Employee Engagement is the human resource term describing the emotional connection and level of dedication employees feel toward their organizations. It can be the difference between dreading going to work and loving it. However, as more businesses use flexible work schedules, improving employee engagement can be difficult for any entrepreneur.
We’ll cover the basics of employee engagement, its advantages, steps to improving employee engagement, and share real-world examples to take inspiration from.
The Basics of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the act of fostering a corporate culture that is mutually beneficial, supports a positive working environment, and cares for individual and corporate growth. Many successful business leaders already have skills that contribute to their employee engagement.
Some of these skills include effective communication, open-mindedness, a willingness to learn, and support of others. Besides utilizing your leadership skills, employee engagement also focuses on investing in your team. The more your teamwork improves, the easier it is to work together toward a shared goal.
Advantages of Employee Engagement
- Positive working environment
- Validation and support
- A boost in productivity
- Innovative problem-solving
- Increased trust and transparency
6 Steps to Improve Employee Engagement
1. Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
Ensure that every team member understands their role and responsibilities. It’s not always clear how everyone contributes to the company mission, and it can be disheartening to continue working on something that feels pointless. Communicate the team’s objectives and how each member contributes to that goal.
2. Encourage Open Communication
Working environments are vital to improving employee engagement. It won’t look the same for every entrepreneur, as many small businesses do not need physical office spaces. Find innovative remote team-building activities, embrace trust exercises, and incorporate more positive feedback to alter how your team communicates.
3. Provide Growth Opportunities
Boredom can kill motivation. Employees should have plenty of opportunities to develop their careers with training programs, workshops, and stretch opportunities. Especially provide pathways for advancement within the organization so employees can visualize their future selves at the company.
4. Recognize and Reward Achievement
Acknowledge and celebrate individual and team achievements. Implement a recognition program highlighting exceptional performance through verbal praise, awards, or other incentives to motivate and inspire team members.
5. Promote Autonomy and Trust
Trust and transparency come in many different forms. Trust builds with consistency and intention with concrete actions like policy changes or hands-off management. Trusting your team members fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, leading to increased engagement and motivation.
6. Solicit and Act on Feedback
Regularly seek feedback from team members about their experiences, challenges, and suggestions for improvement. Continuous learning benefits everyone involved as it improves employee engagement and the whole business. Act on the feedback received, demonstrate that you value their input, and make necessary changes to address concerns and enhance the work environment.
3 Real World Examples of Employee Engagement
Google is known for its unique employee engagement strategies. They have various employee-friendly policies, such as providing employees with flexible working hours, allowing them to work on passion projects for a certain percentage of their time, and offering extensive wellness and healthcare programs. Google also encourages a collaborative and open work culture where employees feel valued and have the freedom to voice their opinions. Furthermore, the company organizes various team-building activities, workshops, and events to foster community and teamwork.
Salesforce is renowned for its strong emphasis on employee well-being and work-life balance. The company provides comprehensive wellness programs, including mental health support, counseling, and mindfulness training. Additionally, Salesforce offers various employee resource groups that promote diversity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging among employees.
The company also organizes volunteer activities, charity events, and community service initiatives, encouraging employees to contribute to social causes and positively impact their communities. These initiatives contribute to a sense of purpose and engagement among employees.
Zappos is recognized for its unique company culture centered around employee happiness and engagement. The company promotes a fun and vibrant work environment by organizing regular team-building activities, themed events, and celebrations.
Zappos also prioritizes employee development through comprehensive training programs, mentorship opportunities, and career advancement initiatives. Additionally, the company fosters open communication and transparency by encouraging employees to share their ideas, feedback, and concerns with management. This approach creates a strong camaraderie and employee engagement, leading to a positive and productive work atmosphere.
Improving More Than Just Your Engagement
Behind each successful female entrepreneur is a community that supports, mentors, and connects them to amazing opportunities.
Meet Dr. Maria T. Gresham, an expert in HR Management, Employee Lifecycle, Leadership, Business Strategy, and Operations. Currently, she is the Business Development Representative at Who’s Your HR?, and helps businesses skillfully navigate the legal complexities of being an employer.
You can connect with industry expert women professionals like Dr. Gresham at the International Association of Women. IAW hosts weekly networking events, has local chapters across the U.S., and is ready to help at any step of your career. To find out which level of membership is right for you, take the quiz and become an IAW member today!