How to Create Engaged Employees

Engaged employees around a desk

Having engaged employees means better productivity, and fewer sick days and helps you develop the talent within your teams. When engagement can dramatically reduce absenteeism by up to 81%, it’s essential that organisations create engaged employees.

What Do We Mean by Engaged Employees?

Engaged employees are emotionally invested in giving their time, energy and talent to their jobs for the greater good of the team. They are more likely to care about the organisation and its customers.

Research by Gallup finds that organisations with highly engaged employees have:

  • 18% increase in productivity
  • 23% increase in profitability
  • Between 18-43% decrease in turnover and
  • 64% decrease in accidents.

If these figures aren’t convincing enough, remember that organisations are facing more complex problems than ever. The aftermath of COVID-19, Brexit, the financial crisis and the impact of a changing workforce. Having engaged employees is crucial to any business.

Identifying Your Engaged Employees

Your engaged employees are the ones who are likely to shine in their jobs. These are the people who you have pegged for leadership roles and are often eager to take on more responsibility.

According to a Gallup poll, this is around 15% of your workforce. Nurturing these people is valuable as they are more likely to stay with your organisation for longer.

It’s also easy to spot employees who are disengaged. These are the staff who pick fault and will always look for the negative in any situation. Simply put, they are unhappy in their jobs and this can impact the mood of the whole team.

Having someone sitting next to you being negative all day about the shortcomings of a workplace can quickly create a toxic atmosphere. Often these people have been in their job for a long time and will see themselves as indispensable to the team – usually with a unique core skill that takes time to train. Again, these are likely to be a small percentage of your employees.

But What About Everyone Else?

Well, these are the people who are happy in their jobs. They come to work every day, do their job and switch off when they leave the building. They are not particularly invested in the values or goal of the organisation and therefore don’t have the productivity levels of your engaged employees.

Here you have an opportunity to motivate this group of people into becoming more engaged with their role and your organisation.

How to Create Engaged Employees

Firstly, your role as a leader is to make sure you’re getting the best out of your staff. This means making sure they are in the right role for their talent and that they sit within a diverse team. Nurturing the skills within your team to work together will help them feel more satisfaction in their work.

Secondly, make sure your staff feel valued. Letting them know how much their contribution makes a difference to the bigger picture will help them see the impact of what they do. This, in turn, will help nudge them towards becoming one of those engaged employees.

Next, make sure they are heard. This means making sure everyone has a voice in meetings – even the introverts – and listening when they can see something is not right. Giving your staff the confidence to challenge the management and offer different solutions is important to helping create engaged employees.

Make the Work Meaningful

One of the blockages to engagement is that staff simply don’t find meaning in their work. This can be helped by giving them a clear career path within the company. Make sure both yours and their objectives are aligned and give them the training and development they need to achieve their goals.

This will help your staff connect with the organisation and feel part of the team. You want people to be proud to say they work for your company.

Create Better Feedback

Imagine you’re going to work each day and doing your job in the same way you’ve always done it. Every appraisal is the same and you only hear when something goes wrong.

Now imagine doing the same role where you get regular feedback on your work, praise when something is working well and support when it doesn’t. Mistakes are framed as learning rather than something to avoid and you know where you need extra development. You are also encouraged to use this time to feedback to your manager about where you think improvements can be made or where you spot something not right.

Doesn’t the second one sound better?

By having continuous feedback, you are creating more engaged employees. They can make incremental steps towards their goal and you can help them match that with the company’s goals. This continuous communication encourages productivity.

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