Employee engagement is the cornerstone of a productive and healthy company culture.Without a talented and motivated workforce, the quality of work and company environment can diminish, sooner than you may realize. In order to cultivate a culture built with positivity, employee engagement must be pushed to the forefront.
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Prioritizing employee engagement is not only vital, but it’s also relatively simple to execute.
But what is it really? Employee engagement is neither employee happiness or satisfaction, it is instead the emotional commitment that people have to their organization. Commitment is what makes the highs higher and the lows much more bearable.
An engaged workforce is far more likely to weather the storm than a non-engaged one.
Throughout the course of this article, we examine four main pillars, based on my personal experiences. These pillars have worked wonders for driving employee engagement in my workplace, and I am confident they can benefit your team as well.
Employee Engagement Pillar #1: Company Transparency
Transparency should be your default as an organization, with your target audience/partners as well as your employees.
The more plugged-in and attuned your team is with the comings and goings of your organization, the better.
An increasing number of workers are wanting to make a difference while they take on their daily work tasks.
If you can satiate this desire, you will drive employee engagement! Now, this may not apply to organizations dealing with classified information, but when information is able to be shared you definitely should.
But wait...what information should you share?
Share the Wins
When a company accomplishes something, share it. These wins can be individual achievements by employees, the acquisition of new business, even just a successful quarter!
If a win excites leadership, it will excite an engaged workforce as well.
Below, you can see how one of our account strategists who was producing great results, while working remotely from Armenia, was highlighted on Directive’s social media:
Share the Opportunities
Is a big revenue boost on the horizon for your company? Maybe a dream client is about to close. Maybe your recent growth finally lead you to be able to afford a competitive PPC campaign you’ve been wanting to launch.
Share opportunities with employees and get them excited about them! Drive employee engagement and turn opportunities into reality. By doing so, you let your team know the efficient work they do affects beyond their normal, daily tasks.
Share the Vision
“Are we there yet?!”
This common exclamation by children on road trips everywhere can apply to the mindset of employees who are not engaged at their workplace. If your employees do not know where they stand or where the company is heading, they can get caught in complacency.
Combat this by sharing your vision for the company and how by working together that vision can become a reality. When the picture becomes clear, employee engagement will increase.
Employee Engagement Pillar #2: Active Goal Setting
The next step for driving employee engagement is to actively set team goals.
Starting from the top, organizational leaders should have goals for the company, for their departments, and for their individual employees.
Working toward objectives keeps employees engaged, since they are following a concrete guide.
Additionally, when goals are created on an individual basis, they come across as more thought out and deliberate.
Compared to company or department wide-goals, individual goals show that you are aware of the strengths, desires, and potential of all your employees.
Engaged employees achieve the goals set for them. When they do, recognize their achievement. However, do not stop there!
Set new goals and ensure employee engagement is continuously pushed to the forefront. Focus on what their strengths are and maybe find a book that helps overcome a challenge they’re facing. Be the cheerleader and the coach they need in their corner.
When setting goals, strike a balance between setting them too high or too low.
Find Ways to Make These Goals Come to Life
The saying goes, “If your dream doesn't scare you, it's too small.” However, it’s beneficial to have more reachable and achievable goals that lead toward a larger one.
This pillar can be enacted by companies of all sizes. Obviously, the CEO of a large corporation realistically could not achieve this for each individual employee.
However, as long as the goal-setting is being accomplished by leaders, the desired effect can still be achieved.
This pillar empowers those in leadership positions. Leaders who empower those around them breed employee engagement, which leads us to the next pillar.
Employee Engagement Pillar #3: Mentorship
Mentorship is a critical aspect of employee engagement and growth.
Luke Skywalker had Yoda, Frodo had Gandalf, and Harry Potter had Dumbledore. Besides the fact that all these mentors can move inanimate objects, what do they have in common? They made an investment in the personal growth of those around them and shared the experiences that helped them get to where they are.
Organizational leaders must actively make themselves available to their team if they are expecting them to grow and help achieve the vision of the company.
Mentorship gives employees a resource they can utilize when finding themselves in scenarios they have never been, when they are in a professional or personal rut, and when they want to grow in the company. These are just a few instances where mentorship becomes key for an employee’s engagement and well-being at a company.
A great way for leaders to enact this pillar is to create open office hours. Using Google Calendar or other time management tools, organizational leaders can block off times where their employees are able to schedule one-on-one meetings.
This measure actually places the employee engagement back on the workforce. Since leadership will not be setting these meetings themselves, employees are required to be proactive if they want to leverage this beneficial opportunity.
If the previous pillars have already been addressed, your workforce should already be engaged and therefore more likely to leverage the mentorship available to them. Win-win.
Employee Engagement Pillar #4: Company Events & Outings
The last pillar of employee engagement is what we can call the ‘fun pillar’. Throwing company events as an organization is a sure-fire way to break up the monotony of the week and help drive engagement.
Beyond the tried and true holiday parties, time should be set aside so co-workers can bond together and enjoy each other’s company.
These outings and events help team members develop a bond extending beyond their daily routine. As a result, your employees become closer and therefore able to work together more efficiently.
However, there is no set event or activity that leads to more employee engagement than the others. The best way to decide what outing to enjoy is by giving options and collecting a vote.
With this method, outings can range from laser tag, brewery visits, theme-parks, Korean BBQ, you name it!
Take a look at my team celebrating at our quarterly outing below at an escape room!
Another example, for International Women’s Day, my CEO booked a specialist to come into the office and treat the women to manicures/pedicures during their workday. His dog popped in to say hello as well.
The options here are endless. However, one thing remains certain, company outings and events give employees something to look forward to and help them stay engaged and feel appreciated in their workplace.
Employee engagement is now front and center for businesses everywhere. It cannot be ignored and must be addressed in creative ways.
The pillars outlined above have worked but there is no doubt more of them exist. As long as employee engagement is genuinely pursued by the leaders of a company, results should follow.
Put your best foot forward, be transparent, set goals, guide with compassion, and blow off some steam every once in a while. Your employees will make it worthwhile.
Feeling inspired? Download our free ebook "How to Boost Internal Communication" where we share best practices for helping you delivering a great employee experience!