5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement

4 Mar 2013 | Talent Management , Metrics

Did you know that companies with high levels of employee engagement can see revenue growth of 4.5 times that of other companies? That’s because highly engaged employees can improve business performance by up to 30% and are 2.5 times more likely to exceed performance expectations than their ‘disengaged’ colleagues.

Here are 5 tips to help you improve employee engagement - it’s surprising how few organisations follow these simple steps!

1. Hire Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Plenty of research has been published demonstrating a very strong relationship between a leader’s emotional intelligence and employee engagement. It’s a leader’s job to inspire and encourage their team to achieve their full potential – high EI is essential for driving employee engagement.

2. Recruit People Who ‘Fit’ Your Culture

Research clearly demonstrates that individuals whose personal values are aligned with their employer's culture are more engaged and are more likely to stay longer in the role. It’s important that you first understand your organisation’s actual culture (as your employees see it, not what the executive team thinks it is) and then ensure you hire people who align with your organisational values.

3. Conduct Exit Surveys (not interviews!)

People leave organisations for a variety of reasons and they can be a rich source of insight into both the positive and negative aspects of the business. Formal exit surveys are a great opportunity to find out why individuals leave and, when analysed in aggregate, they can provide great insight into broad reaching factors that underpin employee engagement. Importantly, exit surveys are a much more effective way to measure this than exit interviews as people are much more likely to provide open and honest feedback via an anonymous survey than directly to a person interviewing them.

4. Regularly Measure Employee Engagement

Don’t just rely on gut feel or hearsay about why your people are happy or disgruntled at work, you need to know for sure. You should conduct regular (e.g. annual) employee engagement surveys to quantify the level of engagement and, importantly, identify the factors that are driving engagement as well as disengagement. Not only will regular employee engagement surveys give you insight into how to improve engagement over time, they will also allow you to measure the effectiveness of any improvement strategies you implement.

5. Act on Feedback

Let’s be honest, we’ve probably all done employee ‘satisfaction’ and ‘engagement’ surveys, only to have results presented and then… nothing happens! If you are serious about improving employee engagement it’s important that you act on findings from an employee engagement survey. Often, you’ll find a range of factors driving disengagement and you probably won’t be able to act on everything. Make it clear to your employees specifically which issues you are going to address this year and then provide regular updates on how improvement strategies are going.

By Matthew Clarkson

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