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7 steps to engage employees more effectively

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Employee engagement is no longer just discussed by the HR fraternity in closed conference rooms, but has evolved to become a core business concern. The direct effect of employee engagement on business can be seen in all areas that affect business deeply, like:

In a new whitepaper, Qustn’s Bhaswati Bhattacharyya has compiled seven drivers that directly relate to better employee engagement.

1. Focus on strategy

Per a study by Dale Carnegie, only about 25% of business leaders have an employee engagement strategy, which is cause of worry.

ALSO READ: Case study: SATS’ recipe for doubling employee engagement scores

Organisations that have adopted employee engagement strategies once do not necessarily spend their time trying to raise engagement levels across the board or to identify the low score zones to improve them. This leads to a drastic fall in the engagement level over the years. Hence, strategy needs to be set out and followed right from the beginning.

2. Understanding the disengaged millennial workforce

More than half (49.5%) of employees are “not engaged” and 16.5% are “actively disengaged”. While disengaged employees sleepwalk through the day, actively disengaged employees are more likely to spread negativity at workplace.

ALSO READ: Employees’ top engagement killers

Apart from this, Millennials also need to be understood, as they form a large part of the workforce, and are only going to increase with time. Dissatisfaction with workplace atmosphere often leads employees to quit their job.

3. Focus on leadership

Close to four in five (71%) of Millennials expecting to leave their employer in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed, in Deloitte’s survey.

The Global Human Capital Trends Report, 2016 collected responses from more than 7,000 HR and business leaders from 130 countries to find culture and engagement were the top challenges faced by HR leaders globally. Although 85% of organisations rank engagement as a top priority, but only 12% of executives believe their organisations are “very ready” to deal with engagement issues.

ALSO READ: Who should be in charge of employee engagement?

This paradox arises from an array of issues like: measuring engagement levels once in a year; same engagement strategy for everyone; and creating group-level data on engagement.

4. Paying importance to company culture

In the Global Human Capital Trends Report, 82% of survey respondents believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage. But, only 12% of companies believe that they are driving the right culture.

ALSO READ: Employee engagement is no longer HR’s top concern

While on one hand leaders do cite culture as a major concern, why aren’t they able to drive it right? The following reasons were highlighted in this report: lack of understanding and models for culture; lack of faith in the organisational values; and lack of updates.

5. Making learning and development a priority

Learning opportunities were among the largest driver of employee engagement and strong workplace culture – in fact, 84% of executives rate learning as important or very important.

6. Holding managers accountable

Disengaged managers are more likely to have disengaged employees, whereas, Teams led by managers who focus on their weaknesses are 26% less likely to be engaged, found Gallup.

ALSO READ: ANZ’s secret to increasing its overall employee engagement score to 80%

Organisations need to invest in their leaders and managers and make them accountable for ensuring engagement by: creating a culture of learning, setting clear expectations and goals, giving direct and regular feedback, encouraging innovation, and keeping track of employees’ daily progress and needs.

7. Giving importance to feedback

Feedback collection to crucial to find out what areas would most benefit from development and what requires an urgent plan-of-action – in Gallup’s survey, 27% of workers strongly agree that the feedback they currently receive helps them do their work better.

Photo / 123RF

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