When I ask what a company’s most important assets are, many employee’s might first consider the real estate, inventory, or technology. But it’s the leaders who think immediately of their employees who are on the right track.
The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore return on investment, company value and long-term strength – is the workforce; the people who make up the company. Time and again, employees who are engaged significantly outperform those who are not. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without, meaning any investment you make into boosting engagement is likely to see positive results.
Many factors affect employee engagement, but the main reason for disengagement is dissatisfaction with management. Another reason employees may not maintain pride and happiness in their job is if they don’t believe the company contributes to society in constructive ways. Beyond these reasons, employers must also actively work to gain employees’ trust and loyalty.
Investment from Senior Management
Senior managers should share company goals and plans. They should make the team a part of the process, so they will buy into every project and assignment. That connection to the company will inspire harder, more meaningful work.
Employees know a lot about the company. Whether they have information about the inner workings of the company or ideas that may elevate the business to a whole new level, those employees should be encouraged to share their knowledge.
Respect will breed respect. And when the team knows their ideas are esteemed, they will take pride in their work. By building upon these contributions, the company will soon have great information for better communication.
However much traction is gained from communication and inclusion, the gain is always more when providing incentives to workers. These incentives could be as small as free snacks and drinks, or as large as extra paid time off or gift cards for local restaurants or brands.
The problem with an incentive programme is that tracking accomplishments fairly can be tricky. A truly engaged leader may know what his or her employees are doing on a daily basis, but even the most vigilant manager can get caught up in all the daily tasks.
Remember nothing prompts employee engagement and response quite like personal attention. A healthy mix of rewards, communication, and inclusion can result in truly engaged employees.
More so than ever, the question is not whether companies can afford to invest in employee engagement, but whether they can afford not to.