Employee engagement

I often find business leaders despair about how to get more from their teams. In frustration they say: “we provide great incentives such as bonuses, flexitime and extra holidays but it has little impact.” A global study by Gallup in 2013 found that only 13% of employees are engaged in their job, that is, emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organisations every day.

Full engagement is critical to growth and maximising performance. A further study found businesses with the highest engagement scores averaged 18% higher productivity than those with the lowest.

Some of the key points that impact engagement include: the boss, the individual themselves, team dynamics, organisation strategy, culture of the organisation and communication. This last point is interesting - a recent survey by the Harvard Business Review in 2015 found that 91% of employees say communication issues demotivate them, with some of the top issues cited including not recognising employee achievement, not giving clear direction and not knowing employees’ names.

The big question organisations want to know is how to achieve maximum engagement and increase motivation. At a fundamental level people want to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ Needs such as financial security, working in a great team and career opportunities are key to maximising engagement.

Leaders and managers should of course expect high performance and more contribution from employees, however full engagement occurs with an alignment of maximum job satisfaction and job contribution. Here are some factors to think about to influence engagement and motivation:

  • How do staff feel about pressure and the balance between work and home life?
  • To what extent do staff feel they are stretched and challenged by their job?
  • How do staff feel towards their immediate boss, their colleagues and the company?
  • How happy is the workforce with their pay and benefits?

Whether you’re the boss or employee, what can you do to put engagement and motivation on the company-wide agenda? Get this right and get superstar performance from all your employees.