Employee engagement is a hot topic right now yet one which companies struggle to define for themselves. While it can be hard to pin down exactly how to define and measure, when you don’t have employee engagement you can feel it – and it shows. If you’ve ever worked for a company where employee engagement was a problem then you know how painful it can be. Feeling disconnected from the key company priorities, never hearing from your executives, not having any personal contact with leadership whatsoever. It’s easy to start feeling like a cog in a huge machine… a faceless number in a company directory.
Besides resulting in a bunch of bummed out human beings, lack of engagement has an impact on a company’s bottom line as well. Employee absenteeism and turnover top the list of impacts. With employee productivity taking a hit, revenue results and ability to compete in the marketplace are also affected. In short, lack of engagement is likely sucking the life force from your company.
In many companies, the issue of employee engagement lands on the desk of a mid-level communications or human resources employee. And therein lies the problem. The truth is: building a culture of employee engagement starts from the top down.
Luckily, the word is out that executives need to get on-board and lead the change for company engagement. Let’s learn more about the subject and what you can do either as a company leader or someone who influences them.
Here’s a statistic: Only 13% of global workers feel engaged, yet 87% believe it’s important. That huge gap means that there are likely people in your own company who are surfing LinkedIn right now for their next job. Here’s how you can stop them and it has nothing to do with revoking their Internet privileges.
3 things a leader can do to increase employee engagement
1. Find focus through streamlined communications
Let’s face it. Executives probably have the least free time of anyone in the company. Creating a focus for employee communications can make the most of the small time leaders have to make a difference in their company culture. The best way to create a focal point? Wholeheartedly adopt an internal social platform for employee communications and collaboration. Effective social networks allow you to cut through the noise, enable better listening, and increase engagement between employees at every level.
2. Take advantage of tech
Your employees use the latest technologies in their homes as well as at the office. It’s time to get on that bandwagon. The latest social intranet platforms utilize mobile connectivity as well as desktop applications to connect your productivity systems together. A trail of emails can be turned into a easy to navigate social intranet discussion. Online document collaboration easily happens between remote teams. Company communications can be targeted at employees by department, rank, or geographic location AND sent to their mobile phones. The future of work is indeed already at the door. You just have to open it.
3. Embrace change
Social technologies and the impact they are having on our work lives are here to stay. It’s good for you as well as your company to keep up with progress. According to Charlene Li, founder and CEO of Altimeter Group and author of The Engaged Leader, “In order to be truly effective today, leaders in business and society must change how they engage and in particular how they establish and maintain relationships with their followers via digital channels.” Followers include your own employees. Listen to the experts, folks, and meet the change with arms wide open.
Employees want a culture of engagement in the workplace. And it starts with leaders who utilize technology to promote a stronger, more connected community. Embracing new technologies for more focused communications can be challenging, but the benefits are real for those who adapt.
Here are some real stats:
90% of companies using social technologies report business benefit from them:
3.5x increased likelihood of outperforming the competition
18% higher revenue per employee
These are benefits that can change your company’s bottom line. Consider adopting some of the tips above. And in case you don’t have a social intranet or internal social platform, check out the resources below to help you learn more.
Think you are ready to make some changes?
Be sure to check out a recent webcast we had with CEO and Founder of The Altimeter Group, Charlene Li, and LivePerson’s, Kristy Sundjaja: How to Lead in the Era of Digital Transformation.