An engaged employee is an individual that is truly attracted to, and inspired by their work.They are the workers who want to be at work, and are committed to both their personal success within the firm as well as the success of the firm as a whole. These employees are the organisation’s top performers; emotionally connected to the organisation and cognitively vigilant, willing to invest discretionary effort to exceed duty’s call.
Numerous case studies have uncovered the importance of employee engagement, with one company finding a 28% revenue production deficit by those employees who were disengaged compared with their actively engaged counterparts. The results have shown that employee engagement not only correlates with bottom-line results, it drives them.
Employee engagement also has the power to affect the mindset of workers through increased empowerment. Employees are more likely to believe they can positively impact their organisation’s products, customer service ratings and production costs of their role, often leading to improved organisational performance. With these benefits in mind, it is not hard to see how employee engagement has the power to propel an organisation with an engaged workforce light years ahead of their competition.
With a shortage of skilled workers and a war for talent ever-present within today’s organisational landscape, it is important to retain your most highly skilled employees through maximising the engagement and empowerment of workers. An avenue for ensuring employee engagement is known as the 10 C’s of employee engagement:
- Connect. Employees must know that their work is valued. Employee focused initiatives such as profit sharing and work-life balance programs are important to show that an employee and the work that they contribute is important and valued by the organisation.The employees of the organisation must know that they are the most valuable asset to the company.
- Career. Managers should provide employees with challenging and meaningful work, with clear career advancement opportunities. Providing goals that stretch the bounds of what an employee typically works within, with enriched duties and responsibilities provides employees with an opportunity to extend their range of skills. Challenging employees and holding them accountable for progress is important in providing meaningful work. Building upon this, providing a clear line and the confidence to advance upwards within the company ensures employees are engaged and focused on success within their role.
- Clarity. A clear vision of organisational goals must be conveyed to employees. If employees are unaware of what strategies and goals they are working towards, how can they carry out their job effectively? Employees must understand what the organisational goals are, why they are important, how the goals must be attained, and how their work connects to those goals.
- Convey. Great managers convey their expectations regarding employees’ work and provide constructive feedback on their efforts. Establishing systems and processes that assist employees in mastering fundamental tasks facilitates goal achievement both on a micro and macro level within the organisation.
- Celebrate. One of the most common complaints of disengaged employees is that immediate feedback is provided when their performance is poor, but praise or feedback is much less common for strong performance. Celebrate wins, no matter how small. This provides further motivation to continue performing at the same level, if not higher.
- Contribution. Employees must feel that their work is contributing to the organisation’s higher goals in a meaningful way. Understanding the connection between an employee’s job-specific tasks and organisational strategic goals has a positive impact on employee performance.
- Control. Create opportunities for employees to exercise control over the flow and pace of their jobs to increase empowerment. Including employees in decision-making processes, goal setting, or process development increases the connection an employee has with their work, thus increasing employee engagement.
- Collaborate. Studies have shown that employees who work in teams that foster trust and collaboration outperform the efforts made by individuals. Furthermore, it has been shown that feeling cared about by colleagues is a strong indicator of employee engagement.
- Credibility. Employees should be given the chance to feel proud of their contribution to organisational performance. Recognising efforts made by employees as well as achievements by the organisation as a whole instils a level of pride in work that increases employee engagement.
- Confidence. Give employees the confidence they need to believe they can achieve what is asked of them.
Engaging employees is a fundamental aspect in gaining competitive advantage. Eradicating reasons for lack of engagement and implementing strategies for increasing employee engagement on an ongoing basis will ensure your organisation is on the right path to improving organisational performance and obtaining sustained competitive advantage.