Understanding the work force and the combination of multiple generations working together in is challenging. But getting your employees to actually use their discretionary efforts – meaning their own choices to be actively involved in decisions for the company’s best interests – seems to be the ultimate challenge in today’s workplace.
Employees don’t check their personalities at the door when they come to work. Knowing that they are respected as individuals at work can have a significant impact on how employees view their overall lives. Balance between personal and work life are crucial to gaining employee engagement. If an employee has issues in their personal life it will drift into the work environment. The line between home and work has been very gray for a number of years.
According to Forbes.com, the definition of employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals.
The Gallup Business Journal indicates that there are three types of employees:
- The Engaged Employee who works with the company and feels a passion for the company and its future. These are the employees who excel in their performance and whom the company looks to for solutions.
- The Not-Engaged Employee who has essentially checked out and is literally on mindless cruise control. These individuals have “slipped through the proverbial cracks” in the system and have been allowed to develop a pattern of acceptable non-performance.
- And the Actively Disengaged Employee who truly is not happy at work and are busy acting out their unhappiness for everyone to see to tell their issues to anyone who will listen.
Across various avenues and industries, there are a few commonalities that companies feel are the most valuable aspects of the engagement process.
#1: The Work Itself
76% of all internal surveys tell us that the employee’s number one concern is the work environment and ultimately the work itself. An employee’s engagement is a measureable degree of their positive or negative attachment to the job, their boss, their colleagues and their company and has a profound influence on their willingness to learn and perform.
#2: Relationships with Co-Workers
Promoting teamwork and cooperation while working toward a common vision helps employees to direct their accomplishments toward the company’s objectives. Fostering good communication between co-workers shows each is a valued team member and promotes better engagement.
#3: A Sense of Self Worth
Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organization’s goals and values. And at the same time, employees are able to enhance their own sense of well-being. “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential.” says, David Macleod, Founder of Engage for Success.
Daniel Pink, author of the book “Drive” talks about this very aspect. Self direction leads to self fulfillment.
Those who feel their talents and skills are being not only recognized, but rewarded, are the most engaged.
Finally there are three concepts that help organizations boost engagement levels with strategies to hire the right employees, develop their strengths, and enhance their well-being.
- Select the Right People
- Develop Employees’ Strengths
- Enhance Employees’ Well-Being
As former Campbell’s Soup CEO, Doug Conant, once said, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” If employees truly are a company’s best asset, then their care and support should be a priority… period