Senior leaders often find it difficult to assess the impact of employee engagement on their business performance. Although ninety percent of organizations say having engaged employees can impact business success, seventy-five percent do not have an engagement plan or strategy. This can be critical for any organization, because engaged employees drive business. The effect of engagement can be seen in increased employee output and performance quality, which leads to happier customers and higher ROI. Any shift to engaged employees reduces turnover costs, which in the U.S. amounts to over eleven billion dollars annually, according to the Bureau of National Affairs.
Below are five steps senior leaders can take to create an engaging corporate environment that will increase customer satisfaction and bring higher profit for the organization and its shareholders.
1. Create a culture that encourages engagement.
Leading with positive attitude and action can create a culture of engagement. Senior leaders are the visible face of the organization. They set strategic and cultural goals and lead the company in the right direction to achieve its vision. Sixty percent of employees who believe the senior leadership is moving the company in the right direction are engaged. Senior leadership can create engagement by also promoting a workplace spirit of cooperation and teamwork.
2. Measure employee engagement.
Management of effective people is an ongoing process. Senior leaders need to invest time and resources to measure engagement. Questionnaires and face-to-face interviews are recommended. Employees need to be confident that they can express themselves and feel sure that when they offer their opinions, they are safe from repercussions.
3. Develop an action plan that enhances employee engagement.
Management needs to understand how engaged employees segment by department and location, the factors that enhance engagement, and those that detract from it. With this information, senior leaders can develop a targeted action plan at the individual, departmental, and organizational levels.
4. Hold people accountable for building engagement.
Senior leaders establish the parameters for an engaged workplace. The immediate supervisors who interact on daily basis with employees can best evaluate if employees are engaged. Senior leadership should support and ensure that the immediate supervisors have the appropriate skills and motivation to identify changes in the engagement level.
5. Reward those who demonstrate progress in building engagement.
Successful executives set realistic targets and reward employees and managers who increase productivity and who build enthusiasm. Benefits and incentives can be customized to appeal to different segments of the workforce. Recognition and praise, in addition to physical incentives, creates engaged employees.
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