Generations X, Y and Z will be working much later into their lives than previous generations and it is therefore becoming increasingly common that candidates are looking for more than ‘just a job’. They want to make a difference, be part of something unique and be proud of the work they do.
With this shift in expectations and the current uncertainty in the market, it is increasingly important for leadership teams to focus on their employee engagement strategy and how this is brought to life within their organisations. A good employee engagement strategy will be linked very closely to the company’s DNA – its vision, its values and its culture; going far beyond just a modern office with large recreational spaces.
Looking at what employee engagement is and how it manifests is a good place to start when assessing existing strategy. Employee engagement is so much more than employee happiness and satisfaction. It can actually be understood as both an emotional state and a behavioural reaction to an organisation and its goals. The emotional commitment means employees care about their work and this will be visible through their focus, motivation and passion. The behavioural reaction goes beyond feelings and attitudes and is demonstrated through discretionary effort and employees going above and beyond to get tasks completed.
Engaged employees work for more than just their monthly salary; they are bought into the vision and the objectives of the company and they are aligned with the culture. In turn they help to enhance what the company stands for. Put simply, engaged employees demonstrate greater productivity and provide higher quality service, delivering greater customer satisfaction and increased sales. Ultimately engaged employees lead to better business outcomes.
It is therefore essential that employee engagement is driven by the business leaders and their senior management team. Commitment from the top of the organisation is closely aligned to success but it is important that it then filters down to their teams and becomes an integral part of the day-to-day.
If a strong employee engagement strategy sits alongside a strong recognition, reward and development programme then in addition to better business outcomes, employees are likely to stay longer, strive to give extra and be the company’s best form of positive PR. A leadership team that gets employee engagement right has an awful lot to gain.