Low workplace engagement costs the UK £340 billion per year, according to figures from UK PLC. Hence, as a business owner this productivity problem remains high on our HR checklist.
It is believed that one way to curtail the drain on UK businesses is by improving engagement, however a study from the University of Warwick has revealed that happy and engaged staff are 12% more productive, while unhappy staff are 10% less productive,. Another statistic states that worldwide productivity is at a measly 13%. These statistics show not only a problem for engagement in the UK but also globally, and the potential impact on business is enormous.
It may be time to change the way we think about engagement in order to solve the problem that businesses are continually facing. Companies today want to move away from traditional approaches to employee engagement, and so the following steps could give you some insight into what can be done to break the cycle.
1. Engagement is a Simple Choice
One of the biggest factors affecting engagement is the environment provided for employees, which is a leading element in supporting and sustaining employee engagement. Sometimes it is easy to believe that engagement is something that can be imposed upon an employee but this defeats the purpose of productivity. Engagement comes from within and once this is unlocked by your staff, productivity may become endless.
2. Behaviour enforcing Engagement
Normally the attitudes of staff members can be a key focus when it comes to engagement; however behavioural patterns can be an even bigger indication. Key behavioural patterns that are linked to engagement include:
- Active participation
- Accountability for work/performance
- Genuine passion and fun
- Creative idea cultivation
- Curiosity and willingness to challenge the norm
- Exchange of feedback
3. Rewarding your own Performance through Engagement
It is a well-known fact that the effort put into your work is directly related to your output, and this process is a key factor when it comes to ensuring employee engagement in your company. Whilst good performance is most commonly rewarded financially, it goes without saying that the next best thing is the positive endorphins released from receiving praise from a client. Following this thought process; engagement can be considered a reward in itself, which leads to a positive cycle of creating effective results that will keep employee engagement high. Most employees will feel proud to be able to pass on an example of their outstanding work.
So, how can I better measure and improve engagement?
Employee engagement is a personal responsibility which will hopefully lead to an improvement in staff mentality and a more positive input. Asking questions such as “How can the team collaborate to improve in certain areas?” gives a two level approach to engagement, both personally and as a group.
Engagement can be measured in various ways, including the most obvious responses like work being completed to a higher standard or increasing overall business output. We can also measure staff engagement through surveys that encourage staff to think about their role and responsibilities. This method will also give employees the opportunity to review their position in the company and become more conscious of their next task.
This approach also encourages everyone to get involved, helping employees identify their role in creating and maintaining a high performing team, which in turn creates a united “this is how we do things here” attitude towards work in your company.
Overall the process of engagement needs to become a constant dialogue, exchanging information related to performance between staff and management level. I previously highlighted the concept of feeling more engaged when succeeding and so it is important to remember that if you are succeeding as a manager, your staff will succeeding in their role.
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