Every organization puts in the required efforts to adopt a mission, vision and a set of goals for itself. But they will have no meaning unless its employees align with them too. Only employee engagement can provide the sense of purpose needed make such alignment possible. In fact, employee engagement determines many things, including employees’ performance, absenteeism, attrition, productivity and even profitability for any organization. This makes it necessary for any organizations keen on success, to not just invest in employee engagementbut also to ensure that employee engagement is sustained in an ongoing manner. Let’s look at some strategies to help in developing and sustaining employee engagement.
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Eliminate anxiety and stress
Energy alone is not sufficient to motivate someone to stay committed to a specific behavior. That gap gets filled when employee engagement, like an exercise regime, diet or other behavior, has an element of personal commitment included. Companies today expect a lot from their employees, but companies committed to employee engagement implement policies and practices which help their employees to not suffer from any workload-related stress or anxiety. They look for ways to increase their energy and ways to inspire and motivate them. Employees have the freedom to choose the toughest of projects without feeling overwhelmed. They have the flexibility needed to balance work with life and manage both without any undue pressure from either of them.
The role of leadership
Research has found that the leadership has a role to play in creating sustained employee engagement, by showing interest in employee well-being and performance with the necessary expressions of appreciation which are so valuable to employees. When companies have leadership teams which are committed to ethical values and a triple bottom line, we find that it becomes easier to develop sustainable employee engagement. People perform better when they are motivated to do so out of their own volition rather than from any fear or stress about negative consequences for non-performance. Leadership needs to focus on winning the trust and confidence of employees through establishing an organizational culture which reflects the sincerity of their interest in the employees and show a consistent adherence to their implementation through maintaining regular communication.
Challenging work environment
Everyone loves to take up a challenge, to stretch themselves, and prove their capabilities. Challenges should not be confused with situations of stress or fear. Constant stress could cause health issues and consequent absenteeism due to sickness, which is a measure of employee disengagement for many organizations. By catching signs of stress early and supporting people appropriately managers can make workplaces better at sustaining employee engagement. Getting this right would make the difference between posting shareholder returns which outperform the industry as against running a business which has a bunch of unmotivated, listless employees. Everyone loves working towards a purpose, being inspired, and having some flexibility and choice in the things they do at work. A good environment will provide them with all these and incentivize them right to ensure employee engagement and exceptional performance.
The right way to performance management
Managing resources right includes the ability to communicate better and to ensure that a task is assigned to people who have the skills and capability needed to cope with its demands and requirements. Workplaces need to encourage people support to each other and work in teams. Collaboration to achieve their targets together helps employees to transcend the need for individual achievement alone. Such workplaces are less stressful and more conducive to sustainable employee engagement. Unique opportunities to leverage learning and development are also useful to sustain employee engagement.
Fair treatment all around
Fairness to everyone does not translate to apportioning an equal number of tasks to everyone. It is more about understanding their capabilities, personality and confidence levels before assigning any work to them and them providing them the necessary help when they need it. People are all made different and they all have different skills and needs. Understanding them and meeting these needs is an essential requirement for any performance management program. Such support in an ongoing fashion is what will create a sustainable model for employee engagement with a clear path to career growth being laid for the advancement of each employee.
All other things being equal, this single parameter of employee engagement could make a difference to the performance and profitability of any organization against its peers. Managers who wish to integrate sustainable employee engagement into their performance management systems can integrate these strategies into their operational and behavioral processes. Together, these strategies help to create an engagement with employees, motivate them to identify with organizational goals, motivate them to strive harder to deliver on their assigned tasks well and keep them committed and proud to be working for the organization.
Learn more about performance metrics and R&R programs to drive employee engagement