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Ultimate Guide to Employee Engagement & Involvement

Employee Engagement and Involvement

The Great Resignation has become a buzzword during this global health crisis. This idea, proposed by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University, refers to employees leaving their companies during and after the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 4.5 million workers quit their jobs as of March 2021. Many factors have driven The Great Resignation. Hence, companies of all sizes must focus on employee engagement and involvement to make their employees stay.

Unfortunately, a recent Gallup report reveals that only 34% of employees felt engaged at work while 16% were actively disengaged last year. This report further shows how employee engagement has dropped for the first time in ten years.

So how can you make your employees engaged and involved in the workplace?

This blog covers the difference between employee engagement and involvement. Learn why it’s important and how to boost both key business aspects in your organization.

Employee Engagement vs. Employee Involvement

 In the business realm, we often hear business experts and leaders talk about employee engagement. It’s a broad term referring to the relationship between a business and its employees.

Gallup defines employee engagement as “the enthusiasm and involvement of the employees in their work and the workplace.” It refers to how employees align themselves with the business goals, ideals, and philosophies, and participate in business undertakings.

But a far essential concept in business is employee involvement. As the term suggests, it pertains to how employees become actively involved in the organization. It refers to their direct and active participation in achieving business objectives.

Max Wesman, COO of GoodHire, believes there’s a line drawn between employee engagement and involvement.

Wesman said, “Engagement involves understanding business objectives, aligning oneself with these objectives, and participating in business activities. On the other hand, involvement entails having initiatives, taking ownership, making business decisions, and driving necessary changes.”  

 In short, employee engagement is the passive acceptance of the business goals and values, while involvement is the act of taking active roles in business.

The Importance of Employee Engagement and Involvement

 Employee engagement and involvement are essential in business. Both key factors create a sense of belongingness among the workforce in the organization. Employees who feel they belong will most likely stay in the company for good.

Recent research confirms that employee engagement and involvement can lead to the following:

●   A boost in employee morale and well-being

●   Improved attitude towards work

●   An increase in productivity

●   Sound organizational decision-making

●   A significant reduction in operational cost

●   Job fulfillment and satisfaction

●   Employee commitment, motivation, and empowerment

●   High employee retention and less turnover

On the other hand, low employee engagement and involvement can break a business. A recent Gallup report revealed that they result in the following:

●   High absenteeism

●   Less productivity

●   Low-quality products or services

●   Low profitability

●   High employee turnover

Mark Daoust, CEO of QuiteLight, suggested recognizing the primary drivers of employee engagement and involvement. These include the following:

●   Business and employee purpose

●   Progress and development

●   Management care and support

●   Constant communication and collaboration

●   A focus on strengths

Daoust said, “It’s one thing to hire new employees; it’s another to keep them. Consider those main factors above in keeping employees engaged and involved. That way, they’ll stay in your company for as long as possible.”

8 Proven Ways to Boost Your Employee Engagement and Involvement

Now that we’ve recognized the importance of employee engagement and involvement, let’s discuss how to boost them:

1. Assess your business goals or objectives

Employee engagement and involvement start with employees recognizing and aligning with your business goals. Whatever tasks they accomplish and activities they engage in must be anchored on your business objectives. They must work together towards achieving these common goals.

It’s crucial to set business objectives that benefit all stakeholders involved in your business. Not only must they satisfy your customers and boost your profits, but these objectives must also consider your employee’s welfare. If you do, your employees will most likely get engaged and involved in your business.

2. Set employee engagement and involvement plan in place

Once you’ve set and re-assessed your business goals, it’s time to carve an employee-engagement-and-involvement plan in place. Start by asking: how can you make your employees more engaged and involved in the workplace?

There are several things you can include in your business plan:

●   Business goals and objectives

●   Key performance indicators (KPIs)

●   Training programs

●   Coaching sessions

●   Regular engagement activities

●   Employee involvement initiatives

●   Perks, incentives, and rewards

●   Employee surveys

3. Start from leadership

When it comes to business, everything usually stems from the top. A business owner launches a startup and hires employees. CEOs make business decisions, and managers implement some business practices in place.

