Employee engagement, staff retention, what makes staff leave, blue Monday, cost of replacing staffDo you know how interested your employees actually are in their work and your company? When did you last ask what really motivates them to come into work? In short, how well do you know your work force.

Being objective and honest about employee engagement can help uncover what is helping or hindering staff motivation. Failure to look at employee satisfaction can have a huge impact on your business, damaging reputation, turnover and productivity. Who wants to work in an unhappy place?

This article looks at ways to find out how engaged your staff are. It helps to identify whether patterns are entrenched within the business, in pockets or at an individual level.

Answering yes or no…

  • Is your staff turnover low? (Average time spent in a company is around 4 and a half years.)
  • Are employees able to get on with their jobs without having someone continually checking what they’re doing? (Micromanaging people has a negative impact on employee self-esteem.)
  • Does the working environment allow people to focus without too many distractions? (While each person is different, lack of clarity about job roles and an absence of shared understanding of what is expected can lead to a reduction in productivity.)

If the answer is yes to all of the above, congratulations! Your company is doing the right things to ensure a high level of job satisfaction. If the answer is no to any of the questions, your top talent may already be planning to leave you. Can you afford to lose them? ACAS reported that the average cost of replacing an employee was around £30k – in 2014!)

What does staff engagement really mean?
It means that workers look forward to coming in to work, actually care about what they do, and want to stay. Foster a working environment which encourages the development of each individual.

3-step plan to achieve short-term improvements

Start small. Be transparent and share the improvements. Reward little and often.

“90% of engaged employees in UK have a manager who lets them do their job!” Red Letter Days

1. Engagement – it’s not always about the money, money, money!

  • Conduct an anonymous employee engagement survey and repeat your staff engagement program on a regular basis.
  • Do a quick audit of training needs: see how you can strengthen skills. As well as being positive for motivation, it helps your business to stay competitive by being able to meet new challenges.
  • Reward employees to show they are valued – find a strong motivator for each individual or team.

A.    Saying thank you costs nothing.

B.    Be flexible and let an employee leave early – this can instantly boost morale and provides an incentive to others).

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

2. Inspire – and be inspiring!

  • Build an employee engagement strategy including how you welcome new staff, growth programs for existing employees, and follow up actions when people leave.
  • Look at your company vision and whether it is supported by the workplace and its practices. Does everyone know what the company vision is? If you describe your office as friendly – how does your business demonstrate this? Is there a comfy seating area to encourage socialising? Do managers have an ‘open door’ attitude?
  • Introduce flexitime. There is no actual loss of revenue to the business, as the working hours are the same.

“94% of the world’s most admired companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage.” Hay

3. Loyalty – Listen. Act. Improve!

  • Set up regular team meetings. Two-way engagement is the most powerful way to grow employee satisfaction as it encourages transparency and open communication.
  • Continual motivation of existing staff ultimately leads to teams pulling together to support each other; everyone has an understanding of the company direction making it easier to travel in the same direction.  Achieve this by having regular and inexpensive social get-togethers which allows time to talk and relax away from work, work, work!
  • Arrange separate one-to-one catch-ups to encourage honest feedback. This is a good time to find out if something is wrong and do something constructive to change the situation before it gets worse.

“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.” Richard Branson

If you have any employment law or HR issues you would like to talk about, feel free to contact our employment law specialist, Justine, for a no-obligation discussion.

More reference

Read Louder than Words by Bob Kelleher

Find out who’s ‘sinking your ship

Watch why Robert Emmons thinks gratitude works

Huffington Post research on the cost of replacing employees

9 must read articles on employee engagement