Employee engagement is a priority for many companies and their human resources departments.
Like customer engagement, employee engagement has an important influence on performance and the achievement of business goals. It aims to see employees as real contributors to the overall success of the organization.
But employee engagement can turn out to be a real challenge, especially when the company has not implemented a real strategy on this subject.
In this article, we have summarized the essentials of employee engagement.
What do we mean by employee engagement?
Employee engagement refers to the degree of involvement in work and more generally, in achieving the company’s missions.
It is illustrated by thoughts, actions and behaviors towards the company and its members.
In other words, commitment defines the investment and commitment of employees to their work, their position, their company, their colleagues, the culture of the company, etc.
While remuneration is, of course, important to everyone, an engaged employee does not derive his motivation only from his salary. He is enthusiastic about working for the company.
Put more simply: he does not work just to earn a living!
Employee engagement echoes the feeling of belonging to the company. The latter relates to psychosociology in business and refers to the ability to share with other employees values, missions and a common vision.
The advantages of a strong commitment
According to a study, companies that show a strong commitment from their employees are more productive. They are also 21% more profitable.
This is partly explained by a reduction in absences and accidents at work.
At a time of difficult and uncertain economic times, employee engagement has an important role to play in the activity and survival of companies.
Greater employee motivation
Committed employees are motivated employees!
Committed employees are aware of the impact of their work on the rest of their team and more generally on the activity of the company. They are involved in a collective project. They see themselves in the vision of the organization and they are proud to be a part of it.
A motivation generated by a strong commitment is a capital benefit in supporting change, and more generally in the development of a company.
Better employee loyalty
Engagement also has an impact on employee retention and loyalty.
Yes, committed staff will be less inclined to look at the competition, because they feel good where they are!
The bond of affection forged between the employee and the company, but also with the people who are part of it, stabilizes the working relationship.
A positive employer brand image
While browsing social networks, whatever they are, you have certainly noticed that they sometimes talk about employers!
When employees are not satisfied, they say so. But when they are, they make it happen too!
An engaged employee will be more likely to express themselves positively about their business. And when you know how important a company’s reputation is to clients, employees and candidates, it pays to pay attention!
But the benefits of employer brand engagement extend beyond digital boundaries.
Word of mouth remains very important in our world today! A committed employee shares his experience with those around him who may be … your new recruit!
For relevant information, ideas and best practices, see our articles on the employer brand.
The HR department: conductor of employee engagement
If the level of employee engagement does not only depend on the human resources department, it is up to them to obtain an overview of the current situation and to establish actions for improvement.
He must take initiatives and convince leaders to measure and make decisions to strengthen employee engagement.
By implementing transparent internal communication, it optimizes the results of the chosen strategy.
The important role played by HR confirms the importance of their presence in organizations.
Employee engagement strategy: the 4 steps
We offer you a process in 4 key steps to implement an engagement strategy in your business.
1. The creation of the survey
This is to take stock of the current situation. Take the time to think about completing the survey to foster relevant results. Often, it contains between 20 and 50 elements and questions on different themes. It is advisable to write the survey in clear and easily understandable language.
To get a realistic picture of engagement, the participation of all employees is necessary. It is recommended to be accompanied by a clear communication explaining the reasons, the process and the objectives of the survey.
Make sure you leave enough time for your employees to respond. Finally, some people sometimes feel uncomfortable passing on this type of information to the management of their company. For this reason, it is interesting to prepare an anonymous survey.
Finally, it is important to determine the expectations and use of the data collected before even carrying out the survey.
2. Data analysis
Collecting responses and analyzing survey data requires great rigor.
There are some tools that help you in this area. Survey Monkey and Google Workspace, for example, help you interpret the results obtained in your survey.
3. Make decisions
Once you’ve received and sorted the responses, it’s time to determine your goals, timelines, and actions.
It can be useful to appoint a referent to optimize the consistency of actions.
4. Report to employees
Your employees took the time to complete the survey, it is important to send them the results.
But it will also be necessary to inform them of the initiatives chosen to improve certain elements identified in the survey. This will show a real desire on the part of the company to take everyone’s opinions into consideration and to invest in optimizing their employee experience.
Employees will be more apt to adhere to the measures taken… and their commitment will be strengthened!
