The secret to growing your business? Tracking employee engagement
The secret to growing your business? Tracking employee engagement
According to Gallup research, Millennials are three times more likely to change jobs in the space of one year than Baby Boomers and Gen X.
With job-hopping on the rise among Millennials and Gen Z employees, smart employers are prioritising employee engagement and retention rates – which means workforce management is becoming more important than ever before.
If you want to improve retention rates and create a more engaged workforce, knowing how to manage your team is essential. Read on to learn the importance of employee engagement and proven ways to achieve it.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement refers to how involved a person is with their own work and the company they work for. Engaged employees approach tasks proactively, enjoy their jobs and feel optimistic about their role within the organisation.
On the other hand, disengaged employees are more likely to have a negative attitude about their job and company. They may do the bare minimum while at work, produce low-quality work and not in contribute to company growth.
Let's look at the benefits of high employee engagement.
Higher retention rates
The average employee turnover rate in the UK is 15%, but in certain industries this figure is even higher. Considering that replacing an employee can cost up to 40% of the current worker's salary, it's clear why employee retention is necessary.
When new workers are constantly coming into a company, the disruption can have a negative knock-on effect on other employees.
High employee retention frees up management to focus on growing their business instead of onboarding new team members.
More productivity, more creativity
Engaged employees are more productive. Engaged employees meet deadlines, motivate other team members and make life easier for managers. They’re also more likely to contribute to growing your company.
High productivity levels are essential for good business outcomes. In the USA, low productivity rates cost businesses a whopping $550 billion a year!
Happy employees are creative employees. Innovation forges new paths for companies and can differentiate them in competitive industries. Encouraging employees to innovate can lead to better ways of doing things.
Engaged employees grow your business
Boosting employee engagement ensures a business prioritises growth and becomes more profitable. Everything from customer satisfaction to completing projects on time and on budget depends on high employee engagement.
The role of workforce management in employee engagement
The best way to increase employee engagement? Implementing an effective workforce management strategy. In simple terms, workforce management is how your management team interacts with your employees, delegates tasks and tracks performance.
Workforce management also covers how you comply with your country and industry’s employment laws and regulations.
Finally, it’s about building productive and positive employee-management relationships.
When done right, workforce management benefits include:
- Better compliance with regulations
- Lower staff turnover
- Higher productivity
- More engaged employees
- Better business outcomes
- Higher profitability
Poor workforce management has the opposite effect, which is why it's so important to evaluate your current processes and practices and how they impact employee engagement.
Workforce management in practice
There are many forms of workforce management. Some of the most important aspects include:
- Change management: Putting processes in place to support employees through organisational changes.
- Implementing AI: AI tools simplify repetitive and mundane tasks, which can improve general morale among overloaded employees and free up time for higher level tasks.
- Company culture: A strong company culture can make employees feel valued and tied to your business outcomes.
- Software solutions: Staff management software takes pressure off managers, freeing their time up to focus on motivating their teams.
Employee engagement strategies you should try
Let's look at effective workforce management strategies you can use to enhance employee engagement.
Employees want more power over how and where they work. Empowering employees to choose how they work improves morale and engagement. Flexible working is a great solution because it allows people to plan their hours around other life commitments.
Recognise your rockstars
Never underestimate the power of recognition. Everyone wants to feel appreciated at work, and if an employee is contributing to your business and going the extra mile, they should receive recognition.
An employee of the month wall, shout-outs and rewards schemes are great ways to motivate your team and boost productivity.
Practice effective communication
An overlooked component of employee engagement is their relationship with management. Building trust is central to how your employees perform and how long they’ll stay in their role.
A study by the American Psychological Association found that one in four employees don't trust their employer, and half say managers aren't honest.
Management must genuinely listen to their employees and discuss – and act – on issues. Transparency ensures everyone knows what they're meant to be doing (boosting productivity), builds trust, connects employees to achieving business goals and boosts retention.
