85% of the global workforce is not engaged in their work. That’s a staggering amount. The thing is – an engaged workforce pays off. In fact, it really pays off. Organisations with high employee engagement outperform those with low engagement by a whopping 202%. Engaged employees are more accurate, more focused, and more motivated to reach organisational goals.
It is one thing to know that employee engagement matters. It’s another to figure out if your business has an engagement problem.
Look to your managers
Employee engagement surveys can give you fabulous insights into the situation. However, simply running employee engagement surveys isn’t enough. Quality of the survey and of the results matters. Organisations should spend time reviewing manager specific results because, if there’s one thing that really impacts how engaged employees are at work, it’s managers. When it comes to employee engagement managers account for a 70% variance.
In short, if you want employees who drive productivity and profitability, whilst boosting customer loyalty, and who stick around for the long term without a high degree of absenteeism, you need the managers to drive employee engagement. You need managers to understand just how important this aspect of their role is.
Giving managers the engagement tools they need
For managers to be effective at driving and navigating employee engagement, they first need insight. With Bridge, employees are encouraged to rate how they feel across a spectrum of issues which we know link with engagement. For example, an employee can rate how good they feel their work-life balance is, or identify which skills they want to learn, or even pinpoint what role they want in the future. Managers can see how these elements intertwine to determine how engaged an employee is now, and what can be done to improve their engagement.
This approach needs to sit in an environment of easy conversations. From informal and regular catch-ups to 360° feedback from colleagues to more formal appraisals, conversation needs to be central to your engagement approach. In short, a manager should really know each individual employee so that they can determine and mobilise what energises and motivates them.
Fundamentally, this is all about the manager’s strategic role. It’s not enough to simply get on with the everyday operational demands. Managers must also strategically understand their teams so that operational demands are met today, and success is sustained long term.
Engagement improves performance but occurs through development
Once managers are in the position of understanding their individual team members, and having insight into what could increase their engagement, they then need to know how to realise the benefits of improving engagement. We know that engaged employees perform better. But it’s not accidental. Engaged employees are ones that are on an active and clear path of development.
Let’s take an example. If someone in role B is after role A, they need to know what is missing in their performance today that stops them from being promoted. If these skills and aptitudes can be clearly identified through a performance management system that incorporates multiple elements of appraisal, then it becomes much easier to set goals. The individual now knows that they need to develop skills in X, Y and Z.
Engagement now becomes about learning. The trick now is for that employee to be able to access the learning and development needed, along with appropriate feedback, so that they can navigate the path of progression. With Bridge, this is all built-in, making it incredibly easy for managers and employees alike to increase engagement across the board.
Employee and manager experience
At the end of the day, improving engagement is about improving experience. Managers can only improve the experience of the individual team member if they know what really matters to that individual, and liaises with them regularly and seamlessly about it. It’s only in this way that the employee experience can be aligned with business goals, and with the right technology at your fingertips, that’s possible.
People will give of themselves to business goals, in both the short and long term, if they feel truly engaged. To engage employees, you need easy performance insight and simple development processes. One platform can deliver it all: Bridge.