Employee engagement has become the buzzword in most organizations today. In fact, most business leaders agree that mastering the art of engaging the workforce is the key to running a successful business. However, employee engagement goes beyond organizing an occasional get-together for the workforce or offering them incentives for their good work. It is more about implementing strategies that enhance an employee’s sense of belonging to the organization. It is also about making the employees feel truly concerned about a great future of the organization and contributing towards the same with their full potential. Today employee engagement has emerged as one of the key strategies for the organization to have an edge over the competition. Hence organizations need to look at how to improve employee engagement effectively.
Workforce engagement as a business process
Despite the growing awareness about the importance of workforce engagement, numerous organizations fail to adopt it as a business process. This prevents them from perceiving their employees as human beings, who need to be cared for and nurtured. Adopting workforce engagement as a business process makes it easier for organizations to assure the employees of being a valued part of the organization. At the same time, it helps business leaders to gain a better understanding of the level of passion that the members of the workforce have towards their job and their workplace. This information can then be used by businesses to develop and implement the right strategies to further enhance the engagement and motivation levels of the workforce.
Having the right engagement strategies in place is essential for organizations looking to develop a highly productive and efficient workforce. While the engagement needs of every workforce may vary, some strategies prove equally effective in all work environments. A few of the most effective of these strategies that can go a long way in improving employee motivation levels are discussed in brief here:
1. Ensure a great onboarding experience
Making a good first impression is the key to ensuring high employee engagement levels from day one. A great onboarding experience assures the employees that the organization truly cares about the members of its workforce. It also helps in establishing the right mindset for the employees and makes them feel involved with the working of the organization from the very beginning. Such employees are likely to develop a deep sense of belonging and loyalty for the organization quite early on and show a greater willingness to stay with it for long.
2. Provide relevant career development opportunities
Organizations need to understand that the individual members of the workforce have specific professional skills and career development objectives. Offering the most appropriate career development opportunities to the employees in accordance with the same is essential to boost their sense of engagement. When the employees are provided with career paths for professional growth that match their skill-sets and experience, they feel truly valued by the organization. This significantly motivates them to improve their contribution to the growth of the business.
3. Empower employees to discover their potential
Discovering their true potential is the key to providing employees with the right career growth opportunities. For this, organizations need to empower the members of the workforce and enable them to discover what they are capable of. A good example would be to assign projects and tasks that are slightly beyond the usual capabilities and comfort level of the employees. This helps in building the confidence of the employees and improving their sense of self-worth and trust. Empowering employees also requires the managers and supervisors to take a step back and stop micromanaging the various tasks for their subordinates and let them make their own decisions as much as possible while supporting them whenever required. It might also mean tolerating small failures sometimes and preparing them for bigger challenges.
4. Appreciate their individual and combined achievements
Recognizing the efforts and achievements of the employees is an essential aspect of boosting engagement. In addition to appreciating individual employees, organizations also need to have policies for recognizing team efforts and achievements. However, recognition and appreciation prove effective only when it is offered in time and in a regular manner. It is also important for organizations to remember that offering the most expensive rewards and cash incentives cannot always guarantee results. Rather it is the intent behind employee recognition and the manner in which it is delivered that matters the most.
5. Promote open, honest and transparent communication
Building a culture of honest and transparent communication at the workplace is another effective strategy that can help improve employee engagement. It comprises not only of sharing vital information and data with the employees but also listening to their views and opinions about various organization policies. Implementing this strategy helps in strengthening the sense of mutual trust between employees besides making it easier for them to interact with each other and the management in a frank and unhindered manner. This two-way communication is one of the most critical aspects of building strong employee engagement in the organization.
Creating a workplace where the employees are highly engaged and motivated can ensure greater benefits for both the business and the individual members of the workforce. The strategies discussed above can go a long way in creating such a work environment and providing a major competitive advantage to the business.
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