Employee engagement is a critical small business management practice.
In the current business climate, no one can afford a workforce that is disengaged, disgruntled or apathetic. But strategies to create a more dynamic and committed workforce are especially important in smaller companies where owners call on workers to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Although employee engagement techniques vary, the best engagement strategies share a handful of common themes. Clear communication, periodic recognition, personal development, interactions with leaders – it all counts in creating enthusiastic workers. The key is for the employer to take a personal role in the engagement process.
Once you're engagement strategy is firing on all pistons, your workforce will begin to show signs of improvement almost immediately. But the real benefits of successful engagement will emerge gradually, as your workers embrace their role with renewed vigor.
- Competitive edge. Engaged workers give your company a competitive edge in the marketplace. Time and time again, employers point to the commitment of their workers as a factor in their ability to outperform the competition in innovation, sales and production.
- Hiring & retention. Satisfied employees inevitably recruit other employees to your team. As your workers become more committed to the cause, they acquire a personal stake in improving the quality of new hires. They also become less likely to jump ship for a competitor, especially if they feel they are respected for their role in the business.
- Bottom line impact. Successful engagement has a substantial bottom line impact. Over time, your operation will become more efficient as workers go the extra mile to meet personal performance goals and exceed your expectations.
- Collaborative workflows. Engaged workplaces are highly collaborative environments where employees set personal agendas aside to achieve organizational objectives. As workers become more committed to the company, they also become more committed to each other and to helping coworkers perform at peak levels.
- Shared responsibility. Ultimately, employee engagement results in sharing the burdens of ownership with your team. In a disengaged workplace, the owner feels like he is the only person keeping the business afloat. But in an engaged work environment, employees share responsibility for achieving business objectives.