When you're at work, it's important for you to know that your opinions matter and that those around you are more than just colleagues. That's why it's important for employers to take a careful look at the engagement strategy which has been implemented in the office.
Failure to place an engagement strategy within your office could lead to some staff feeling dejected or that their views do not count, so it's a good idea to keep a firm handle on the happiness of your employees, while also striving to improve your strategy even further.
But what is an engagement strategy? Why do I need one and why is it so important?
What is a workplace engagement strategy?
This is a tool that will help you to galvanise your workforce by making sure that their views are heard, their actions are noted and their happiness is well-noted by those in charge as well as the colleagues that they sit with on a day-to-day basis.
A lot can be said for a happy workforce, with productivity rising alongside the increased rate of employee satisfaction and retention. As stated on the CIPD website, effective employee engagement comes in three strands:
Intellectual engagement – focusing on the job and how to do it better.
Affective engagement – being positive about performing in the role.
Social engagement – taking time to discuss work-related goals and improvements with colleagues.
Employee engagement doesn't just work between manager and staff, though, as it's an interpersonal tool that can be utilised to great effect if it is placed within the office in the correct way. It's all about getting your workers to be happy, and to help your business to prosper as a result of their eagerness to succeed at work.
The strategy behind it can come in many waves, but monitoring this tool is just as important. Techniques such as regular one-to-one meetings to gauge employee satisfaction, idea boxes around the office or e-mail threads for colleagues to place their views or concerns are good ways to let employees know that they have an outlet for their thoughts, as does the best approach – an open-door policy.
Why do I need this in my workplace?
It's a good idea to place this within your organization because, not only will it help with employee morale and subsequent job satisfaction, but it could help each departmental function in your organization to function more effectively and lead to better results.
If your workforce is happy, they are more likely to work harder for the company and recognise that their efforts will add to a long-term goal, while also helping their colleagues to do their jobs. A feeling of camaraderie is a great way to boost morale in the workplace, and an ‘all in it together' approach could be the ideal strategy to employ.
Of course, with a happy workforce, you will also find that the retention of staff will become greater as your employees realise what a forward-thinking environment they work in, that their views count and that they have a say in how the company could be improved.
Word of mouth is also important, and this tool could be the difference between high-quality staff applying for your roles if they believe your organization to be a beneficial place to work – in terms of both the job, and the environment that it is placed within. Both staff, new and old, will know that their ideas are being listened to and just one bright spark of ingenuity or flair could see a new, unthought-of idea for your business. Staff will be more likely to come forward with their opinions towards a caring company.
An engagement strategy, whether it be as simple as celebrating employee birthdays with a cake and a song, could help to boost morale and inspire staff to aim high, with long-term promotion opportunities within the business. This could save on the cost of head-hunting staff, and give existing staff a clear path to the top in a mutually responsive business.
And, finally, there are long-term goals that are a reasonable target for happy employees. Do you have a lot of products to sell, and a project that could run for some time? Well, you'll want your workforce to be on board. Are you planning on making some changes to the working structure, your product or even the way a sales call has to go? Great! Your workforce is responsive and forward-thinking, so are more likely to lend a hand wherever possible.
What could happen if I fail to adhere to this strategy?
If you haven't got a workplace engagement strategy in place or you aren't looking to run one, then you're running the risk of not seeing your business work to full capacity. Not to say that this is the be-all and end-all of a great business, but your staff are a major cog in the function of your organization.
The risks are great and varied. If you've got an unhappy staff base then the chances are that your employees will be looking elsewhere for employment, and for a business which can cater for their views, a place where their efforts feel appreciated. This could see you lose your best staff members, with an emphasis on an unnecessary recruitment drive as you look to keep things ticking over.
But it's not just staff who leave that you have to worry about – there'll be a large number of staff that will be disgruntled at working for a company where their views aren't taken into account and where they do not enjoy going to work, which could open a severe can of worms and create many long-term issues. For example, staff could become unhappy with how the business is run, which causes knock-on frictions between departments, management and fellow colleagues.
You've now been found with a pile of inter-team complaints at your desks because staff aren't getting along, which could have been avoided with an engagement strategy that supports a happy, unified and driven workforce. One of the main principles of the strategy is to encourage positive work-based discussions. You could be looking at less positive talks about the business, damaging in front of visitors, if your staff are unhappy and unappreciated.
No fresh ideas will come to the table, either, and you could be left behind as other businesses (or worse, competitors) employ a forward-thinking staff base who move with the times and are willing to put their views forward. Without this, the company could fall behind and be left to play catch-up, with employees who also show little passion to progress within the company.
What do you think? Are there any alternative ways that you feel better suit the implementation of such a strategy?
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