Why Employee Engagement is Good for Business

April 25, 2024
Why Employee Engagement is Good for Business

It’s safe to say employees want to be engaged with your business – at least initially. Most people join a company with good intentions to help leadership achieve their mission and work towards their vision for the future. However, somewhere along the way, research tells us that many employees – nearly 7 out of every 10 – become less committed to their company’s success. 

A recent study by the management consulting firm Gartner, supports this assertion. Their June 2023 survey of nearly 3,500 employees around the world shows almost 70 percent don’t feel a meaningful connection to their job. And the results are consistent across gender, age and geography. 

To put these numbers in perspective, imagine if your favorite soccer team had those same scores. Four of the 11 players on the pitch would know which goal is theirs, and just three of 11 would care. 

Fortunately, there are tried and true ways to beat the averages and engage more of your employees. Here are some tips you can use for your business. 

1. Be clear and consistent

Most – if not all – employees want to be engaged, want to learn about your mission and vision, and want to be part of your success. As a business owner and leader, you play an outsized role in helping drive employee engagement. Your employees are looking to you for big picture messages about where the company is headed and how it plans to get there.  

That’s why it’s important to communicate as clearly as possible your definition of success and your expectations for how employees can contribute to that success. Try to be specific about company goals and the definition of success for the company and the employees. 

2. Be concise

Less is more, at least as it relates to how you talk with your employees. We are all overwhelmed with information in our personal and professional lives. People spend an average of just 26 seconds reading an article or email. They don’t read, they skim. And people are also distracted – they check their phones an average of 350 times a day or once every two to three minutes.

Don’t let this stop you from sharing information with employees. Remember, they want to hear what you have to say. So, try to be as direct as you can in your messaging. Less formal, and more casual in your tone. Avoid “corporate-speak” whenever possible. Include a clear and easy-to-understand call to action or bottom-line takeaway in your message.  

3. Be interactive

Communicating to your employees is good. Communicating with them – having a dialogue – is better. There are many ways to foster a dialogue. From encouraging comments or questions, to holding a virtual or in-person roundtable session with a small group of employees, to regular All Hands meetings where you solicit questions and feedback from the entire organization.

Understanding how your employees feel about your message, about your mission and vision – is critical to building engagement.  

4. Stay positive

The role of communications is not only explaining what’s happening, but also about providing inspiration. The real challenge and responsibility are to win both hearts and minds with your message. Everyone wants to be proud of the role they play, and the product or service the company provides. 

That’s why it’s helpful to tell positive stories. Highlight your company’s successes. Spotlight employees who go above and beyond. Share how your customers are benefitting from what you do for them. You’ll find a bit of inspiration can go a long way.  

5. Activate discretionary effort

As mentioned earlier, most employees start out wanting to be engaged with your business, but that can change over time. Employees tend to view engagement by first understanding their job responsibilities. Next, they want feedback on their performance. Finally, when employees are ready to look outward, they may wonder where the company is headed. That’s where you, as a leader, play a key role. Only you can answer that for them.

Once an employee gets those foundational questions answered – What is my job? How am I doing? Where are we headed? – they will almost always ask the next logical question: How can I help? This means an employee is ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their colleagues and go above and beyond to get the job done. That is the definition of discretionary effort – of engagement – and it’s something we should strive for with every employee.

© 2024 TriNet Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This communication is for informational purposes only, is not legal, tax or accounting advice, and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance. TriNet is the single-employer sponsor of all its benefit plans, which does not include voluntary benefits that are not ERISA-covered group health insurance plans and enrollment is voluntary. Official plan documents always control and TriNet reserves the right to amend the benefit plans or change the offerings and deadlines.

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