For centuries, employers and business owners have strived to create a more committed workforce.
It's no secret that employee commitment translates into bottom line results; a fully engaged workforce gives the business a competitive edge in the marketplace and improves efficiency within the organization.
But creating an effective employee engagement strategy isn't easy. One of the problems is that engagement is a moving target – just when you think you've identified the issues that are holding your workforce back, another issue pops up and forces you to rethink your entire approach.
Yet there are several factors that impact the level of employee engagement in modern workplaces. These factors tend to remain constant across industries and business models, and have a direct bearing on workforce enthusiasm and commitment.
- Mission & vision. Employees need to understand the company's mission before they can participate in it. Printing the mission on the cover of your employee handbook isn't enough. Effective engagement requires opportunities for employees to directly dialogue with employers about the direction of the company.
- Meaningful work. Employee satisfaction is directly tied to the types of work they are required to perform for their employer. Although not everyone can enjoy executive-level work assignments, it's important to make sure that workers understand the importance of their role in the organization.
- Career development. Career development opportunities give workers a vision for future possibilities. When employers encourage learning opportunities, they increase workers' investment in their individual performance and personal development.
- Work-life balance. Employees afford high levels of respect to employers who recognize the importance of their workers' personal lives. Although work is important, employers who offer flexibility for the demands of their employees' personal lives are rewarded with increased employee satisfaction and commitment.
- Management relations. Employees thrive when they have good relationships with managers and senior level leaders. From an employee perspective, there is no substitute for the respect they feel when the business owner interacts with them on a one-on-one or team basis.
- Periodic recognition. Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. The amount of respect and recognition you give your employees will influence the level of engagement in your workplace.