Offer growth and development opportunities
Why stay in a dead-end job with limited prospects? If employees become stagnant in their position, they’ll search for opportunities elsewhere.
Training and development opportunities are among the most effective workforce management tactics and are key drivers of ongoing employee engagement.
Implementing an internal job posting policy and ensuring high-performing employees can access growth opportunities also improve retention.
Stepping back from your employees doesn't mean leaving them in limbo; it's about showing your team that you trust them. Employees who feel trusted by their manager are more likely to perform well.
For example, if there's an ongoing project and you delegate a particular task to each team member, you should step back and show your team that you trust their abilities.
Use staff scheduling and workforce management software
Staff scheduling and workforce management software uncomplicates daily operations and gives your employees more autonomy.
Some employee scheduling and management tools enable your team to request holidays, swap shifts and communicate with management online.
Managers can monitor which team members are the most productive, track absences and simplify HR operations.
Identify and address barriers to employee engagement
In our experience, there are five common barriers to employee engagement, here we reveal what they are, and how businesses should tackle them:
People don't like being left out of the loop, and remote working means it's harder to maintain effective communication across time zones and locations. The answer: communication tools and regular meetings keep your team updated on changes that impact their role.
Lack of culture
Remote working influences how employees feel about your business. It's not as easy to create and maintain a strong culture when your team isn't in one location.
Share your company culture on communication tools and encourage employees to contribute. Sharing updates, celebrations and company videos on tools like Slack, WhatsApp and Facebook groups, give your employees a sense of belonging and can work wonders for employee engagement levels.
A lack of recognition is one of the key causes of low employee engagement. Offering positive employee feedback and giving top-performers rewards avoids this problem.
All work, no play
Many employees find it hard to switch off after work - especially with always-on emails and messages. The result can be burnout and quitting. Businesses should encourage a healthy work-life balance, limiting business contact outside of working hours and offering remote and flexible working options.
Great leaders motivate their employees. The opposite is also true. If leadership is negatively impacting your engagement efforts, it's vital to provide management training or consider restructuring your team.
The best ways of measuring employee engagement
How do you know if your employee engagement strategy is working? The answer is data.
Having data to hand on employee engagement levels empowers you to:
- Identify issues and stop them from becoming bigger problems
- Detect which business areas/employees are underperforming
- Build trust with employees
- Ensure everyone knows what's happening and how it relates to their role
- Identify trends that relate to areas or times of low productivity
Here are the most popular methods used to measure employee engagement.
Employee engagement surveys
Surveys are effective tools for measuring engagement.
Use them to understand how your team feels about your culture, incentives, professional development and training opportunities and detect patterns or trends in the answers.
Employees might worry about being identified, so make sure they're anonymous and use them in tandem with other methods.
Determine which engagement drivers are most effective
Evaluating which engagement initiatives are most effective ensures you can focus your efforts on the areas that have the most impact on your employees. You can also identify underperforming drivers and drop them from your strategy.
Use employee management software
Measuring doesn’t have to be manual. When it comes to employee engagement, software shouldn’t be underestimated. Use a tool to measure performance and productivity rates and identify patterns.
Planday integrates with the most popular technology platforms on the market and generates automated reports that allow businesses to monitor employee performance with hard numbers.
Feedback sessions are valuable to both employees and management teams. Arrange regular sessions to take the temperature of your employee engagement and proactively deal with any issues that are sinking engagement levels.
Connecting with unengaged employees and discovering what's happening beneath the surface can help you tackle issues and prevent them recurring.
The bottom line: engaged employees = better business outcomes
Satisfied employees go to work daily and perform their duties, but highly engaged employees strive for more, become brand advocates and even help your business grow.
By developing an effective engagement strategy and investing in the right software to track employee engagement levels, you can foster a happier, more productive workplace environment and boost business outcomes.
Unlock the secret to growing your business with Planday's powerful workforce management software. Sign up for a free trial today and discover how our scheduling, time tracking, and communication tools can help you increase employee engagement, improve productivity, and achieve your goals.