Hiring employees is a significant cost to any business. Posting the job, interviewing candidates, selecting the right one, onboarding and training require dedicated and sustained attention from management. An often overlooked fact when hiring is why the previous employee decided to leave. To understand that requires a conversation around employee retention and employee engagement – how to get employees to be the best each day.
Employee engagement is about attitudes and behaviors that improve business outcomes reinforcing one another.
Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy between $483 and $605 billion each year in lost productivity.
And for those employees that choose to leave their current roles, depending on the size of the business, the total costs of replacing an employee can be moderate, through to astronomical. According to Harrison Human Resources, that figure can represent from 30-150% of their salary.
Staff will not become engaged in their own accord. Businesses need to know and understand their staff and do so by building a strategy to engage, listen, and interact with them.
So how does a business build an engagement strategy?
A pizza party is not an employee engagement strategy.
Friday afternoon drinks are not employee engagement.
People are smart. They can see through thinly veiled attempts to paper over work-culture issues.
Engagement as a strategy must be a commitment from the leadership team toward an ongoing culture of openness and engagement. Strategies to engage staff run the gamut, but here are some tested approaches that businesses could consider:
(1) Provide clear goals
Managers who are indecisive, who approach work with an unclear view as to what the outcome needs to be, will inevitably frustrate workers.
Employees want and need clear goals for them to feel like they’ve achieved something and that they’re making progress on a daily basis.
(2) Be flexible
Many workers make accommodations for business, working over lunches, coming in early, or staying late. When their flexibility is not repaid in kind, workers can become disillusioned and disengaged, when flexibility is extended employees will see it.
(3) Demonstrate integrity
Trust takes years to build but can be easily broken. Managers must always remain fair and even-handed, demonstrating integrity to ensure workers feel the business is fair and supportive of all.
(4) Promote taking breaks
Expectations that workers need to be at work at all times can leave workers exhausted and stressed. Encouraging workers to take breaks can leave them feeling management cares about their mental health.
(5) Two-way feedback
The best way to know if what you’re doing is right for your workers is to ask. Many managers give feedback to their staff, telling them how they’re going. Giving that same opportunity to staff, to ask for input on projects, or how things are going can leave them feeling appreciated.
(6) Choose the right intranet
Communication is key. Finding the right way to keep in touch with your workers and spread your message is integral to employee engagement. Internal communication methods and platforms to enhance employee engagement, that are safe, secure and easy to use to communicate across your organisation, are something every business needs. With the right intranet content, like newsletters and company notice boards, businesses can speak to workers and be there when they need to know what’s what.
How should you implement engagement?
Good leaders need to apply the power they have in businesses as managers to make the change they want to see. If you want more engaged employees, engage them through acts, words, and deeds. If you to communicate with your employees, communicate with them with a powerful intranet platform. Start planning now for how to cut costs and improve outcomes.
To find out more about engaging your workers, discover Five Intranet Content Types to Keep your Employees engaged.