OpX Insights

Employee Engagement

written By Mike Leigh

It seems as if every organization these days wants to improve employee engagement.  Although employee engagement simply sounds like some warm and fuzzy buzzwords, they certainly are not.  Since Gallup began reporting employee engagement in its State of the American Workforce report, businesses have become aware of the positive (or negative) impact it can have on performance.  Gallup’s report is compelling:

  • Only 30% of the American workforce is “actively engaged” in their job, meaning they are motivated to do well and to help their company achieve its goals.
  • The remaining are either “disengaged” (52%), or “actively disengaged” (18%).
  • Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost employers between $450B and $550B a year in lost productivity and are more likely to steal from their companies, miss workdays, and drive away customers.

If you want to improve employee engagement in your organization (and all of you should), remember the three E’s:  Empower, Enable, and Emotionally Attach.

Empower

Everyone wants to feel wanted, useful, and needed.  When you empower employees with responsibility or give them an opportunity to provide you feedback and ideas, they will become more engaged.  A great way to do this is to delegate.  Delegation is a well-known benefit for leaders because it develops employees and improves personal productivity.  But a third, lesser-known benefit of delegation is employee empowerment.  Look for ways you can delegate something of real value to every employee.

Enable

Have you ever been frustrated by computer problems?  Or upset by not having the right tool for the job?  Or stressed out because of a task you need to accomplish without the skills to do it?  Well so are your employees.  If you are not providing the training, tools, and resources your workforce needs, then you may be hurting your clients and disengaging your employees.  Take care of your employees.  Ask them what they need and get it for them.

Emotionally Attach

Any good salesman knows that customer buying decisions are emotional ones.  So if you want your employees to “buy” your business, they must feel an emotional attachment to what you are “selling”.  Does your workforce know your vision and mission?  Do your employees understand how their work adds value to your customers?  Have you helped them achieve their goals while they are helping you achieve yours?  At every opportunity, share customer satisfaction stories with your workforce.  Regularly communicate your business goals and vision.  Spend time with your employees to learn and support their goals, and genuinely try to help them.  They will become more emotionally attached and more engaged in their work.

So remember the three E’s to improve employee engagement, and watch your business excel!