According to Brian Dechesare, Founder & CEO of BWIS, planning for employee engagement and involvement and executing this plan requires genuine leadership.

Dechesare said that “Leaders should notice and recognize employee disconnection and disengagement in the workplace. They must take the initiative to make everyone feel included. Most importantly, they must have the heart for their employees by overseeing their overall well-being.”

4. Engage and involve employees from day one

 Employee engagement and involvement should begin from the start till the end. As much as possible, strive hard to make people feel engaged and involved, from recruitment to onboarding and training to production.

Unfortunately, some leaders only pay attention to employee engagement and involvement when the following problems already arise:

●   Poor performance

●   Low productivity

●   High turnover

Create a work culture that exhibits a sense of belongingness among employees. Even applicants and newly hired employees should feel this right at the beginning. Treating your employees like your family will make a world of difference in your organization.

5. Treat employees as if they’re your customers

Most business owners, CEOs, managers, and leaders focus on their customers. The ultimate goal is to fully satisfy customers to make enough profits and boost their businesses.

However, some tend to neglect their employees’ welfare, such as making them overworked and burnt out. They fail to realize that these employees are the most valuable assets in their organization. They ensure day-to-day operations, fundamental to their overall business success.

David Patterson-Cole, CEO & Co-Founder of Moonchaser, suggests treating employees like their customers. He recommends that employees should:

●   Find meaning and value in the workplace.

●   Feel acknowledged, recognized, and appreciated.

●   Have voices in the company or organization

●   Align their work with the business objectives

 If you consider the above-mentioned, employees will be more engaged and involved in your business. If you take good care of them, they will care for your customers and business. It’s a win-win for both parties!

6. Create an open line of communication

Communication is and will always be the key to business success. It’s particularly vital for employee engagement and involvement. If you want to know and understand your employees, you should listen to them. If you do this, these employees will be more engaged and involved in your business.

Here are a few recommendations for opening lines of communication in the workplace:

●   Listen to employees

●   Welcome new ideas

●   Solicit suggestions and recommendations

●   Provide coaching sessions

●   Hold training programs

●   Conduct employee surveys

●   Be open to employee feedback

●   Take proper action and make resolutions to employee feedback

7. Create regular engagement activities and get employees involved in projects

You must focus on employee engagement and involvement to bring out the best in your employees. However, what engagement activities and involvement projects can you implement in your business? Below are a few recommendations:

Employee Engagement Activities:

●   Out-of-office team-building

●   Social activities as corporate responsibility

●   Performer recognition and awarding

●   Department competitions (for example, dance and singing contests)

●   Annual Christmas party

 Employee Involvement Projects:

●   Goal-setting

●   Metric evaluation

●   Policy making

●   Six Sigma project

●   Regular training (leadership, communication, soft skill training)

8. Reward engaged and involved employees

Most employees ask themselves: what can we get out of being engaged and involved in the workplace? If they find no reason for doing so, they will probably just perform their daily tasks like robots and do no more. However, they will most likely participate if they find meaning in this employee engagement and involvement activities.

Generally, engagement and involvement activities help a business achieve collaboration and translate into business success. But to entice employees to participate, reward them not only with certificates, perks, or incentives. Let them understand that employee participation can enhance their knowledge and skills and lead to their career growth and enhancement.

Working Together towards Common Business Goals

The workforce is the lifeblood of an organization. These employees can be instrumental to your overall business success. But when they become disengaged and uninvolved in the workplace, they will most likely quit and leave your company. Employee turnover can cause negative repercussions in your business.

It’s vital to boost your employee engagement and involvement. It’s more than just recognizing the organizational value and being a part of it; it’s about partaking in business activities, making robust decisions, and contributing to its overall success. Hence, consider our business strategies recommended above.

When implemented successfully, expect engaged and involved employees to contribute much to your business. They will be working hand in hand towards achieving common business goals. They will most likely stay in your organization for good and ultimately become successful — and your company too!

Jason Skidmore
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