Poor employee engagement is a struggle for most brands, with nearly 66% of all employees feeling disengaged. This has costly implications for businesses.
Unengaged employees often lead to high turnover rates, which can severely affect your bottom line. You may be paying more money than you’d like to find new recruits and train them up. It’s also likely that your unengaged employees are not performing to the best of their ability.
It’s important to remember that it is up to the leadership to engage employees through effective strategies. Just imagine the positive impact for your business of improvement in this area: happier employees who are more productive, stay longer and recommend the organization; more satisfied customers who buy more, are loyal and recommend the organization; collaborative service partner organizations who provide great service and recommend your organization.
Let’s talk about successful employee engagement strategies to make that happen.
Uphold Your Brand’s Values
Many employees feel more engaged with their work when they feel that their values are aligned with what they are doing. During the recruitment process, candidates are increasingly choosing to take offers from companies that align with their own ideas. However, values need to keep being reinforced in day-to-day work life.
Keep employees engaged by upholding your brand values with everything you do and allowing them to play an active part in this. A shared mindset and mission are great for boosting morale and giving your employees a stronger sense of belonging.
Top tip: bring to life your organization’s values in a practical way to significantly improve the recruitment process.
Ensure a Smooth Onboarding Experience
Onboarding is the first real impression your company makes on its new recruits. It is crucial to engage an employee from day one and give them the best possible start in their career with your brand. A great onboarding experience shows that you care about your recruits and empathize with their first-day-jitters. It also helps establish the right mindset and sets the tone for all the work going forward.
Onboarding is where you should first imprint the purpose and values of your business and underline the key behaviours you look for in your employees. Make this very clear by providing them with all the information they need. Here are some of the elements that can make an onboarding experience better:
- Introduce new employees to the team. You can do this by sending out introduction emails and providing a directory of employees in which the new hire can learn about their colleagues. You can even invite them out for a team lunch or do some other social event to get them integrated.
- Provide a clear set of instructions. This could come in the form of an employee handbook. Make sure the critical mission and values are outlined from day one.
- Assign a mentor to oversee the recruit’s process. Providing someone to turn to when they have a question is a crucial part of onboarding.
- Check-in regularly. Make sure you touch base every once in a while to see how the employee is fairing, addressing any issues or concerns, and providing constructive feedback.
Top tip: Remind your new recruits to congratulate themselves because they were the very best person for the job.
Provide Opportunities for Career Development
Personal and professional development is high on the list of priorities for many employees. Disengagement is fostered when your staff feels like they are stagnating and cannot move anywhere. In fact, one out of three employees quits their job due to boredom.
Employees want to know that there’s a potential for progression within the company. If this is not the case, professional development still gives them something to aspire to and presents them with the opportunity to improve themselves.
This is an excellent example of a strategy that benefits both leaders and teams, as any new skills your employees learn can be used to help your business!
Top tip: co-create a personal development plan with employees and allow them to share their progress with you periodically. Depending on how adventurous you are, this plan could include non-work related development eg learn a language, do a story writing course etc
Invest in Recognition
Only one-third of employees, according to Gallup, feel that their efforts are appreciated. This coincides roughly with the number of employees that feel engaged in their workplaces. We believe this correlation features a lot of causation. Recognition is crucial to keeping employees engaged.
Recognition costs nothing to give but can yield significant returns. Leaders need to encourage people to repeat good behaviours by reinforcing their approval. Credit should be personal, public, authentic, immediate and specific. If your employees do well, let them know! This will inspire them and others to work to those standards and will make your hard-working staff feel much more appreciated and engaged.
Top tip: some recognition programmes are focused on “going the extra mile” or exceptional behaviour and yet what percentage of an employee’s total performance does this represent? 10%? For this reason, consider finding ways to recognize those who perform the mundane excellently. We remember a hotel housekeeper who was recognized for the sparkling marble floor in the lobby that guests frequently complimented.
Deliver Brand-Aligned Employee Engagement Strategies
When your purpose, values and mission all align, it is easy to weave your employee engagement strategy into the fabric of your business. Employee engagement solutions don’t need to be a struggle. The most crucial element is to provide your employees with growth, understanding and recognition. Align your goals with theirs, and theirs with yours and move towards engagement together.
At SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL, Employee Engagement is one of the pillars of our brand-aligned approach. We help leaders inspire people to be one team and make brand ambassadors out of your employees. Get in touch today to see how we can help your business maximize employee engagement.