Employees are the heart of any organization. And engaged employees are not only happier employees; the results consistently show higher productivity and better performance. When we think "what is employee engagement?" it is bigger than ping pong tables and nap pods in the office. Companies must make an investment in creating an effective and ongoing talent acquisition strategy to attract and retain employees whose values align closely with that of the company’s.
There are a number of ways for a company to invest in an employee engagement strategy. (Before you cringe at the word investment, we're talking about a commitment, not a dollar amount.)
Culture fit is everything!
How would you describe your company’s culture? The answer to this question should provide the direction of your employee engagement strategy. Empower your employees to drive what they would like to see the organization take part in. What is motivating to them? Make them feel like they can suggest activities that closely align with their interests and values. Then, be sure your recruitment team effectively communicates your brand, culture and values to candidates to ensure a good fit. Engaged employees care about the future of the organization, and an organization’s success is based on its employees' success. The strategy should work around a culture that promotes inclusion and growth within the workplace.
Make them leaders.
Leadership development opportunities are essential to implementing an effective employee engagement strategy. By investing in leadership development and internal growth initiatives, you not only foster a highly engaged workforce but also get ahead of your strategic workforce plan. Leadership can train employees in a way that allows them to develop skillsets that bring meaning and purpose to the organization. Something that should be embedded in your culture and part of leadership training is for any manager of people to take the time to listen to individual employees on a regular basis. It fosters the feeling of importance when an employee is being listened to and taken seriously.
Implement a mentorship program.
"Cool" perks will create an initial candidate draw, but what long-standing value does that bring? The goal should be to make people better at what they do, for their benefit and the organization's. An effective employee engagement strategy will include employee-focused programs that offer opportunities for career growth. Internal mobility programs are valuable to employees as well as companies as a whole. The new skillsets can be applied to employees' daily functions, which can increase efficiency at the least. Setting up a mentorship program for all levels of the organization is a cost-effective and impactful way to get all members of your company engaged and encourage growth. By interacting with those more senior than themselves or in a different department, it might spark new interests or innovations. Get your employees talking!
These three simple employee engagement ideas will help instill ownership and excitement in your employees to contribute to your organization at their highest level.