The success of your business hinges on keeping your top talent engaged. Employee engagement increases retention and lowers turnover rates. The level of employee engagement in your organization also impacts productivity which hurts your bottom line. The Gallup Organization reports that disengaged employees cost businesses in the United States more than $450 billion each year. Meanwhile, businesses with high engagement levels see more than 20 percent higher profitability.
The responsibility for engaging employees falls on both Human Resources and managers. Below are some ways for HR and managers to increase employee engagement followed by a discussion of how the right benefits package helps increase engagement levels.
Increasing Employee Engagement Through Human Resources
A human resources department typically serves as the first point of contact for a new employee. Additionally, human resources personnel are heavily involved in the onboarding process. Employee engagement begins from day one. New employees are usually engaged because they are in a new position, want to prove themselves, and are excited about working for a new company. Human resources can help maintain engagement or increase dwindling engagement in the following ways:
A recent Achievers survey found that 44 percent of employees switch jobs because of a lack of recognition and engagement. Implementing simple programs such as "Employee of the Month" or a peer recognition program make employees feel valued, especially your top talent who might consider going elsewhere.
Strengthen Company Culture
An overall strong company culture keeps employees engaged and motivated. Human resources can help set the tone for an organization by reinforcing positive values and creating a culture that boosts employee morale. For example, hosting events for different departments can help employees connect and feel less isolated in the workplace.
Creating a mentoring program can also strengthen company culture. Your organization benefits by matching new employees with your top talent, creating a supportive atmosphere that engages new talent and top talent. Mentoring programs show your best employees that you value their abilities and knowledge.
Provide Continuous Training and Support
Employees need to know they have support in the organization, especially on a professional level. In addition to providing a safe space for employees to share concerns, human resources can also offer regular training to employees to help them hone their skills. Simple workshops such as learning about Excel, overcoming objections for salespeople, or improving interpersonal communications can help top talent develop their skills. This keeps them engaged and motivates them to do better in their roles.
How Managers Can Increase Employee Engagement Levels
Managers typically have direct contact with employees, often on a daily basis. This makes their role in employee engagement crucial to success. Some ways managers can engage their team members include:
Offer Opportunities for Growth
No one wants a dead-end job. Retaining top talent means that managers need to continuously challenge their employees. This might include offering special projects or creating special teams to solve a particular problem. Offering new responsibilities also keeps employees engaged because they don't get bored by doing the same thing week after week.
Employee recognition from managers on an individual level is just as important as company-wide recognition. Managers can do simple things such as taking an employee out to lunch, letting them leave early for an afternoon, or simply sending a sincere "thank you" after a job well done.
Another great way for managers to show their appreciation for hard work is to offer incentives. Goals for team members will vary across industries, but providing a special reward or prize to the person or team who exceeds increases employee motivation through a little healthy competition.
Engagement Through Benefits
Offering competitive benefits packages is another way to motivate employees and encourage retention. Your employees have things going on in their personal lives including sickness, death, celebrations, vacations, and more. When you provide the right combination of insurance benefits and paid-time-off for your employees, you give them the support they need to effectively balance their personal and professional lives, allowing them to thrive in the workplace.
Employees who are worried about paying medical bills or never have time off for travel or for other personal appointments will be distracted and disengaged at work. Disengagement leads to higher employee turnover and decreased productivity. Unfortunately, competitive benefits can be difficult to afford, making it challenging for businesses to retain top talent. However, businesses do have options to provide affordable benefits to their employees.
Happy employees are infectious. When you invest the time and resources to engage your top talent, it trickles down and increases employee engagement for everyone. That helps your business succeed.