In a report from the Harvard Business Review, 71 percent of business leaders said that employee engagement was very important for the success of the organization. But only 24 percent of these same leaders said they felt like their employees were highly engaged.
And workers agree. A Gallup study found that only 31.5 percent of employees felt engaged at work in 2014. Another Gallup study found that companies in the top quartile for engaged employees had 22 percent higher profitability than those in the bottom quartile.
It’s not hard to spot the engaged employee. They devote extra time to their work and show passion and enthusiasm for their role at the company. Leaders recognize the value of having employees that are invested and empowered but struggle with cultivating this type of environment.
So what are great companies doing to boost employee engagement (and company profits) at the same time? Here are five ideas to get you thinking.
Start With Company Leadership
Don’t underestimate the trickle-down effect of having connected and curious leaders who have clear expectations and are transparent. The phrase “It starts at the top,” may be overused but is especially true when it comes to setting the tone for company culture and expectations.
Leverage Technology Solutions
Technology helps remove communication bottlenecks, avoid misinformation, and bridge the information gaps between your teams. Read how LIVESTRONG used Bloomfire to create an online environment where all employees could contribute and share information about work as well as fun social activities that build a sense of teamwork.
Give Employees A Voice
Empowered employees are engaged and involved. The key to this strategy is making sure people have a variety of ways to express their opinions. Use a combination of company-wide meetings, one-on-one sessions, social outings, and online platforms to foster open communication.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the platforms you use to give your employees a voice. For example, Flexera CEO Jim Ryan told Inc that his company has an annual innovation contest with a cash prize to encourage employees to get involved and share their best ideas.
Create A Culture Of Accountability
Decide how you will measure engagement and hold employees accountable. Pulling reports from your enterprise social network or collaboration tool is one way to measure engagement. Many solutions allow you to track when and how often an employee posts, reads and interacts with content. Tie performance goals directly to these engagement metrics.
Develop Career Paths For Employees.
Make sure their strengths and abilities are being fully leveraged. Boost employee engagement by providing the support, training, and opportunities to help them progress down their personal path to success.
Fostering employee engagement is more than a fluffy, feel-good idea. Any investment in employees that make them feel more connected to the success of the company will enjoy high returns.