6 Ways to Empower and Engage Your Employees

Having engaged employees can greatly benefit your organisation. Engaged employees take a vested interest in the success of the business – they feel their efforts are mirrored in the success of the organisation and understand their role in creating that success.

How can you measure it?

Employee engagement can be measured through an Employee Net Promoter Score. This is a concept that builds on the NPS system, allowing employers to measure and get a snapshot of employees’ willingness to be ambassadors for the company by advocating employment there. Employees can be segmented into promoters, passives and detractors: Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8) and detractors (0-6).

Can you re-engage a disengaged employee?

According to research 21% of UK workers are actively disengaged (Gallup's State of the Global Workplace Report 2017). How can this be changed?

Just like disgruntled customers, disengaged employees shout the loudest and the effect of their feeling towards the business will manifest itself in low productivity and a poor-quality service offered to customers. Bad news travels further and faster than good news; you will hear from a disengaged employee before you hear from an engaged one.

Here are our recommendations:

1.     Encourage discussion. Disengaged employees may not feel like their voice is being heard. Give them a platform to discuss their ideas. This can be in an open format where the whole team are encouraged to talk at a team meeting, or as a team leader you can talk individually to your team. Remember that not everyone feels comfortable in speaking their mind in front of a group.

2.     Reinforce the idea that as a team leader you want to see your team be successful. Disengaged employees can feel that their boss doesn’t care about them, therefore they withdraw themselves and just do the bare minimum to get through the day.

3.     Set goals together. Using goals is a simple way to refocus an employee’s attention and reengage them. Certain individuals need a deadline or a goal to work towards, otherwise they lose focus and drift.

4.     Make it clear to employees the exact role that they play in the business. Employees can find themselves disengaged if they do not know how they fit into the business. Team leaders can show them what is going on around them (and even above them) and how their work impacts the rest of the business.

5.     Create opportunity. Opportunity reduces boredom. Employees who are bored will become disengaged. Opportunity can come in many forms. Team leaders can allow employees to work in different conditions or work on different projects from time to time. The modern day of laptops and hot desking allows employees to work on a comfy couch, or even outdoors. Flexible working conditions and hours can help boost employee engagement levels.

6.      Say thank you. Employees who are thanked for their efforts, regardless of size of the task will feel appreciated. Employees who work hard but are never thanked will find themselves disengaged and most likely unhappy at their place of work.

What are the benefits?

One benefit of employee engagement is improved employee satisfaction. Employees that are engaged understand their role in the organisation. They understand their job requirements and how their role fits in with the success of the organisation, which in turns boosts their job satisfaction.  This understanding comes from clear managerial instructions. Employees who are satisfied will offer greater customer service.

Another benefit of employee engagement is increased productivity. Employee productivity is an assessment of the efficiency of an employee. Employees that are engaged are more efficient and therefore their productivity increases because employees understand their importance to the business. Productive employees want to work hard because they want their career and the organisation to grow and flourish. Disengaged employees are not productive because they are mainly looking for the exit door. They are only willing to put in minimal effort to get through the day.

According to research, 36% of UK employees are likely to leave their jobs within one year. The figure increases down the generations, with 49% of millennials identifying as likely to move company within a year. Every time the business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6-9 months of the replaced employee’s salary before the new employee is up to speed in the job role. If an environment can be created where the top talent are engaged and happy in their roles, then the company will benefit greatly and waste less time and money.

The key to improving employee engagement is to speak to and work with the employees. Commissioning an employee survey with an impartial, independent agency will provide some data, but it is important to act on this data to demonstrate that employee feedback really matters. Listening to employees and helping them feel valued will assist in the improvement of employee engagement, which will in turn have a positive impact on the organisation.

“Listening to customers can identify opportunities, avoid mistakes and positively impact word of mouth...”

Mark Squires, Chief Executive - Watermelon

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