Determine the drivers of engagement for your business
There are different factors that influence employee engagement. They depend on the sector of the company, the initiatives already present, the maturity of the organization, and many other variables.
There are, however, themes that are commonly found in businesses. A survey by Wrike highlights the main factors that stimulate employee engagement. Among them, we find: compensation (42%), recognition of accomplishments (30%) or even balance between personal life and professional life (30%).
However, it is important to know the most important factors for your employees and the areas for improvement within your organization.
Your survey can therefore focus on several of the following topics:
- Cooperation: Does the organization encourage teamwork? Are there any obstacles to collaboration between different services?
- Internal communication: Are employees receiving enough information from the company? Is the information relevant and clear?
- Management and supervision: do employees feel sufficiently listened to by their team leader? Do they have enough autonomy?
- CSR and ethics: do employees feel that the company is sufficiently committed to societal and ecological causes?
- Company culture: does it stand out from the competition? Is it sufficiently defined?
- Skills development: are the training courses offered satisfactorily? Are the resources made available sufficient and regularly updated?
- Diversity and Inclusion: Does the workforce represent a wide variety of profiles? Do they think the organization is inclusive?
- The work-life balance: is it enough? Does the company promote the right to disconnect employees?
- Quality of life at work (QVT): does the company offer a pleasant working environment and flexible working methods? Are the initiatives sufficient?
This list is, of course, not exhaustive.
The more topics your survey covers, the more you get a complete picture of your employee engagement.
The results of the survey provide you with valuable insight into the measures you can take to improve engagement in your organization.
How to increase the engagement of your employees?
1. Take care of the onboarding phase
Employee engagement starts as soon as they join the company!
This is about making people discover the work environment in the best possible conditions. It is easier to make a good impression than to have to change a negative image!
Here are some tips for fostering engagement during onboarding:
- Keep in touch from the signing of the contract until the arrival in the company, by phone calls, e-mails, professional networks, etc.
- Don’t overload the first few days. Good onboarding is spread over several weeks, even several months.
- Spend time with your new employee and listen.
- Appoint a mentor who will accompany the new recruit in his first steps within the company and help him to take his marks.
- Make the new employee aware of your values and your missions through your corporate culture.
- Be creative. Your business is unique, so make your onboarding experience unique!
Creating a culture of engagement right from the onboarding period is a good way to build a fruitful collaboration, on solid foundations.
Using recruiting software allows you to follow all the steps carefully and not to forget anything.
The onboarding of your new recruit is an important phase that charts the course of your future collaboration. Consult our guide to HR onboarding to provide an exceptional experience for your new employees.
2. Take advantage of the skills development plan
Your employees want to develop their skills and be able to develop professionally!
To engage them, it is necessary to set out a comprehensible and coherent development plan. In this way, your employees can project their future… within your company!
One skills development plan efficient is often accompanied by personalized communication with each employee.
If certain training is inherent to the position, take into account the requests made during l’ annual evaluation interview will have a positive impact on engagement.
3. Implement actions to improve the quality of life at work
Quality of life at work (QVT) is a major subject in human resources departments. Burn-out, accidents at work, chronic stress, the effects of work on physical and mental health are increasingly publicized.
People want to feel good at work, and they let it know! For many job seekers, the work atmosphere is also the main criterion in selecting their future employer.
QVT actions are wide and varied, it is about finding those that are most suited to your business and the needs of your employees.
Some QWL initiatives aim to improve the working environment while others serve to prevent health risks.
4. Recognize the work of your employees
When it comes to employee engagement, sometimes the simplest things are the most effective!
Among them is employee recognition. It consists of validating the accomplishments but also the investment in a project, even if it was not successful.
Recognizing the work of employees means seeing each employee as an integral part of the company. And that reinforces employee engagement!
5. Follow the actions put in place
You have put in place concrete initiatives to improve the engagement of your employees. Congratulations!
But the work doesn’t end there. It is essential to measure the results of your actions and the impacts on your employees .
To do this, you can conduct surveys at regular intervals to collect the opinions and feelings of your employees.
While an annual survey is sufficient in most cases, some companies choose to conduct it more frequently. It’s up to you to determine what is right for your organization.
A specific dashboard will be used to collect data to monitor developments over the various surveys.
This way you can decide what actions to keep and corrective measures to take.