Countless employers will be talking about employee engagement strategies in 2018. More than just a buzzword, employee engagement documents a real, longstanding phenomenon that has a measurable effect on a company’s ability to thrive.
Employee engagement strategies are customized and multidimensional. They are far more than handing out a gift card once a year to a few employees who have gone above and beyond. They are also far removed from the “participation trophy” mindset, where every little accomplishment is praised to the point that recognition effectively means nothing.
Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding employee engagement, when the subject could represent a major factor holding a company back from greatness. Particularly now, with the unemployment rate down and great talent more challenging to hold onto, companies that take employee engagement strategies seriously stand to see their hard work pay off. Here are some myths about employee engagement that forward-looking companies should ditch in 2018.
Myth: Engagement, Satisfaction, and Happiness Are All the Same Things
Engagement, happiness, satisfaction … they are all just different words for the same thing, right? Wrong. Satisfaction is a more practical construct, ie. I do these things, and you pay me this much, with these fringe benefits. It is about whether the employer is fulfilling their basic obligation to employees. Happiness is more of a feeling, and it is possible to be happy without being engaged in one’s work.
Engagement, however, is the energy inside that makes employees committed to what they do and dedicated to doing it with excellence. It is about fully investing in the work. Everyone is going to have the occasional “off” day where they strive to do no more than what is strictly necessary. For the most part, however, the employees who are engaged with their professional work devote themselves to the tasks at hand, knowing that their hard work benefits others and ultimately benefits themselves.
Myth: Perks Will Fix Employee Engagement Problems
Do not underestimate the importance of well-thought-out perks for improving employee retention. At the same time, do not think that perks are synonymous with employee engagement. While perks can keep employees at a job in which they are not fully invested, they cannot make a person come to work with fire inside, ready to put forth their best effort.
Perks can be an element of employee engagement, whether they are defined fringe benefits like investment or retirement plans, or whether they are more discretionary, like rewards when a person or a team really comes through despite challenges. However, perks should not be the entirety of your employee engagement efforts. Employee engagement strategies must include knowing employees as individuals (to as great an extent as possible), and demonstrating in multiple ways how the company values their efforts and great attitude.
Myth: We Did a Survey, So We Are Improving Engagement
Sending out an employee survey on, say, work satisfaction and calling that an employee engagement strategy is giving in to laziness. Surveys can be powerful tools for understanding how well employees are engaged in their work and why. They can help companies identify areas for improvement and give them a general sense of employee morale and motivation.
Surveys, however, are not engagement. They are more like diagnostic tests that a doctor uses to assess a patient’s health. They are not the health itself. By all means, your company should use surveys, and with today’s employee engagement app technology, this is more convenient than it has ever been before. However, do not think because you send out an annual satisfaction survey that you have an engaged workforce.
Myth: Employee Engagement Is a Nice Extra
Employee engagement might be a “nice extra” if you consider things like employee retention and improved bottom-line revenue to be nice extras. Employees who are engaged in what they are doing and who take pride in their work are 12 percent more productive than employees who are not engaged in their work. Multiply these numbers by an entire workforce, and you can see how much more productive a company with engaged employees is compared to a company where employees are mentally checked out.
Unless your company somehow has an endless supply of workers that you can keep replacing indefinitely like so many worn machine parts, you have every reason to consider employee engagement as a necessity.
Myth: Improved Employee Engagement Is Always a Top-Down Process
Anyone who has been in the workforce for more than a decade has almost certainly seen their share of management fads that are suddenly all the rage and that just as suddenly disappear when the next big management trend comes along. Employee engagement strategies could not be more different.
On the one hand, it is critical for management and senior executives to buy into employee engagement strategies, or else they will almost certainly wither out. On the other hand, great ideas for better employee engagement can come from anywhere in the company organizational chart. In other words, support for strong employee engagement must pervade all levels of the business, but it cannot be imposed on everyone as if it were a new safety regulation. There is a certain amount of give and take with engaged workforces, and you should be prepared to honestly gauge employee engagement and what makes it better.
Myth: The Company Bears All Responsibility for Employee Engagement
Then again, employees should not think that their employer bears all responsibility for having strong employee engagement. Sadly, there will always be a small minority of employees who will not be engaged in what they are doing regardless of the benefits associated with good work engagement.
The most successful employee engagement strategies have roles for everyone. Management must reward excellent engagement, and individual workers must take responsibility for investing their time and effort into doing what they do with precision, efficiency, and a positive attitude. In other words, employee engagement does not work when it is one-sided. Everyone has a role to play.
The employee engagement app is a cornerstone of employee engagement strategies across industries. That is because they offer both employers and employees an outstanding, multi-functional tool for recognizing achievements, offering training, keeping employees apprised of advancement opportunities, and generally developing a stronger bond between employees and the company for which they work.
HubEngage is the key to creating an employee engagement app that is custom-tailored to your workforce and their needs. Need to deliver training modules to employee mobile devices? It is easy with hubEngage. Likewise, you can solicit feedback, deliver surveys, and automatically analyze the data these tools produce. You can gamify various business-related tasks, provide employees with rich, informative content, and help them collaborate through company-wide instant messaging and notifications.
Employee engagement strategies are key to success in 2018, and hubEngage invites you to sign up for our employee engagement insights newsletter so you can be confident that your workforce is committed, passionate, and engaged in what they are doing.