It’s hard to find good help these days – or is it?
That old saying may not be as relevant these days as it may have been years before, as a new batch of highly-qualified and ambitious employees are on the prowl for a job that not only gives them the paycheck they want, but also the level of engagement and meaning they seek. There is often a correlation between employee engagement and engagement from management as they both benefits from each other.
For decades, employers found it increasingly difficult to find employees who fit the mold of the hard-working, loyal, respectful worker that the labor force was more used to seeing from generations past. But it appears as though there’s a seismic shift in this dynamic, with valuable employees now turning the tables on their employers.
It’s now employees who are seeking out companies that offer everything that they’re looking for in a job.
If your goal is to start a new business, you’d be well-advised to do your best to create a work environment that is engaging, positive, and encourages employees to flourish in their domain.
Employee Engagement Can’t Be Emphasized Enough
People on the hunt for a new job these days have much more power at the negotiating table than they’ve ever had. And as more and more organizations continue to compete with each other to attract and snag highly valuable employees, they’re increasingly tapping into tactics to uncover what it is exactly that prospective employees are looking for.
And among the key players in employee engagement.
Defined as an emotional and practical connection that an employee has with his or her place of work, employee engagement is as important as ever these days. An engaged employee is one who is enthusiastic about the job at hand and is encouraged to be a positive and integrated member of the organization.
Anyone starting a business needs to ensure that the work environment is a positive and nurturing one that fosters employee engagement. They can look at various strategies used by top companies for employee engagement to see what would work for their staff members best. It might even be that combining strategies work better than just one alone. The importance of this concept can’t be stressed enough, as the level of a business’s success depends largely on it. Organizations with more engaged workers outplay businesses without such a workforce by as much as 202 percent!
But plenty of companies fail miserably when it comes to promoting engagement among employees in the workplace. According to recent research from Gallup, in 2014 only 31.5 percent of employees polled claimed to be “engaged,” 51 percent said they were “not engaged” and 17.5 percent said they were “actively disengaged.”
And a big chunk of employees who leave their jobs are doing so not because of the jobs themselves, but because they want to get away from management. Eighty percent of employees who were less than satisfied with their supervisors were disengaged. And around half of the employees surveyed claim to have left a job at some point in their careers because of their bosses.
On the flip side, employees who feel that their direct supervisors are more approachable and open to communication are more likely to be engaged in their jobs. The odds of employees feeling more pleased and satisfied with their jobs are much higher when they believe management makes a valiant effort to stay in regular contact with employees. Leadership development software could also be implemented in the business to give employees a direct management line where they can find out any necessary information. A management system can make employees feel more engaged as they can see new initiatives as soon as they are updated and it can also help the organization understand what the employees are actually thinking.
Among those polled in the Gallup survey, it was the Millennial demographic who reported being the least engaged among all age groups, clocking in at 28.9 percent. Millennials are seeking much more than a job that just helps pay the bills. They’re looking for a job that has meaning, and that connects with their personal lives.
Even though the labor force is strengthening and wages are increasing, employees in this generation aren’t necessarily landing the jobs they planned on as they come out of college.
What Does an Engaged Employee Look Like?
Employees who are plugged into their jobs and their companies are:
- More productive on the job
- More likely to stay with a company for the long haul
- More likely to speak highly of the company to others
- Better at communicating with colleagues and management
- More philanthropically oriented
And while these may seem to be benefits for employees, they’re also plusses for the organizations that hire them. Happy, positive, committed and productive employees are the types of individuals you want to have on payroll.
So what employee strategies should you use?
Establish goals. For starters, it’s imperative to have a clear and distinct vision for the company so that employees know exactly what they’re working hard to achieve. Goals are always important, as they give people something to work towards and provide a sense of achievement once those goals are attained.
Encourage communication. Management needs to have an open-door policy where employees are encouraged and invited to discuss issues that are affecting them. Being able to provide their input to supervisors lets employees feel as though they are being heard, and that their opinions are valid. And the better the communication, the healthier the business relationships between staff and management will be.
Give them a sense of meaning. Upper management needs to show front-line employees that their hard work is directly contributing to the success of the business. Employees need to know that they have a positive impact on the company and that they are truly contributing to the success of the overall business.
By creating an environment that stimulates employee engagement, not only can you increase productivity and revenues, but you can even encourage your staff to expand their horizons and reach their full potential. With employees who are more content and satisfied with the job, your business will be more likely to reap the rewards with a better bottom line.