Employee engagement has a slew of benefits for any organization.
Traditionally, employee engagement is when professionals feel a sense of passion and commitment about their job and their organization’s overall goals and values. It leads to people within your company advocating for your brand, its mission, and its initiatives. This provides a level of authenticity to your organization that your brand is unable to achieve on its own. Furthermore, it means your employees go above and beyond for your brand.
Employees in your company want to feel connected to the organization and know that the work they put in every day is meaningful and valued. When you achieve this, your employees are willing to take their efforts a step further to promote your company and its brand. They feel a direct correlation between themselves and the success of the business.
According to a 2016 Gallup Survey, an engaged workforce leads to 17% more productivity. The same survey says that only 33% of US workers felt involved and enthusiastic about their jobs.
To achieve employee engagement, you need to build a great culture, be transparent about the state of the company and its overall goals, and acknowledge those who help your company.
How to Foster Employee Engagement
First, it’s important to understand that you cannot manufacture employee engagement. Some employees are simply more engaged, or open to initiatives than others, so start with your engaged employees and let the goodwill spread from there.
Offering incentives to reach certain goals, but having them do something extra to reach a bonus is not true employee engagement.
Your company culture is a big part of improving employee engagement initiatives. Improving company morale and the overall happiness of your employees will lead to higher employee engagement. By holding company events and team outings, you offer a way for employees to get to know each other, even if they work in different departments or locations.
Also, be transparent. Give employees consistent feedback on how they’re doing in a positive way. Managers should let employees know what they like about their work, and give them a clear, attainable path on what they should do going forward to reach their goals.
Recognizing the hard work and achievements of specific employees to the rest of the company not only makes that individual feel valued but generates an aspiration to achieve the same level of acknowledgment from other employees.
Don’t forget, it’s important to offer opportunities for growth. By nature, people want to be successful in their roles and they want to advance to the next level. They want to grow. Offering training courses, teaching them new skills for their career, and giving employees a path in which to advance within your organization, all aid in employee retention and engagement.
How Does This Help You?
Employee engagement is partially the result of higher job satisfaction. When people feel more connected to their organization and are happy at work, they’ll go above and beyond for it.
When employees are happier, it results in higher retention and lower turnover, but ultimately it’s higher productivity and a willingness to do more for your organization including advocate for your brand. This involves promoting your brand's initiatives and sharing its messages on social media. This could be for a specific event, a simple piece of content, or more.
Additionally, when your employees go above and beyond in their efforts to promote your brand, they promote their own personal brand in your industry. If your employees set out to become micro-influencers in your industry, it benefits you by increasing your reach and promoting your brand. Empower them by highlighting them in content, or ask if they have an interest in creating their own content. And don’t forget to supply them with a steady source of third-party content for them to share.
Steven Dickens, a World Wide Sales Leader at IBM, grew his personal brand on social media and often times uses it to promote company events and initiatives in addition to industry trends, challenges and other topics.
Employee Advocacy Fuels Employee Engagement
Employee advocacy enables people at your company to increase their social media presence, share content related to your industry, and actively promote your brand or brand messaging.
By letting employees know what they can share, what to promote, and how to promote it with marketing-approved captions, you’ll get your employees more comfortable and involved on social media. This gives them the foundation to get comfortable with sharing on social on their own - the training wheels if you will. Once they get a better understanding of your company’s initiatives, goals, and how they fit into you achieving these goals, they’ll get more comfortable with curating their own content and expressing their voice.
Your engaged employees are more likely to adopt an employee advocacy program, thus expressing their message on social media will increase reach to new audiences. People in your industry will also look to them as resources for industry content, or for opinions on trends and challenges they’re facing.
An employee advocacy tool keeps employees up to date on all initiatives the company is promoting and gives a scoring system to acknowledge the ones who are the most active. This leads to more buy-in and motivates them over the long term.
Employee engagement is an invaluable part of any great company culture and success. It boosts productivity, leads to retention, increases advocacy, and leads to an all-around happier workforce.