To begin with, we must know what the concept of employee engagement means. As we commented earlier in our blog, it is mainly the emotional commitment that employees show with the company, feeling identified with its values and therefore dedicating greater efforts to achieving goals.
According to the authors Wilmar Schaufel and Marisa Salanova, who are well known and influential on the subject, engagement is “a psychological state that brings with it a feeling of strong commitment to the position held by a member of a company. And that is characterized by a feeling of high energy, great enthusiasm, and a strong connection with their work”.
If the members of the company are committed and the engagement is high, it is very likely that the productivity of the company will increase. This way employees will be committed, willing to work and collaborate when things get difficult.
Nowadays, there are many studies who have researched the subject and have put forward various strategies on how to achieve or improve it. However, there are two types of strategies that can be distinguished: organizational and emotional.
1. Organizational Strategies to improve employee engagement:
The most common organizational strategies for improving employee engagement are:
- Make employees aware that they are trusted. Giving them the freedom to organize schedules and tasks will be something they will value positivel. This will have a positive impact on their own trust in the company.
- Reinforce the vision of the tasks. Each team, person or department can explain why they do what they do, thus helping people remember the importance of the work they do. If people can see the impact their work has on the organization, they will feel more “connected” to the tasks to be performed.
- Keep everyone involved and informed. In order for the employee not to feel simply a passive recipient of instructions, team leaders and managers should look for opportunities to involve their employees in decision making. When employees are involved in the strategic direction of their team they are more likely to feel committed to it.
- Reformulate stable environments. For actions that involve engagement to be effective, it is of vital importance that the profile and preferences of the people are aligned with the corporate values of the company. Thus, promoting new open work environments that increase collaborative work among employees.
- Closeness of the company’s management. Many workers have the feeling that those in charge of the company are on a higher plane, opening a gap that is difficult to overcome. It is advisable that managers and other leaders of the company, close ties with employees and take an interest in their tasks and their situation.
2. Emotional Strategies:
In addition to the organizational strategies, others can be established that are more emotionally focused. According to Carter, this type of strategy is fundamental for achieving adequate employee engagement. Below are the most significant ones:
- Reinforcing the effort. Give feedback to employees, focusing on how to improve rather than what is being done wrong.
- Rewarding merit. When an employee is providing value, it is essential that he or she be rewarded, as this is one of the best ways to retain talent.
- Betting on autonomy. Give employees the freedom to try out new ideas, to incorporate new approaches to their tasks, to value intra-employment positively.
- Encourage two-way feedback. Besides being important that the employee knows from the company how he is doing, it is also important to let him participate with the same intensity in the opposite direction.
Taking into account all of the above, we can establish a series of guidelines that should be present in the achievement of a better employee engagement.
Firstly, communication is a fundamental part of achieving the commitment, therefore, internal communication lines must be enabled to allow a closer relationship between employees and the company.
Secondly, it will be essential to obtain opinions and assessments from the workers, since there are certain aspects of a company that only the employees themselves know in depth.
Finally, to increase the commitment of both old and new employees, it is necessary to support employee growth. This can be done through positive feedback on a job well done, internal promotion and new responsibilities. Facilitating learning opportunities or ensuring constructive and always private interaction are small gestures that help professionals grow in every way and become more engaged with the company.
At Erudit we want to help you taking care of your workers in these challenging times, monitoring their levels of engagement, burn out and friction (without the need of applying a single survey) and finding ways to maintain a healthy and productive team of collaborators.