Employee engagement is a powerful asset and, when it is unleashed effectively within an organisation, can offer huge long-term benefits ranging from increased motivation and output, better customer satisfaction levels and overall integration across your workforce.
You may not have the worst employee engagement levels in the city, but it’s quite possible that a few key barriers still exist in your business that prevent your employees from truly connecting with your brand and embracing their roles.
Identifying what these barriers are can be a powerful way to start planning a new employee engagement strategy, or a useful way to refine some good work you’ve already put into place.
1. Unclear Directives and Goals
To avoid your teams from operating on autopilot, you might need to clarify and update their goals regularly, whether it’s in relation to projects or company-wide targets.
For this to happen, it’s key that the relationship between employees and their direct managers and team leaders are strong. People should feel that they can easily ask for clarification from managers who are approachable and understanding.
Your business may end up operating relatively well even if there is some confusion around specific task instructions, deadlines, requirements or internal responsibilities, partly due to the quality of your team and their skills, but this is not an ideal situation.
Employees who do not have defined goals or targets, combined with a lack of leadership, can quickly become detached from their roles and lose motivation. In the worst cases, this can lead to confusion, frustration and unnecessary stress.
To overcome this, we would recommend making sure that everyone’s roles are crystal clear right from the hiring process. New team members should be brought into the fold so they can be fully functioning and integrated as soon as possible, ensuring everyone is pulling in the same direction.
If teams change or people’s roles evolve, make sure that the scope or outline for each project is updated diligently to include who is responsible for what. It’s normal for many areas of the business to go through several developments and modifications as time goes by, and everyone working in or with these areas should be made aware of the important changes.
A part of this is also building the right culture that supports good communication between your team members and strong leaders who are clear in their communications as well as approachable and inclusive. Both formal and informal communication channels should be set up so that there are minimal information gaps and people know exactly what they should be doing at any given time.
2. Not Sharing Your Brand Values with Your Entire Organisation
Having clear brand values and a vision for why your business exists, and what it’s trying to achieve, is important for improving the alignment of your organisation. Offering your employees a greater purpose and deeper culture helps them to align their personal values and contributions with yours as a company and integrate better with their colleagues.
This kind of alignment also improves interactions with customers and clients and helps to provide your business with a unified front where synergy contributes to your overall brand personality and image consistency in the face of external parties.
However, as well as having a vision and values, you must share these with all your employees and build a strategy for actively bringing them to life. Only then will people have a better sense of how they fit in within your enterprise.
3. Neglecting Work-Life Balance and Other Employee Priorities
Working over and above dedicated hours with little reward can lead to frustrated and stressed employees. When this carries on for too long, this will also lead to lower motivation levels and disengagement.
While it’s normal to expect your teams to push harder at certain periods of the month or year when extra effort is needed to achieve goals, business owners and managers must have a good understanding of the work life balance of their employees and how to effectively compensate for any additional investments of time and energy they ask of their team members.
Making sure your employees can still focus on other key areas of their life, whether it’s family, friends, hobbies or other life goals, is important. Organisations should manage time fairly and recognise where people are working harder than usual.
The other thing to keep in mind is that productivity is the ultimate goal, not hours spent working on projects. You can often increase the motivation and output of your team by giving them the flexibility to manage their own schedules or increasing accountability, rather than asking them to work longer.
Allowing employees to work at the time of the day that they’re most effective, or letting them take breaks during the day to visit the gym are simple ways to prevent your employees from burning out.
Again, good management plays a big role here. With a strong relationship between leaders and your workforce, you will be better placed to focus on the lives of your employees, recognise their achievements and help them accomplish personal goals.
In return, your employees will be healthier, happier and more motivated to commit the necessary time and energy to your organisation when needed.
Building an Employee Engagement Strategy
Without an actual employee engagement strategy in place, it can be hard to remove all barriers that might be stopping your team from feeling truly motivated to be their best selves at work.
For more information about making the necessary changes in your business or advice on other important topics like building your brand’s values so they mean something, get in touch with us at Service Brand Global.