Employee engagement is critical for any organization. After it was coined three decades ago, it has immediately created a buzz in the business sector.
Employee engagement is comprised of two components: Commitment or the affective attachment to and intention to remain with an organization, and discretionary effort or the willingness to go above and beyond formal job requirements. Balancing these two components can bring in positive effect the performance and overall success of a company.
But engagement of employees is also viewed as a psychological contract, or an unwritten, underpinned by trust, a two-way relationship between employer and employee — that is easy to break or disrupt.
What influences employee engagement? Could a design thinking drive it? Does innovation of HR programs help promote and enhance employee engagement?
A study has identified several areas that influence employee engagement.
Poor communication negatively impacts the success or growth of an organization because they are perceived to be unreliable. Employees and consumers alike may not be able to relay their feedback if there is a challenge on communication within the company.
Today, as most of the work forces are working remotely, increase employee engagement with the latest available communication tools and technology.
2. Trust and Integrity
Relationships are dependent on trust, feelings of personal obligation and norms of reciprocity. Ethical leaders are bound to have subordinates that are inclined to deliver an increased work engagement. Increased trust includes the welcome exchange of knowledge, ideas and information making employees actively engaged in their work.
3. Rich and Involving Job
Employees always look for companies where they can relate to its purpose, and see where and how they can fit in. If they feel that they have clarity of purpose, and that their efforts are directed toward the attainment of the organizational goals, employees will become more engaged in their work and committed to their organizations.
4. Effective and Supporting Supervisors
Top leaders and supervisors are well-positioned to ensure the active and meaningful engagement of their subordinates. A leader who sees the immediate needs of employees should keep an eye on effective management practices, career development and advancement, recognition and appreciation of employee contributions, teamwork, and a supportive working environment to boost employee engagement.
Passive-avoidant and passive-aggressive behaviors, such as ‘failing to interfere until problems become serious’, ‘delaying or avoiding decisions’, and “expressing negative feedback indirectly instead of openly sharing them” can be a slippery slope that devolves into lower employee engagement.
5. Career Advancement
Talents flock to companies that can give them the opportunity to grow and develop. Investing time and money in employees through training, professional development, or continuing education was one of the most effective engagement tools.
6. Pride in the Organization
Pride is an outward expression of employee engagement. Employees who are so proud of their affiliations can’t and won’t stop talking about how great of a place it is to work with. Companies should give focus on building a better company culture and brand that their employees can relate to and can brag on.
7. Collaborative Teams
The workplace is changing, so is the way we work.
Companies must look for ways to connect their employees by removing barriers and forming stronger and collaborative teams. Collaborative teams are full of engaged employees who are motivated, efficient, and innovative problem solvers who yield better performance, and improved outcomes.
How does disengagement harm companies?
In the State of Global Workplace: 2021 Report, employee engagement decreased globally by two percent from 22% in 2019 to 20% in 2020. A high rate of disengaged employees is considered a vulnerability and this can be addressed with the right workforce culture and engagement.