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Employee Engagement: 5 Ways To Make It A Priority

Employee Engagement 1Employee engagement is one of the biggest issues facing companies today, and many are doing nothing about it. You may be surprised at how employees really feel about your mission. (Hint: 61% don’t even know what it is and 57% of those who do know the mission aren’t inspired by it!) There is a growing disconnect between employees and employers, and the result is a complete lack of employee engagement.

While some CEOs may think employee engagement is no big deal, they’re wrong. WRONG! Employee engagement is big. HUGE. Companies with engaged employees make 2.5 times the revenue of their competitors that have low engagement levels, according to these stats culled by Officevibe.

So don’t be fooled that employee engagement (or the lack thereof) isn’t affecting your bottom line. Because it is. So why do only 25% of organization have an employee engagement strategy when 90% of leaders think it would positively impact their business success?

It’s a matter of priorities. So much time is spent on customer relations that employee relations becomes an afterthought. But problems don’t start with customers, they start with employees, says Sam Bahreini, founder and COO of VoloForce, in this Entrepreneur article. In fact, he posits that employee engagement is more important than the customer.

So how can you make employee engagement more of a priority in your organization? Incorporate these five practices:

1. Understand It’s More Than An Annual Process

Every year employees complete engagement surveys that are designed to help CEOs gauge employee loyalty and shape company culture. The problem: Less than 2% of CEOs look at the survey results more than once, according to this Motivosity survey.

So how can employee engagement improve if CEOs are basically ignoring employee feedback? Unfortunately, it can’t. And this is just one aspect of the issue.

2. Involve All Departments (Not Just HR)

To compound the problem, the Motivosity research also finds that 70% of CEOs delegate culture and engagement problems to HR. But the issue is obviously much broader.

“The sad thing is that most CEOs don’t understand the importance of culture,” says Scott Johnson, founder and CEO of Motivosity, and employee engagement software firm. “If they did, they wouldn’t outsource it to HR.”

In this Entrepreneur article, author Heather Huhman says that it takes an engaged team to be actively involved in fixing employee-engagement issues. “Instead of just assigning tasks to HR to fix, involve managers and employees who possess natural engaging characteristics,” she writes. “Present the problem and brainstorm together to come up with solutions that benefit everyone. Instead of delaying the process, or having HR come seeking approval for changes, be involved in the solution yourself.”

3. Encourage Risk Taking

Successful companies encourage and promote innovation. Huhman recommends presenting problems to your teams and give them the opportunity to take risks with solution without reprimanding them for failures.

“A fun and productive way to do this is to present the same problem to different teams and prompt them to solve it,” she says. “Each team can then present its solution to the entire group, with the group offering feedback and constructive criticism, and receiving in return exposure to new perspectives and improved-upon ideas. This engagement will rub off on employees and ultimately create a more productive work environment that allows constant collaboration—making employees feel engaged all-year-round.”

4. Listen More; Communicate Better

Unfortunately, 60% of employees don’t get in-the-moment feedback from their managers. But for those highly engaged employees, feedback is given at least once a week.

It should be obvious: Company culture needs transparent communication. Otherwise, how can you expect employees to know what’s important!

5. Celebrate Achievements

Employees desperately desire recognition, but most aren’t getting it. In fact, more than half don’t feel recognized for progress or achievements at work. While annual service awards are a good start, they’re not nearly enough. Look for ways to consistently incorporate feedback and recognition into regular business practices with ideas in this article as well as 7 Tips To Reward And Recognition Outstanding Performance Without Breaking The Bank.


The good news is that with time and attention, even the most egregious engagement problems can be fixed—but only if companies recognize, from the top down, that there’s a problem and devote resources from all areas to create a culture of recognition. Employees dedicate so much time and energy to your cause, shouldn’t you show them appreciation and make your company an awesome place to be?


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