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Employee Engagement

Employee engagement: What, Why & How [Comprehensive Guide]

What’s ‘not’ employee engagement? Yes, let’s begin with the exact opposite of what this article is all about.

Most of you might have several definitions of employee engagement, and you’d skip reading the basic definition. But, before proceeding to ‘why’ and ‘how’, let’s get the ‘what’ right.

What’s ‘not’ employee engagement?

Employee engagement isn’t employee happiness. An employee can be happy by just not working at all or by getting involved in something that goes against your organization’s goals. 

Employee engagement isn’t employee satisfaction. You may keep your employees satisfied by throwing parties every Friday, or by maintaining a good relationship with them. But how does that help your business move towards the set vision?

Employee engagement isn’t organizing events and games. Many of you might confuse this with employee engagement because it engages your employees but it is just a way to build a good work culture.

Now, let’s understand what do we actually mean by employee engagement.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the willingness of your employees to go the extra mile to achieve your business goals. It’s the emotional dedication your employees have for your organization. They don’t just work for the salary they get at the end of every month. They work because they are highly motivated to achieve the goals your organization wants to achieve. 

Employee engagement means that your employees care for your business, and not just you caring for them. They don’t work to please their bosses or just to show that they are working. They do overtime without being asked. They work even when nobody’s watching. Engaged employees work for themselves while efforts are directed towards the company’s missions, goals, and objectives.

They are always excited to take on new challenges, embrace change, and welcome solving tough problems. They also tend to be curious by nature, focus on continuous learning, and regularly seek new ways to broaden their existing skill sets.

Quick Fact: A study by Gallup shows that highly engaged workplaces saw 41% lower absenteeism

Why is employee engagement important for enterprises?

According to a 2018 Korn Ferry Survey, the majority, 33 percent of those changing jobs cite boredom and the need for new challenges as the top reason why they are leaving.

It simply means that high potential employees were not engaged enough and that will increase recruitment and training costs for the companies.

Employee engagement isn’t optional. It’s a must for every organization that wants to attract and retain talent. And this is just the surface level benefit of employee engagement. There are many other advantages as well. Let’s have a look at a few of those mentioned below.

Benefits of employee engagement

  1. Attract and retain top talent: A committed employee working towards organizational goals, when kept engaged, continues to work in the organization for a longer duration. Not only this, they act as ambassadors for your company and attract new talents as well. 

  1. Higher productivity: An engaged employee is self-motivated and loves taking challenges. They have the ability to work tirelessly and hence are highly productive as compared to a disengaged employee.

  1. Better customer satisfaction: This is an indirect benefit of employee engagement but it does exist. An engaged employee works like they are working in their own company and treats customers as their own customers. So, they deliver better product quality and better customer service altogether.

  2. Increased sales: The enthusiasm, optimism, and motivation of an engaged salesperson drive in more than expected sales. They often tend to exceed the targets and create new milestones.

  1. Enhanced business profits: All of the factors together contribute to increased revenue and hence better profitability.

Employee engagement has a direct impact on your business profits and shareholder returns. So, just like you invest in other business assets to fetch high revenue, you must invest in employee engagement too. That’s how you can make the most out of your pool of hired talented individuals.

Now, let’s jump to ‘How’

How to ensure maximum employee engagement?

Most of you might think that ensuring employee engagement is the job of the HR team. But here I’ll break the myth for you.

Employee engagement isn’t something that an HR can do alone. It’s part of the work culture. The HR makes strategies to achieve maximum employee engagement and then the strategies are being implemented by leaders and managers throughout the organization. It’s a collaborative process that employees in all departments of the organization should experience.

Moreover, one very important question is when does employee engagement begin? Many of you might think that it begins after an employee is onboarded but that’s not true. It begins right from the start of the recruitment process and spans through the entire employee lifecycle until the exit or retirement.

Employee engagement shapes the experience your employees have in your organization. And it is a cumulative effort of many factors combined. 

So, here are a few primary factors that impact employee engagement at your organization.

  1. Smooth onboarding: Candidates get a glimpse of the company’s work culture right during their selection process itself. Also, at the time of onboarding, you must ensure that candidates get all the right assets and training for a smooth onboarding experience.

