Employee engagement is a one billion Dollars problem affecting all organizations, and businesses locally and world-wide.
Employee engagement may be one of the most talked about and researched topics in the last 10 years whether among HR professionals or in management practices in general.
According to Gallup survey only 30% (plus or minus) of employees worldwide are engaged. Gallup has been surveying this area for many years now and the results are within the 30% bracket in the US and it is much less in other parts of the world. This is a shocking news to all businesses, especially in a time where uncertainty is raising, change is the only constant and people are working at a very fast pace, and the old Loyalty definitions are no longer prevail.
Although Employee engagement is a Fairly new concept in management practices, it is absolutely and directly correlated to productivity and retaining good employees.
Many consulting companies are creating specialized programs (Models) to assist organizations on assessing and elevating employee engagement.
Evaluating those models, a common denominator, among all is the Leadership of the organization, be it senior or direct management.
Leadership has a lot of responsibility towards employee engagement levels in any organization.
Although solutions and remedies are not a fast, and straight forward formula but surely there are actions that Leadership can adopt immediately to enhance employee engagement in its’ organization.
In this article we will not address all factors and techniques rather than I would like to share few ideas that if practiced regularly it would instantly affect employee engagement levels.
Before going into this, Let’s start by addressing motivation. Motivation and engagement yes are interconnected. If the first is there the later surely is there too. Both concepts are not tangible but felt and seen through behaviors. For example If I am really motivated to do something and believing it will bring me rewards definitely, I will be actively engaged in it, or simply indulged in doing it.
We all know that motivation is behind people’s actions and behaviors and recurrent behaviors so if we are seeking engagement, we need to understand motivation a bit more.
We need to ask ourselves what are we doing to motivate our employees, for them to diligently and passionately put the extra effort at what they do??????
People do not get motivated the same way, each one of us has his/her own motivators, nonetheless there are the basics. As described by “Herzberg’s Motivation Theory (Two Factor theory)” which classifies motivators basically into two types:
- Hygienic factors
- Motivator factors.
Where the hygienic factors are the base, for example salary and benefits are the basics. So it does not necessarily motivate but definitely the absence of them creates lack of satisfaction and then it becomes demotivators.
Therefore, to satisfy the hygienic factors as an employer or a manager you need to make sure that employees are getting the fair pay and the right working conditions to say the least.
Then start a plan to cater for the motivator factors that lead to satisfaction and hence facilitate engagement.
One of the most effective motivational factors is appreciation.
Acknowledgement and appreciation are the ingredients of a magical formula in any workplace.
Check as senior or direct management your appreciation strategies. What do you do as a manager to appreciate your team and make them feel valuable???????
- Simple actions of recognition and appreciation for each employee makes a big difference in their engagement and moral.
- Recognize and acknowledge each employee privately and/or publicly. We all need to feel we are heard and seen, and our efforts are being recognized.
- Showing appreciation and giving praise is not neutral, the lack of it is a demotivator.
- Successful teams share a culture of praise and encouragement.
- Make it a habit to catch people doing something good and praise them. We need to stop catching people doing something wrong to direct them. We all know that if we want to strengthen any behavior, we need to recognize it and praise it.
- Appreciation should not be an expansive act, sometimes just words of encouragement and recognition or simple gestures would make all the difference.
Written by Lina Ayesh
If you are interested in elevating employee engagement at your organization please contact The Choice Leadership Solutions.
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