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Why 2017 is all about Employee Engagement.

Published January 2017

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Talk to most business owners, managers and CEOs and they will tell you that their aims for previous years have included a desire to boost sales, increase productivity or to focus on customer experience.  Whilst this is still true, this New Year we have also seen an increase in the number of companies talking about employee engagement. In particular, many businesses have now included inspiring and motivating their staff as one of their goals for 2017.

In this article, we look at why employee engagement is such an important issue for businesses today and offer suggestions for managers looking to improve engagement within their team.

What is Employee Engagement?

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines employee engagement as a concept of a ‘mutual gains’ employment relationship that creates a win-win for employees and their employers. Essentially, each employee has a stake in the success of the company and is highly motivated to help their employer to achieve its business goals.

So why are businesses starting to focus on employee engagement? 

Recent studies have revealed that companies who prioritise employee engagement tend to outperform their peers both financially and in terms of attracting top talent. Key benefits to having engaged employees are:

  • High Achievers: Engaged employees tend to be high achievers. Studies show that as well as working harder they also work more efficiently and are able to produce better results.
  • Ambassadors / Advocates: Engaged employees feel pride and loyalty for the businesses they work for and are advocates promoting their workplace to clients and customers.
  • Less Sick Leave: Engaged employees are less likely to go off sick or be tempted to move jobs, improving staff retention rates and reducing recruitment costs.
  • Great Customer Service: Engaged employees care about the quality of the service they give to customers and tend to be more knowledgeable about their company’s products and services improving customer experience.

Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business. It’s as simple as that. Healthy, engaged employees are your top competitive advantage. If you treat them like the smart and capable adults they are, they will make smart and capable decisions that will benefit your business.

Richard Branson

What can you do to improve employee engagement within your company?

There are a number of factors which can influence engagement. However, there are a few key strategies you can adopt to help ensure that you have a highly engaged and motivated workforce:

  • Leadership: To ensure everyone is moving in the same direction, it's essential that senior leaders within an organisation create a clear strategic goal and communicate this effectively to their employees.
  • Strategy: Each employee should understand how their role within their organisation contributes to the company's wider objectives as well as what they need to do to meet their individual responsibilities.
  • Management: You need competent line managers, who are skilled at motivating, empowering and supporting their employees. Organising training events or conferences can help managers improve core skills.
  • Discussion: Employees want to feel valued and for their opinions and views to be taken into account. Carry out a staff survey, or better still invite employees to take part in an innovation or discussion day.
  • Celebrate Success: It's really important to thank employees for the contributions they make. Organising a team away day or party to celebrate with your staff can make a big difference to team morale.

To summarise, recognising the importance of employee engagement and the role that your staff play in the success your businesses is key. The message for 2017 is simple: If you get the people bit right you are likely to have motivated and productive teams who will contribute to the success of your company this year.

If you'd like to find out more about employee engagement, check out our related articles: 8 Reasons why Team Building is great for Employee Engagement and How to Motivate, Reward & Incentivise your Staff. Alternatively, if you're interested in arranging a team away day, conference or event, please get in touch. We'd love to work with you to help meet your employee engagement objectives.

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