Victor Lipman, writing for Forbes, advises companies to invest in employee engagement in substantive ways to see substantive bottom line results. It’s the old adage “You reap what you sow” when he reminds us that investing in employee engagement offers value although it does have a cost and can be complex.
A 2013 Silk Road survey about employee engagement found that more than 50 percent of companies do not have formal employee engagement programs, resulting in low engagement, unmotivated employees, employees who feel unappreciated, and problems with retention. Things that get in the way of employee engagement include budgets, neglecting to provide opportunities for employees to develop, and lack of focus on employee engagement in strategic planning.
Money Can be a Challenge
While money may not buy happiness, it does go a long way toward creating employee engagement with business objectives and company culture. Lipman suggests that it’s not how much money is made available to reward employees but the fact that there is some kind of reward program as incentive at all levels. It’s a mistake to only provide incentives for sales representatives and not customer service, production, and administrative employees. He says it’s also important to tie monetary incentives to organizational success for the best results.
Career Development and C-Level Support is Difficult
Silk Road’s survey revealed that HR personnel find it a challenge to provide consistent quality opportunities for employee development and get full buy-in for development initiatives from C-level management. Leadership support and accountability is essential for the success of engagement programs. Lipman reiterates that just like with monetary incentives, having some development opportunities is as important as how many are provided or how big the opportunities are. He suggests that providing structured programs for career mentoring, job training, or support to improve employment skills builds loyalty and satisfaction in the workforce.
No Employee Engagement Focus is a Problem
Robin Reilly, writing for Business Journal, advises companies to make engagement a strategic priority for improved profitability and productivity and lowered turnover, shrinkage, and absenteeism. Without it, companies will lose out at the bottom line. She cites Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report that shows employee engagement directly relates to business performance outcomes in critical areas, regardless of industry or geographic location.
So if employee engagement efforts are less than optimal at your company, step back and review how well the monetary incentives, career development, and C-level support in your business focus on engagement. You should find that once you know what stands in the way, you are better informed to find solutions and convince management the need for changes.
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