Power to the People: The Importance of Employee Engagement

S o how’s the mood in your office right now?

Could you answer that straight away? If so, fantastic – we’re preaching to the converted. And if you had to stop and think a little, that’s ok too – we know how busy it gets. But we’re here to remind you that maintaining employee engagement is one of the hottest issues in the workplace at the moment. It’s certainly an issue that’s always on our radar: before undertaking our training, our clients on average rate engagement with their companies at only 6.5 out of 10*. Room for improvement? We think so. Read on, then, for our perspective on this topic – and a few pointers on powering up your employees’ performance.

The easiest way to diagnose the mood of your office – if it’s not immediately obvious – is simply to bring staff together, says Anda. “Work with your team to understand what they’re hearing, what they’re seeing, what challenges they’re facing. Ask them what motivates them and what doesn’t. Help them to understand the difference their roles make to the organisation – what impact they have as individuals. Don’t be afraid to have that conversation – it’s not a tough conversation to have.”

But it doesn’t end there. Maintaining employee engagement is an ongoing process – and an essential one. Try the following tips to keep your people motivated and their morale high:

  • Communicate.

  • Leaders must communicate regularly with their staff. “In our experience, when managers have a regular meeting with their direct reports, people stay engaged,” says Anda. These meetings don’t need to take long – half an hour a week or an hour every fortnight should suffice – although she remembers working with the CEO of a large organisation who took regular communication to the next level. He wrote a personal email to all staff every fortnight about what was happening in the business, sharing results to ensure his staff felt valued. Regardless of your method, then, the effect of regular communication is the same, explains Anda: “People feel empowered by being entrusted with information.”

  • Invest in staff training and development.

  • “Be prepared to invest in people. It shows that you value them,” says Anda.

  • Encourage flexible working.

  • Offer staff flexibility around where they do their work and how they do it, says Anda. Enabling staff to work at the times that are most productive for them translates to increased productivity for your organisation.

  • Dial down the drudgery.

  • Employees are often distracted by minor tasks, explains Anda. “Managers can be very good at delegating tasks, but do these tasks constitute important work that their staff need to be doing? When employees are focused on work that’s a grind, they’re not as engaged in what they should be achieving. Pull them up to a higher level – you need to mitigate the everyday with the aspirational.”

So keep your people in the loop. Encourage their ambitions. Balance the mundane with the motivational. And let us know what effect this has. After all, your people are your company’s most valuable resource – treat them accordingly.

*And after our training? Clients experience on average a 21% increase in employee engagement.