It’s a pretty simple equation: increased employee engagement means a better, more productive business. Engaged workers are much more likely to go that extra mile when it comes to producing quality products or impeccable service. This, in turn, leads to happy customers, repeat business, an increase in referrals and better sales. All this should mean more profits, better returns for shareholders and an increased stock value. Improving employee engagement is therefore a no-brainer.
But what exactly is employee engagement and how can you increase yours?
So What Is Employee Engagement?
Don’t get confused between happy employees and engaged employees. Someone can be happy in work, coasting along, clocking in and out on time and ticking all the right boxes. But are they emotionally invested in the business? Do they care about its core values, its overall performance?
A happy employee can be very self-focused, whereas an engaged employee goes that extra mile. They care about the company overall and are always seeking improvements and thinking of the bigger picture.
An engaged employee is the one who will work overtime without having to be asked. It’s the person who takes initiative. They’re not just thinking about their paycheck or the next promotion. They’re seeking to improve the business overall and to work towards achieving the organization’s goals.
Free pizza on Fridays or free massages at lunch time may lead to increased worker happiness and satisfaction – which is of course valuable in its own right – but it doesn’t necessarily increase engagement. See our steps below to see how you can really increase engagement throughout your workforce.
1. Hire the right leaders and managers.
Great managers talk the talk and walk the walk and know how to inspire staff. They know how to create a narrative and get the right people on board to implement strategies and push forward. The right manager can transform an organization, can shake things up. They not only hire the right employees - they will boost employee engagement from the top down.
A great manager will listen to employees, will ensure they have the right training and resources to carry out their work. They will provide constructive criticism and praise when it is necessary. An open dialogue and a positive organizational structure will filter down and increase engagement organically.
2. Keep an open dialogue.
Listen to your employees. Have systems in place where they can communicate frankly. Consider surveys for anonymous feedback. Have regular meetings where idea sharing and generation, action plans, updates and concerns are vocalized in a healthy and mutually respectful way.
Give employees responsibility and make accountability a part of that. Don’t let a small issue grow or fester into a big problem. Proper communication channels can nip things in the bud and steer things in the right direction.
3. Consider employee ownership options.
Giving an employee stock options is a great way of increasing engagement. After all, they have a stake in the business and its future, they’re going to care about its performance and its profitability and engage more. If you already have an employee stock plan you need to ensure that staff are engaging with it and that everything from compliance to trading is taken care of and above board.
If it’s new to your company and something you’re considering, speak to someone like Global Shares who can take away the headache of setting it up and managing it thanks to our seamless software and easy to use platform. We’re trusted by hundreds of companies across a multitude of industries in more than 100 countries across the world.
4. Foster relationships.
Encourage teamwork, both in and outside the office. Having a social outlet for employees to enable to get to know one another outside their normal place of work is key to building relationships and to creating a sense of “we’re all in this together”. Employees who care about each other and who know each other are more inclined to be team players who work cohesively together for the greater good of the company. And after all, a business is its people first and foremost.
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Global Shares is an employee equity management company. We specialize in helping companies attract, retain and engage top talent. If you’d like to see for yourself how the Global Shares stock plan administration software can help your company, book a one-on-one, no obligation consultation today and we’ll demonstrate our award-winning software.