if it isn't this can cause employees to be disengaged. A 2015 whitepaper by Great Place to Work found that Europe's best companies to work for all had one thing in common, trust. A massive 87% of respondents said that they trust their senior leadership team.
On the contrary a CIPD report aptly named 'where has all the trust gone?' found that amongst most businesses trust levels were more likely to be weak (34%) than strong (29%).
To build trust amongst employee's management teams must focusing on building trust within their teams. Here are 3 ways to improve trust in the workplace.
1) Management must give trust to receive it:
One of the most effective ways of building trust is by showing that you trust your employees. A simple way to do this is by giving additional responsibilities to your team. Delegating a task that you would normally complete (no matter how menial it may be) to one of your team can show a great deal of trust. This trust is likely to be reciprocated, helps build employee confidence and even collaboration if the task requires a few members of your team to complete.
2) Celebrate employee performance:
Not every good piece of work warrants a reward but that doesn't mean that performance should go unnoticed. Recognising employee performance and sharing that success with the team to celebrate is a great way of boosting trust and engagement in the workplace.
3) Lead from the front and always keep your word:
To be a trustworthy leader it's important to lead with integrity and show employees that you're leading in alignment with your company values. Sticking to these values and rewarding your team who also align themselves to these values is a great way to build a positive, engaged culture.
3) No room for growth
The longer we retain an employee for the deeper their understanding of the business becomes. These core employees are highly valuable to any businesses due to their knowledge which isn't easy (or cheap) to replace.
To continue to keep your core workforce loyal and engaged it's critical to have a structure in-place to help employees progress their career within your organisation.
Unfortunately, internal promotions are not always possible, (particularly if the organisation has high levels of engagement and low employee attrition rates). However, there are steps management teams can undertake to ensure employees remain ambitious, engaged and loyal to the business cause.
Employers need to listen to their employees' aspirations and be as honest and realistic about the situation as possible. A promotion within a set period of time may not be realistic however providing employees with opportunities to further develop and up-skill are always possible and could make the transition to a new job easier when the time arises.
Consider offering staff the opportunity to undertake relevant external training courses and/or the opportunity to collaborate / shadow their seniors on a particular project. Although a training course may come with an initial cost outlay the knowledge gained and applied to the business will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run.
Employee feedback plays a crucial role in employee engagement. How can you expect your employees to be engaged if you don't know what their wants and needs are? Likewise, how can employees know if they're doing a good or bad job and how can they improve? Feedback, whether it's good or bad is a critical thing for both employee and employer. Did you know that 4 out of 10 employees are actively disengaged when they get little to no feedback? and, when employees feel they are ignored by their managers they're 2x more likely to be disengaged? To encourage feedback within your workplace, you must provide employees with a platform to do so. It is essential that employees can give honest feedback without fear of repercussion. Make sure you act on feedback by taking positive actions and learning from what has been said. A study shows that highly engaged employees share and receive feedback at least once a week. So go on...get sharing!
- Communicate to all staff regularly - don't forget the employees who don't have company email.
- Build trust
- Demonstrate scope for employees to grow
- Ask for feedback, and follow up
Now you know the top 4 challenges of employee engagement the rest is up to you! However, if you would like a little help along the way why not check out how Workvine help businesses to improve internal communication and engagement.
Workvine provide digital solutions that help businesses to attract, recruit, engage, train and ultimately retain their workforce. When it comes to employee engagement we have an employee experience platform aka as the employee app that gives you the power to effectively communicate, build advocacy of your brand, improve productivity, and provide a channel for all your employees to have a voice and provide critical feedback. In a hyper competitive job market what does your organisation do to stand out from the rest? How do you align the employee experience with the customer experience?