There is no single definition of ‘Employee Engagement’. However, there are some important elements that you should examine to see whether your employees are engaged.
If your people are company and product advocates, not only stay but intend to stay with the organisation, and put in discretionary effort, then they are exhibiting strong signs of employee engagement. Research shows that good levels of employee engagement are rewarded with higher levels of performance and retention of staff.
What’s behind poor employee engagement?
Lack of employee engagement is usually the result of failed expectations; the psychological contract between the employee and the organisation. It can come about because career progression prospects are not as first envisioned, there is a mismatch in role expectations or perhaps ideas about the company culture are not fulfilled by experience (for example, claims that a company is ‘innovative’ may not be backed up in reality).
What happens if you don’t have employee engagement?
Without employee engagement, you are likely to have high employee turnover, low productivity and low morale. You will likely have brand and/or reputational risk issues as disengaged employees talk badly of the company and/or its products. People that leave the organisation may also go to your competitors and pass on company strategy.
It is also possible that you may be experiencing what’s called ‘presenteeism’. This is where people come to work, hence the low turnover rate, but basically just go through the motions. Presentees do not make any discretionary effort, do the bare minimum without enthusiasm and clock on and clock off on the dot (and not a minute over!). Don’t be fooled: they are not engaged.
Creating the right environment for engagement
You can help create the right conditions for employee engagement through actions such as:
- Enabling people to fully understand their job role and how it contributes to corporate goals
- Reward and recognition programs
- An employee complaint resolution program
- Satisfying day-to-day work
- Effective and motivational direct management.
So how can you tell if your people are engaged, particularly if your retention rates are ok? Surveying staff is one method. Talking to staff, observing staff behaviour and delving beneath reported results is another. Don’t rely on any one method – what people say and what they do can be very different things!
Customised engagement surveys to help you get the answers you need
Change Factory offers customised engagement surveys and has access to a large question bank to provide ready-made questions as needed. A full employee engagement transformation includes focus groups run by Change Factory to develop customised questions, with extensive post implementation support that includes: comprehensive tailored reports, practical recommendations for change and benchmarking data.
Contact us now to discuss your employee engagement queries, or to enquire about a customised engagement survey. We’re here to help.