If you've spent any time at all reading this blog, you'll know we're somewhat obsessed with this statistic: A recent Gallup poll reported that only one in three employees in the U.S. is engaged with their job. So why is that one metric so meaningful? Simple - employee engagement has a direct impact on productivity and other factors related to the amount of work product companies generate, which, in turn, dictates revenues. In fact, companies that discover how to drive strong employee engagement recognize more than 2.5 times the revenue of those that do not.
Pretty simple math, right? Statistically, chances are that you have more than a few disengaged employees on your hands. If you can get them to be actively engaged in their work or with your company, it's good for business - really good for business. That all makes sense. However, how do you get from point A to point B? Increasing employee engagement is simple - if you know what to do and have the right tools to do it. Let's examine the five-step path to increasing employee engagement that you can get started on today.
First, set your foundation
A quick word before we start: These recommendations are all predicated on the use of a suite of unified human capital management (HCM) solutions. HCM technology can be a tremendously effective and important tool in your efforts to boost employee engagement, whether it's one of the following:
- Scheduling tools that align employees to skills-appropriate jobs and those that take into account their work preferences while ensuring that appropriate rest periods and breaks are taken
- Payroll tools that provide employees with real-time access to their time and pay records
- A training suite that helps your workforce stay compliant and grow in their career opportunities.
Often, these systems have so many uses beyond what you'd imagine, and the various applications work best if they are part of a system that's truly integrated - as opposed to bits and pieces patched together. Learn more at our post on the subject here.
Employee engagement in five simple steps
- Get the right people in the right seats
Use your HCM software to assess both performance and preferences and act accordingly. First, performance: If you notice that employee A is way more productive when working the second shift, yet they are assigned to the first shift 3 days out of 5, that needs to change. Second, preference: If employee B would prefer to work Sundays rather than Saturdays and you can honor that request, employee B will undoubtedly be grateful - and thus, engaged.
- Provide those people with a) the training they need and b) meaningful work
Use your HCM to deliver training to your employees when they need it on a persistent basis via the cloud. You can monitor their access of the training and check their progress. Then, you can provide them with work that gives them the ability to demonstrate their new talents.
- Give everyone a chance at a good work/life balance
Use your software to ensure that scheduling is fair and balanced, and honor as many requests as is practical and possible for time off. The new generation of workers values quality of life and meaning above all else, so make sure that they feel heard as they strive to identify the purpose. This way, you avoid burning them out and eliminate other barriers to their engagement. Consider adding a paid volunteer day to your employees' schedule if possible. To learn more, check out this guide to work-life balance.
- Provide transparency surrounding time worked and pay
Give your employees real-time access to their time and payroll data. This not only empowers them but also saves your HR department immeasurable time (saving you money). Where available and possible, give them integrated, real-time, online access to insurance and 401(k) portals as well. Empowerment and a sense of partnership go a long way toward boosting engagement.
- Give employees a chance to give feedback and discuss engagement
Lastly, when you have enacted these steps, give your employees the opportunity to let you know how you're doing and tell you where you should go next. You're on this journey together - let them help you chart the course.
Perhaps the first thought that comes to mind when you think of employee engagement is doughnuts in the break room. It's not that easy - it's more about information and less about baked goods - but it doesn't have to be overly complicated, either. In choosing to work for your company, your employees have linked their lives with yours; just as in hiring them, you've linked your life with theirs. In a different sense of the word, you are engaged - in the business of making a profit. Now all you have to do is act like it, and make your relationship a two-way street, where your employees get as much give-and-take from it as you do. Use your HCM technology to facilitate this exchange, and you'll see your engagement rates skyrocket - just like your revenues.