Employee engagement is not simply about being happy at work. At the start of this year, nearly 70 per cent of workers were planning on quitting their jobs, while only one in 10 said that they enjoyed their current role. Contributor Amir Qureshi, Chief Executive Officer at Thomas International.
An engaged employee cares about the business and believes in its vision. They have a strong connection with the organisation and will work towards shared goals.
When people feel that they are valued and are allowed to flourish, so do the companies they work for. When motivation is lacking, this has a knock-on effect, leading to low morale, poor levels of productivity and higher levels of employee turnover. To quote Campbell’s Soup CEO, Doug Conant: “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”
How Engaged is Your Workforce?
Before making internal changes to boost staff engagement, seek opinions from across the company to gauge engagement levels. Be brave enough to reveal the cold hard truth about what is and isn’t working.
Employee surveys, focus groups and regular breakfast meetings all successfully canvas opinion, as long as people can be open and honest, without fear of retribution. At Thomas, our ‘Engagement and Wellbeing Champions’ help us find out peer-to-peer what isn’t working and how to fix it.
At Thomas, we have identified three key components that influence employee engagement and it’s not just about good salaries. Developed by senior psychologist, Professor Mark Slaski, the Thomas Employee Engagement model demonstrates how staff are motivated by much more than just money or recognition – Role, Relationships and Rewards all play a part: Role – How challenged they feel and the value they bring to the business; Relationships – Whether their ideas and opinions are respected; Rewards – Appreciation and the opportunities that they have to grow.
Thomas has used this model to gather opinions from across hundreds of organisations, helping each one to identify its strengths, vulnerabilities and levels of engagement. The result, a Thomas Engage Report, then reveals how an organisation compares to other UK businesses, the management styles operating within, and provides advice on how to address the vulnerabilities.
More than a ‘Tick Box’ Exercise
Engagement assessments are much more than a ‘tick box’ exercise. Our reports give practical and accessible guidelines for next steps to further improve engagement. We provide recommendations specifically for leadership and organisational change, followed by an action planning session. This identifies positive next steps to resolve issues. The end result is a commitment of actions for the next year that will improve overall engagement.
Employee engagement is key to a high performing workforce and is a vital part of strategic planning for any successful business. By taking the time to accurately measure it among the workforce, and taking steps to improve, senior leaders benefit from much more than just ‘happy employees’. A highly engaged workforce prompts higher levels of motivation and productivity, lower rates of absence and a reduced staff turnover.