When employees are engaged, they’re more likely to stay. They’ll help you attract better-quality candidates when you hire, and you’ll make more money. So just invest in your biggest employee engagement drivers and you’ll be set, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to identify your most effective employee engagement drivers. Simple things that keep employees engaged are often overlooked. And the more of them you overlook, the more significantly they’ll affect your business.
Your company culture, mission, and industry will impact which employee engagement drivers actually move the needle.
For example, meaningful work for a home health aide can be very different from that for a salesperson in SaaS. That being said, there are some core principles that matter regardless of industry or role.
So, what are some employee engagement drivers that companies often overlook? Let’s explore:
While a paycheck is great, many now want more from their work than just being able to pay the bills.
Think about why you do what you do. Is it just to earn money, or do you want to make a difference by solving genuine problems?
Not every employee wants the responsibility of managing people or running their own business. That doesn’t mean they don’t still want to make a difference.
Most of their time is spent at work, so work is where they’re most likely to be able to drive change.
Many of us feel like we spend our working days just going through the motions, though. It can leave us with little energy to do something meaningful when we get home.
How can you change that? Some of it ties into…
When your company culture is communicated clearly, you’re more likely to attract—and retain—employees whose values align with yours.
This then means that they’re more aligned with your mission. They’ll feel like what they’re doing is meaningful because they want to solve the same problem(s) that you do.
However, too frequently how a company culture comes across to the outside world versus what it’s like for employees who spend their time there are two very different things.
If the culture you say you have differs from what you actually have, it will affect your employer brand.
The more former employees and job candidates who talk about this disconnect on sites like Glassdoor, the more it will leave you to firefight two problems: your tattered brand and your poor culture.
It’s easy to become disconnected from what’s really happening as a business grows.
Asking employees for their genuine opinions and experiences, and embracing the good and the bad, will help you to see what direction your company is really headed in and what the culture is like.
You can then use this information to look at what’s working and what needs to change.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business—a healthy company culture takes work. This is especially important for those in positions of power. Leading by example is one of the most important ways to develop the type of culture you want to create.
Most people want to achieve something in their careers, even if they can’t articulate what that is. Helping employees to figure out—and achieve—their career goals can be a key employee engagement driver.
Their enthusiasm for their role will be contagious, having a ripple effect on their peers.
It may even attract more like-minded candidates when it’s time for you to hire.
Setting out clear paths for employees to grow can be one way to support them. While the stereotypical path of career growth ends up with someone becoming a manager, not everyone wants this.
Offering other paths, such as for them to become a go-to expert on a particular product or industry, enables them to increase their experience, income, and responsibility, without managing people.
You could also allow them to change teams or departments, or even work in a different location. These changes can help keep things fun and engaging for them. New skills and ideas can come from anywhere.
The more options you can offer employees to help them grow, the more likely they’ll be to stick around. And the more attractive you’ll be as an employer to candidates.
A sense of belonging can boost our physical and mental health, improving everything from depression to heart disease. It can also be a big employee engagement driver because we care about who we work with and what we’re doing.
While this may not seem that important, Deloitte found that fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace can lead to:
- 50% lower turnover risk
- 167% increase in employer net promoter score
- 2x more employee raises
- 10x more promotions
- 75% decrease in sick days
Just one of those stats is impressive. When you see them together like that, it makes you wonder why more businesses haven’t worked harder on this.
To give employees a true sense of belonging, they need to feel comfortable being themselves, like they have meaningful relationships with coworkers, and like their skills make a difference to the business.
One of the ways you can do this (other than developing your company culture) is through…
There’s nothing worse than a manager who takes credit for their employees’ ideas. We’ve all met someone like this at some point though, right?
When managers do this, it’s deeply unfair to their employees. This lack of appreciation makes employees wonder why they bothered in the first place. Which means they’ll be less inclined to share any future great ideas they may have.
People management isn’t just about telling someone what to do. It’s also about celebrating their successes and great ideas.
When someone does well, of course it reflects positively on their managers and the company.
But it’s going to mean a lot less to that employee without someone to recognize when a great thing happened because of the employee’s work.
Never underestimate the power of a simple ‘thank you,’ especially when it comes to employee engagement drivers.
Employee engagement affects every aspect of a business, from retention to productivity to sick days.
The more you support your employees to feel comfortable in the workplace being themselves, connected with their colleagues, and like they’re making a meaningful contribution to the business, the bigger the difference you’ll see.
If you’re looking to tap into the power of these employee engagement drivers, take a look at Workrowd’s suite of tools. Our one-stop platform offers an array of features to help you market, manage, and measure employee engagement drivers across groups, programs, and events. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.