Your company’s talent is one of its primary assets. Therefore, building and maintaining high employee engagement is an area of strategic importance. Companies with high energy, and collaborative employees tend to be more productive, and provide better service to customers. Furthermore, engaged employees seek to constantly improve themselves, and contribute to the growth of those around them.
Below are what I call the 3 E’s of Employee Engagement:
1.) Evaluation –
Companies that are successful in engaging their employees have objective and measurable goals for employee engagement. Importantly, these companies collect both quantitative and qualitative data. For a company early in the employee engagement process, this data can help set a baseline. For companies with employee engagement initiatives in progress, this data can help track progress, and identify areas that require adjustment.
One particularly successful method for collecting feedback is to have a town-hall meeting where employees can voice their suggestions for improvements to a member of senior management. Such meetings let employees know that they have a voice, and enable senior leaders to hear fresh ideas that they otherwise might not be able to hear.
2.) Extracurricular Activities –
A team that bonds well together outside the office is more effective inside the office. Small activities such as happy hours, afternoon volunteer events, or monthly team breakfasts can go a long way in helping employees expand their network, and increasing the synergies between coworkers. When employees understand what motivates each other better, it’s easier to identify opportunities for cooperation.
Successful companies give employees the responsibility to plan, and organize such events. This allows employees from different departments to work with people they don’t usually get a chance to work with. It also provides individuals with the opportunity to channel their creative energy.
3.) Education –
Companies that provide team members with the opportunities to constantly improve themselves have a competitive edge when it comes to attracting talent. With the growing popularity of online courses, it has become easier for employees to fit classes into their schedules, and therefore people are eager to go farther in their education. Additionally, online learning platforms enable companies to deliver training to their employees at a lower cost, and require less time away from their jobs.
Providing employees with financial assistance to pay for classes, publication subscriptions, or professional association dues fosters a culture of continuous improvement. An additional way to encourage your talent to seek out learning opportunities is to create a lunch and learn program where employees present on a topic of their expertise. This has the dual benefit of raising the visibility of experts in your organization, while enabling knowledge sharing.
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