The Rules of Employee Engagement

Article by:
Hazel Jackson, EO UAE
Hazel Jackson

Hazel is the Managing Partner of Biz-Ability F2, LLC., a premier consultancy providing a range of practical, proven methods and programs to bring out the best in people. She can be reached at [email protected]

Beyond the power of a sizable paycheck, I’ve discovered that employees worldwide are known to go the extra mile when it comes to amenities not linked to money. In today’s business climate, companies possess a powerful untapped source of “discretionary effort” that lies in the hands of their employees. I’m talking about a reserve of productivity that, when encouraged, creates a healthy workforce.

Successful companies are increasingly realizing how to best unleash this productivity under the umbrella term of “employee engagement.” In fact, it’s quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools for business efficiency and workforce health. Companies intent on mastering employee engagement offer a wide range of lifestyle perks, all of which serve as powerful retention and talent-attraction tools.

It is proven that employees who are routinely recognized, communicated with, feel in control of their jobs and go to work knowing that they’re contributing to a common goal, are significantly more productive than their “clock-in, clock-out” counterparts. Conversely, employees who are disengaged can be fatal to a company’s bottom line, as they use vastly more resources to manage, can more easily spread negativity, can be disloyal and also have very low production levels.

During these times of economic uncertainty, I wanted to ensure that my staff felt as engaged as possible. In order to forge a competitive edge, maximize people-driven performance and attract and retain top talent, I implemented an employee-engagement plan. I began by focusing on effective communications, teamwork, career development and compensation and benefits. I’ve also found that strategic clarity is important in providing a defined picture of my company’s purpose and goals, as everyone is clear on what they’re working toward and what there responsibilities are.

Throughout the development of this plan, I learned that it can pay to audit my company and my workers regarding levels of engagement. Doing so can help them track improvements and bumps in the road. Here are some of the key questions I asked myself nin order to effectively gauge healthy employee-engagement levels:

  • Do I have high retention rates?
  • Do I feel a majority of my employees would relay
  • positive messages about the company when
  • speaking to outsiders, family and friends?
  • Do my employees feel informed about
  • the company most of the time?
  • Has my staff, in the past seven days, received
  • recognition or praise for doing good work?
  • Does my organization provide an environment for continued learning?
  • Does my organization have a dynamic and flexible employeeincentive scheme that offers more than just a cash bonus?
  • Do I regularly communicate my entire company
  • strategy (purpose, targets, quarterly goals, etc.)?
  • In the past six months, has someone talked
  • to the staff about career progression?
  • Is my staff made aware of and involved in
  • celebrations of key milestones?
  • Do I have a set of benchmark values by which my staff lives?

I have found that the answers to these questions provide valuable insight into how I can improve my skills as a leader and better take care of my staff. By making the way I treat my staff a main priority, I hope to continually reap rewards in the form of a happy and healthy workforce. At the end of the day, if my employees are proud to be working for me, than I consider myself to be a successful entrepreneur.

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