Employee Engagement: Guest Blog on Ways to Improve It
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Employee engagement continues to be a high-interest topic among our readers. As a more contagious and deadly variant of COVID-19 emerges, utilities and energy companies are trying to decide when office workers will return to the office, and under what conditions. What work policies need to be updated? How shall we perform work going forward? Will our organizational culture help, or hurt, our efforts to reboot office life? And, not least, how can we communicate all of this? Not surprisingly, many organizations are up in the air.
All of these issues elevate a high-interest topic into a stratospheric one. To support our readers’ employee-engagement efforts, we are reposting, with permission, a piece from Energage, Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. The piece doesn’t mention COVID-19, and it doesn’t tackle the difficult employee issues raised by the pandemic.But the thing about best practices is that they’re always applicable. As utilities, and particularly employees with managerial responsibilities, contemplate how work will get done in an extraordinarily dynamic work environment, they would do well to keep these eight tips in mind.
Eight Ways to Improve Employee Engagement
Special guest blog by Bob Helbig, media partnerships director at Energage.
When employees are engaged in their work, they have passion, energy, and commitment. They bring their best to work every day, and they’ll go above and beyond for your organization.
In short, employee engagement measures how strongly employees feel connected to their work and their employers. Sustainable engagement is based on intrinsic motivation. These are internal goals like mastery, autonomy, and purpose. External rewards, such as pay and bonus, only earn short-term benefits.
There are many ways to improve employee engagement. Some are focused on long-term goals while others are quick, short-term wins for your employees and business. Here are eight ideas to try.
- Live your vision, mission, and values. Employees want to know they are part of an organization that sees a bigger picture and provides meaning. A company that incorporates its values into everyday work life helps foster a more meaningful work environment for its employees. When employees have a strong understanding of company core values and how those impact the organization, they are more likely to feel inspired and engaged.
- Focus on onboarding. The onboarding process sets an important tone. Onboarding is a great way to connect employees with your company’s mission, vision, and values. It also helps them understand how they fit into the larger picture. Use the process to show new employees what makes your company culture unique and how they play a vital role on the team — and the company as a whole.
- Train employees to succeed. Creating a clear path for employee development will help to improve employee recruitment and retention. Encourage employees to grow within your company instead of giving them reasons to seek growth opportunities elsewhere. Employees want to feel cared for and supported by their managers and leaders.
- Recognize and reward employees. To feel fully engaged in the organization, employees need to know that peers, managers, and leaders genuinely appreciate their work. Recognition also is what makes them enjoy their work and feel motivated to perform at their best. It’s also important to understand how your employees prefer to receive recognition to maximize your efforts and consider their personal preferences.
- Communicate feedback the right way. Employees at Top Workplaces feel well informed, recognized, and heard. They work well with other teams. Encouraging a culture of consistent, two-way communication makes this possible. When your organization establishes open communication as a company value and models it from the top down, your employees will seek regular feedback and provide transparent communication in return.
- Promote healthy work habits. Encourage healthy habits within the workplace. Promote taking breaks during work; it will not only help employees feel more cared for but also helps prevent overworking and burnout. It will lead to more productive work time. Ensuring work-life balance shows your employees you care about their well-being.
- Volunteer. Use your company mission or values to create a team-bonding activity such as volunteering for local causes, showing employees you genuinely care about the causes you promote as an organization.
- Conduct employee engagement surveys. Measuring engagement is the first step toward improving employee engagement. Surveys allow employees to give feedback and feel heard safely. They’re also highly beneficial because they are fully anonymous, allowing employees to offer genuine feedback without fear of backlash.
Check these EEC resources on employee engagement
How’s That Employee Engagement Project Working?
Is Your Utility Headed for Trouble?
Getting Your Utility’s Culture Back on Track
Employee Communications: Showing Your True Colors on Day 1
Battling For Employees’ Hearts and Minds? Don’t Lead with “Reliable, Affordable and Safe”
Organizational Change? Be Prepared to Communicate Until You Are Blue in The Face
Changing Your Organization’s Culture One Minute at A Time
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