The gap between employer, employee, and how it affects productivity has become a critical issue in the workplace. The role of employee engagement in an organization cannot be undermined. Employee engagement is an effort to encourage employees to stay focused and committed to projects and to the organization at large, it is also a measure of how valued employees are in their everyday work. Employee satisfaction can come from engagement; not all satisfied employees are engaged, though.
So we may ask ourselves how employee engagement affects productivity? It has been proven statistically that when employees are engaged, their productivity increases. Steve Jobs said, “the only way to do a great job is to love what you do.” As humans, we tend to pay more attention and give our very best to that person that makes us feel involved, make us feel valued.
Why is employee engagement critical?
- Improved Customer Satisfaction: Teammates that feel engaged in an organization or by the project manager will treat customers right. They have the knowledge that the customer is essential and, as such, will try as much as possible to put out perfect projects. It comes as a linear relationship; organization values the employee , employee values the client.
- Creative Employees: Employees that are involved in the organization can come up with really creative ideas. Because they feel engaged, they could think of ways to go about their tasks to improve productivity and other notions that can improve an ongoing project . But in a case where the team members are not engaged, they go about their activities like robots and are not interested in whether the project stalls or not.
- Loyal Employees: Employees will likely switch jobs if their skills are not appreciated. Engaged employees are usually more loyal to a company. You feel at home, and the environment is conducive, you are loved and respected; the thought of switching jobs won’t cross your mind as often as it would if you were not engaged.
- Reduced Absenteeism: Employees that are passionate about their job will rarely be absent from work. They enjoy the job; they want to participate.
- Increased Productivity: Studies have shown that there is about a 21%-26% increase in productivity of engaged employees. This increase can be attributed to commitment and enthusiasm towards work. The team members put more into the projects than they would have initially.
Since we have underscored the importance of employee engagement, we have to ask how to improve it. We have some ideas that could help
- Use Feedback Tools and Surveys: Feedback tools can be used to measure the performance of employees as well as their feeling about the place of work. Surveys can also be done on specific issues. With the data collated from employees, areas are identified for action, and plans to tackle the situation are also put in place.
- Team Leaders: Since team leaders are supposed to uphold discipline, they should also be approachable. Employees should not panic before they meet a team leader as it is in some organizations. Some employees are somewhat scared of the team leaders. Team leaders should wear smiles and not make employees feel tense. Team leaders should also allow employees to express their opinions.
- Value employees: The organization as a whole must show it has the interest of its employees at heart. It shouldn’t just be only what the employee can offer the organization, but also what the organization can offer the employee. The organization should show interest in the personal development of its employees, sending them to refresher courses, not over-working them, and payment of salaries when due. Employees should be loved and treated with respect. Handling employee situations during a crisis is can also show how the employees are rated by the company.
- Employee Community: The employees of the organization have to maintain good relationships with one another irrespective of their differences. The knowledge that your co-worker cares about your well-being could also make you more involved in the affairs of the organization. Imagine going to work because my co-worker is my buddy. I would anticipate going to work because I have a friend there.
- Employee Involvement: Employees should be involved in severe tasks. Bringing employees onto the table of pressing tasks makes them feel more important.
- Career Development: what is in it for me? What do I stand to gain? How does this aid my progress? Humans will ask these questions. It is the job of the organization to provide answers to these questions. Assure them of your commitment to their growth and watch their commitment levels rise. Organize refresher courses often to show your interest in their personal development. Doing these will raise their commitment to the organization and also makes them less likely to leave.
- Clarity of Vision: The organization should have a clear vision; that way, it could attract people that share the same concept. It is not just employing anybody that is available in the labor market, but they should be deliberate in hiring people that share the same vision, especially when the organization has long term plans. This helps to increase the consciousness of employees as they already know the task at hand is mentally prepared.
- Nature of Job: The job should not necessarily be an easy one or a hard one as long as it brings out the best of the employees. Employees like a job that allows them to express themselves, something that would reflect their creativity. Giving employees jobs that they can show will increase their engagement because it will certainly be something they enjoy, something they are connected to.
Employee engagement is a give and takes relationship; treat the employee right, and the employee treats your organization with all seriousness. It is solely the job of the team leaders to close the barrier between employee engagement and disengagement. There is a lot a leader can do to improve employee engagement, offering words of encouragement, giving workers extra time out after a hectic schedule, rewards. Also, regular lunches with co-workers can ensure workers are tight-knit, and everyone is buzzing.