No company can force its employees to be engaged. Employees have to want to participate fully in the life and culture of a workplace. The good news, according to a recent Gallup survey, is that employee engagement is on the rise, with 34% of U.S. workers reporting feeling engaged at work. That percentage ties the highest in Gallup's history of taking this poll. Even better, the 13% of actively disengaged (i.e. miserable) employees is the lowest level ever reported. So whatever strategies employers are using to engage with their employees is taking the trend in the right direction.
The less-than-stellar news is that the remaining 53% of workers (i.e. the majority) are considered not engaged. Gallup defines this category as workers who "are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer." If your company's employees are amongst the 66% of casually or actively disengaged workers, what can your organization do to change that? This is an important question, since employee engagement indicates your employees’ commitment to their work and the success of your organization. If your employees aren't engaged, the goals of your business will suffer.One way to boost engagement is to listen to your employees' ideas, suggestions, and reactions about the direction and operations of the company. People want to be heard, and smart organizations listen. Executives, and even upper-level managers, can't see everything that's going on in the organization all the time. But employees operating in the day-to-day, customer-facing aspects of the company are witnesses to a wealth of potentially strategic information. As the HR Pros from People Savvy HCM Essentials point out, "By giving your employees a say in the organization’s operations strategy and culture, you provide them with a sense of ownership." At the same time, the organization obtains insights that are generated by actual interactions within the company. It's a win/win scenario.
The impulse to listen to employee ideas as a way of improving the culture and operations within a company is nothing new. 'The Suggestion Box' has been around for a very long time. Yet for most of its history, the suggestion box sat - often sadly empty - in the corner of a break room or mail room. It required employees to literally go out of their way, spending some of their own free time to write out their ideas. And when did those ideas ever get collected? Who took the time to read them? What was the process here? How was one employee's feedback combined with other responses to prompt action? Did anyone with decision-making power ever receive the suggestions? The entire process was often so cumbersome and ill-defined that the suggestion box became a vacant vessel, joked about or ignored by most employees. The intention to build engagement and morale frequently ended up accomplishing just the opposite result.
Fortunately, HR technologies have advanced beyond the literal box, making it much easier for employees to communicate their ideas and for employers to collect them and turn them into action. By using the mobile communication tools within Human Capital Management software like People Savvy HCM, HR can invite employees to make suggestions right from their mobile devices.
For instance, let's say that HR has just built a new online survey to solicit ideas about various topics from employees.
Using the announcements feature of People Savvy HCM, a notification can be sent right to employee dashboards on their mobile devices. So the next time employees go to clock in, they are invited to submit their thoughts and ideas by linking directly to the survey.
The survey can be completed at the employee's leisure, and the responses submitted can quickly be aggregated and distributed for discussion and action by management. Employees are thereby empowered to offer their suggestions, and the organization is able to makes sense of those ideas and interact meaningfully with workers to build on those innovative thoughts. In this way, enhanced employee engagement makes the whole organization better and more participatory, and your workers can join the 34% who feel engaged and happy at work!
If you're looking for other ways that employee engagement can benefit your company, join us for our complimentary webinar on Tuesday, July 23th at 11:00am PDT.
Strategies for Better Employee Engagement
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