  1. Good work culture: Work culture says a lot about the organization. Primary factors that shape a good work culture and keep your employees engaged are transparency, openness, autonomy, respect, and appreciation. A good work culture always promotes open feedback and treats employees with the respect they deserve.

  1. Learning and development opportunities: Motivated and highly energetic employees always look forward to new learning opportunities. They love taking challenges and creating new solutions. A good work culture focuses on employees’ personal growth, learning, and development.

  1. Effective leadership: Good leadership is crucial to a company’s growth and success. A good leader creates new leaders instead of just managing a team. The team of new leaders are self-motivated and just need the right direction to achieve their goals.

  1. Succession planning: Proper succession planning gives a personal vision to each individual. That’s something they can look forward to as a result of their commitment and hard work. This is one of the key drivers of employee engagement.

  1. Employee wellness: Employee wellness is very crucial to keep the workplace healthy. It includes both physical and mental health. To combat the stress and physical inactivity, many companies are now investing in yoga, meditation, fitness products, and other physical activities.

  1. Flexibility: Every person loves flexibility both in their workplace and personal life. It simply keeps the employees happy and helps them plan a schedule that suits their needs. Flexibility helps organizations keep employees engaged as it displays the trust the organization has in them.

  1. Awards and recognition: Not being appreciated is one of the most common reasons for people leaving the organization. Employees appreciate meaningful recognition for their work. Regular feedback and checking in on employees are positive drivers of engagement.

However, this might seem like an ideal workplace and a little hard to achieve. And this is why employee engagement is a two-way process.

It’s not only about what you do for the employees but also what they do for you. An employee needs to be optimistic, motivated, and should possess a positive attitude to be engaged.

How to measure employee engagement?

You might be building new strategies every month to increase employee engagement or you might be under the assumption that your employees are already engaged. But do you have any data points to validate your strategies and assumptions? 

Employee engagement is mostly non-quantifiable, and the ROI of employee engagement efforts can’t be measured in numbers, rather it’s seen in the work culture and the pace at which the organization is moving towards its goal. But that’s where employee engagement software comes to the rescue.

Employee engagement software gives you scores against various parameters responsible for employee engagement and helps you improve the factors against which you scored less. It is completely data-driven and gives you an exact picture of employee engagement at your organization.

Leena AI is one such employee engagement software that uses artificial intelligence to assess employee engagement at your workplace. 

What is Leena AI?

Leena AI is an employee engagement software that assesses the engagement level of your employees across the lifecycle via short conversational surveys. The frequency of the employee surveys and the focus areas of the survey questions differ as per the stage of the employee lifecycle.

For example, a person who joined your organization just a couple of weeks back won’t know much about the work culture and goal completion. So, taking the same survey for all employees won’t fetch accurate results.

Let’s now understand how Leena AI actually works.

The process of assessing employee engagement begins with a short and simple survey in the form of a chat. 

  1. Employees are invited to participate in the survey via email or any other communication channel.
  2. Once the employee consents to take the survey, Leena AI asks questions to assess the engagement level.
  3. If any employee fails to take the survey, Leena AI keeps sending them automated reminders to ensure maximum participation rate. 
  4. Once there are enough responses, Leena AI algorithms analyze the feedback and show real-time insights on the dashboard.
  5. The dashboard reflects the overall happiness score of the organization, and rates employee engagement on various parameters such as work culture, leadership, employee commitment, etc. 
  6. Leena AI also predicts attrition, analyzes open-ended employee feedback, and helps you in action planning.

An employee engagement software helps you discover hidden employee insights and lets you pull the right engagement drivers to ensure maximum employee engagement.

Quick Facts: According to Gallup’s meta-analysis, the businesses that scored the highest on employee engagement showed 21 percent higher levels of profitability than units in the lowest quartile. Companies with a highly engaged workforce also scored 17 percent higher on productivity.

So, are you ready to take your employee engagement to the next level?

 

Discover how AirAsia transformed employee experience with AI
Discover how Leena AI can help you transform your employee experience
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