A highly engaged workforce is, of course, a “nice-to-have” in business. But in these days of anxiety about Brexit and recruitment difficulties, you might feel that you have more important things to worry about.
You need to concentrate on the bottom line, making the money come in, paying your employees and keeping your customers happy. Sure, it would be great to have a highly engaged workforce. This has been an important topic in the business world for years. But some research carried out by Dale Carnegie shows that many organisations are not happy with the progress they have made in this arena. As many as 85% of leaders say that employee engagement is a priority. But only a third of organisations actually take meaningful action.
Signs of success
The evidence is there that companies who have highly engaged workforces are outperforming their competitors by a large margin in terms of earnings per share.
It costs approximately £30,000 to replace the average employee. Surely, it is better to keep your employees happy so you don’t need to replace them so often.
But how and where do you start to raise levels of employee engagement?
“It ain’t what you do…”
I have talked in previous articles about the key factors of employee engagement. It is easy to say that an organisation needs to increase trust and integrity. It is easy to understand that employees need the chance to have their opinion heard, or to be thanked for an achievement.
But how can these principles be embedded within an organisation?
“….It’s the way that you do it”
How can you ensure that you have highly engaged workforce? The most important step for you to take is to make it a strategic business priority. Make sure that everyone knows the importance of employee engagement and the benefits of it. This includes you, your managers – and everyone working in the organisation. Start at the top and make sure that all of your managers are highly engaged. Dale Carnegie’s research showed that only a third of senior leaders felt engaged with their organisation. If your managers are not engaged, how can they inspire the people who work with them?
Once you make employee engagement a strategic priority, you can put steps in place to enable your managers to achieve this goal. Managers need some specific skills to help them build an environment of engagement. See my article about management skills for more information.
If you think this article is useful and you would like any strategic HR support or information on making employee engagement into a strategic priority – please contact us for further guidance.
Jill Aburrow runs an HR strategic consultancy business – JMA HR . She provides strategic HR advice and support to businesses who want to improve loyalty, growth and profit. Jill has been a professional strategic HR advisor for over two decades. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Law.