Monday, 29th July 2013 at 11:06 am
Organisations who effectively engage their employees could hold the key to success, according to business advisor Ruth Knight. She explores the buzz term of ‘employee engagement’ and shares her insights on achieving it in the workplace.
There is a lot of buzz about “employee engagement” these days. That’s because the research claims that only 30% of employees are engaged at work, which is bad news for organisations that want their workforce to turn up to work, be productive, do their very best and get results.
If you are not convinced about all the fuss, listen to this. When employees are not engaged, it is known that their productivity and quality of work suffer. They are more likely to be unmotivated and cut corners, get stressed, take sick leave and experience burnout.
Disengaged employees can become a serious burden to an organisation, risking the team’s morale and organisation’s reputation. However, engagement means that employees are more resilient and happier.
Research shows this means engagement can be linked to fewer chronic illnesses, increased productivity and outcomes, along with less presenteeism (coming to work despite illness and stress etc, often resulting in reduced productivity), absenteeism and staff turnover.
With employee engagement offering so many benefits to individuals and organisations, it’s no wonder people get excited about it. In fact, some organisations are embedding employee engagement into their business strategy because they are convinced it is critical to their success.
So if the workplace is experiencing high sickness or turnover, conflict or poor morale in your team, or if you simply want to ensure your organisation is creating success for your staff and clients, then maybe it’s time to look at the topic of engagement.
You need to start by realising that engagement is so much more than just trying to get people to work harder. And as a leader, there are many little things you can do to create an engaging workplace culture so you can start making a difference today.
Kim Cameron recently published a book called Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance, in which he argues that positive leadership enables people to thrive and flourish.
He suggests that if you want to have an impact on employee engagement, you need to build a workplace culture through acts of compassion, collective forgiveness and gratitude so that people are cared for and supported. He also suggests that to increase engagement you need to help people find purpose and meaning in their work.
This suggests that you can start to increase engagement in your workplace by asking people about their values and passions, helping them to find meaning in their work, and teaching them how to measure and reflect on the results of their work. Then make it a normal and integral part of your culture for people to be kind and grateful.
I recommend you read the book for more information about positive leadership and this week ask yourself, “Am I creating a culture at work where people are engaged?” Then implement some ways to measure employee engagement, so you can evaluate which strategies are working for you.
About the author:
Ruth Knight is a Queensland-based trainer, consultant and business advisor. She has a Masters of Business from QUT, she is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.