Here are some stats that might make your eyes water. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged and passionate about their work. The other 87 percent of employees — almost nine out of every ten — are just along for the ride. Some employees are so disengaged they can affect the bottom line, since employees who feel disconnected from their organization’s mission are more likely to quit; this situation pushes up recruiting costs and affects other business benchmarks such as absenteeism, productivity and customer retention.
It’s obvious, then, that employees must be engaged to be happy and productive. Here are a few things you should focus on to improve employee engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
In simple terms, it’s getting up in the morning thinking, “Awesome! I’m going to work today, and I have some great ideas I’d like to share with the team. I’m looking forward to getting down to business and helping my co-workers finish up that project.”
Drilling down further, employee engagement is about:
- Understanding what the organization is and what it wants to achieve.
- Linking personal goals to the organization’s mission, so everyone is excited to follow the same road map.
- Being included as a valuable member of the team.
- Being given a real say in how the organization could do better.
- Receiving regular and constructive feedback.
To clarify, engagement is not about making staff happy; however, if you take steps to boost engagement, you will discover happiness will generally follow the tide.
Why Should I Care?
If you care about the quality of your products, your brand’s reputation, retaining your customers and your ability to innovate, you should care about employee engagement — engagement is proven to drive all four factors.
How Do I Know Where I Stand?
Traditionally, companies have measured engagement through an annual paper survey circulated to the entire organization. Assuming truthful responses, this type of survey can give a reliable snapshot of how engaged workers perceive themselves to be, but that perception is limited to one specific moment in time, and it doesn’t pull the levers for Millennials who perform nearly all their work on mobile devices.
Now you can add a range of tech-based tools to your arsenal, using mobile apps to capture feedback and ensure engagement levels can be continuously assessed in real time.
Stop Trying to Hit Me, and Hit Me!
The new go-to for measuring employee engagement is the pulse survey. The idea behind a pulse survey is that HR asks strategic, engagement-related questions via the company Intranet at regular intervals, usually every few weeks. With a pulse survey, employees can quickly give feedback on how things are going or cast a vote on what should happen next.
- Fast, web-based, mobile-optimized pulse surveys can give you a real-time read on the health of your department, project or team, with dashboards to help you analyze and report on data.
- You can drill down into results at the local level and take action to fix problems before they become entrenched.
- Pulse surveys encourage feedback, which is a powerful employee relation strategy.
- Technology can accommodate smartphones and the trend toward Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which increases the survey completion rate.
With the right technology, pulse surveys can dramatically increase the timeline from survey creation to data delivery. Employees feel more engaged when they know someone is paying attention to them and taking action now, not at some unspecified point in the future. Mobile apps allow for real-time feedback, which in turn can boost engagement levels since managers can give employees precisely what they need to succeed.