As the economy improves and the workforce becomes more generationally diverse, the importance of employee engagement continues to grow. You might think of salary as the best way to engage your employees, and it certainly continues to be a factor, writes Jacob Morgan for Forbes.com. However, other important factors in employee engagement include transparency and whether employees feel appreciated within their workplaces.
“The war for talent has never been greater,” Morgan writes, “so in a world where cash is no longer the No. 1 factor in attracting employees, … organizations must focus on other factors to create a more desirable and engaging place to work.” Improving employee engagement should improve many factors within your business, including profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, retention and sales, write Michael Papay and Alexandre Santille for Fast Company, who go on to call it “the new currency.”
Their advice for improving engagement is to listen to employee feedback and allow employees to contribute to corporate strategy and the organization as a whole. “If you really want to improve the engagement of your organizations, stop over-thinking your strategies,” Papay and Santille write. “Instead, focus on creating an authentic real-time dialogue with and among your employees.”
Also, allow for better recognition and appreciation of employees, and be willing to ask for – and listen to – their feedback on how to solve your most pressing challenges. “Employees want to do a good job,” they write. ”We want to help and feel valued. Harness this energy and you’ve got our engagement.”
But to do this, you’ll need to change some of your feedback practices, they advise. One way to make it happen in your company is by using Paylocity’s Impressions feature. This peer-to-peer social recognition tool allows employees to support each other through positive feedback at any time, from any location. The goal is to promote positive behavior among employees and allow for bottom-up recognition throughout your organization. Administrators can use Impressions to empower employees to create and manage their own profiles, which can then allow for linking to social media, like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Allowing employees to feel appreciated at work is a basic building block for engagement, Derek Irvine writes for tInt.com. ”We invest so much of ourselves in our work. We need to know that others notice and appreciate our efforts. It’s more powerful validation than a paycheck alone, and a basic human need,” Irvine writes. “There is no more effective, efficient way to shape culture, encourage meaningful relationships, or ensure appreciation for a job well done than a social recognition program that encourages all employees to frequently, sincerely and specifically recognize and praise their colleagues for good work in line with company core values.”