Engineering Staff Engagement – What, Why & How

The importance of engaged employees:

The annual team building conference is a common fixture at most companies - updating employees on company progress and announcing the strategy for the year ahead, usually followed by team building activities, informal socialising, or both. All worth doing, but how can you ensure your employees remain engaged with the company and its values between times?

What is employee engagement?:

Employee engagement is all about ensuring employees are committed to their organisation's goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, are happy in their work environment and are willing and able to act as ambassadors for the organisation.

Why is it important?:

Studies show disengaged employees cost companies money. The problems are various, ranging from absenteeism costs through to alienated customers, therefore keeping your messaging consistent and your employees engaged throughout the year is extremely important. Research shows that a 15% increase in engagement equals a 2% rise in operating margin. So it’s clearly worth the effort.

The strategy behind it:

Senior brand advocates are potentially a great place to start, as they can be the most important element of any web of engagement. Ensuring your senior team are on board and translating the brand values to their teams through everything they do will directly impact the level of engagement within your business. Get it right at the top and the results will cascade down.

Taking action:

Consistently engaging your employees means ensuring your communications strategy cascades across every touch point within the business to reinforce behaviours and values. Whether it’s a simple infographic to display on a central notice board to update on the latest performance, or ensuring your intranet is constantly updated with company news, the key to success is to communicate regularly and with a consistency of tone that reinforces key messages and company values. When employees feel part of a company’s success they are more likely to remain willing, productive, satisfied and passionate about the organisation they work for.

Video is a medium that can also play a huge part in any communication work of this type. It’s particularly effective when used to highlight marketing messages, brand values and company projects, and has the added bonus of being the type of collateral that can be used in multiple ways.

You might want to consider voxpops of employees, perhaps talking about how they translate the brand values into their daily lives, or a video of internal events for distribution via emails or social media channels. It all allows you to bring your messaging to life.

Involving Employees:

Asking for feedback and involving employees in decisions is a key motivator. Whilst not everyone in the company can be involved in steering the proverbial ship, many across the organisation are often in unique positions and best placed to share valid and insightful views. Holding company-wide brainstorms to include employees in decisions affecting them and the business, using or creating an interactive app where employees can place a vote on important issues, having constant access to regular updates and ensuring you hold regular interactive feedback sessions can all demonstrate that you are taking their ideas on board and helps cement an engaged workforce.

Remember, communication is key – so whatever you do, involve them directly wherever possible. What does it look like in practise?

We’ve just completed a 2 day event for a major shoe retailer focussed on showcasing their back to school offering and preparing their employees for this busy and important sales period. The overall purpose was to leave employees motivated and fired up to deliver the best possible ‘back to school’ event in store. But it wasn’t about a one-way dialogue sharing the new product range and sales targets. Instead via a series of innovative and interactive sessions, the employees took part in imaginative storytelling, were able to immerse themselves in the product, practise and role play various sales scenarios and importantly leave feeling inspired and able to use these learnings to train and motivate the rest of the team in store.

So the message is clear, if you want to motivate and inspire your employees - talk often, with consistency and involve employees as much as possible.