Much has been said about employee engagement, and yet it still remains largely confused with some other terms. It is commonly stipulated that engagement directly affects performance and that it drives employee satisfaction.
However, satisfaction, in itself, is not interchangeable with engagement. Some people can simply be happy because they work in a respectable company and have satisfactory salaries, regardless of the efforts they put into their work.
Of course, this isn’t a universality, but it is good to make a distinction as approaches to driving employee engagement may vary depending on employee mood.
Engaged employees communicate better, look forward to attending company meetings, and always give their best. Simply put, their jobs fulfill them, which is the most important feat of engagement. Engaged employees have a sense of purpose and feel they belong with the company. They will rarely, if ever, look for other job opportunities elsewhere.
They are fully aligned with the company’s objectives and goals, and look forward to seeing it grow.
Shortly put, an engaged workforce has what it takes to bring your business to the next level and enjoy the ride, so you should make every attempt to drive engagement.
Let’s see how this can be done.
Empower Your Employees
Everyone seems to have heard of the term “empowering employees,” but not many know what that really means, possibly because there is no strict definition. Much depends on the company culture, which in its own right may be difficult to maintain in the case of remote teams.
Difficult, but not impossible. As always, communication is key, but not just any form of communication. Lack of directives in this regard may make the employees feel more relaxed, but they will not bring about change. Some standards need to be established and communicated clearly.
To truly empower employees, you need to make it possible for them to make their own choices and decisions and contribute to the overall company success on their own. As a rule, employees who trust their management perform better, so make sure to educate the leaders beforehand.
There are employee engagement plans and plans, but all of them have a common structure, as follows:
- Appointing the right leader
- Organizing work, assigning tasks and communicating the goals clearly
- Set straightforward objectives every employee understands
- Set milestones to measure progress
All of these steps should be fine-tuned as to reflect company’s vision and goals.
Avoid Common Problems
All companies periodically face some problems, and there’s nothing strange about that. Common problems for remote companies include poor communication, lack of social interactions, and difficulties with building and maintaining company culture, especially when managing large remote teams.
All of these can be dealt with accordingly — provided you are aware of the issues before they become a big deal. That’s why communication is essential, and it is also recommended to use anonymous employee feedback.
The latter can help you prevent issues before they even materialize, so set up regular feedback plans and pay attention to objections.
As mentioned above, employee satisfaction is not necessarily the same thing as employee engagement, but it doesn’t hurt to have a happy workforce, right?
It is only logical to assume that unsatisfied employees aren’t too motivated, and motivation is rather important in terms of doing business.
You can use anonymous feedback to assess employee satisfaction, and you can also speak with people directly. Ask them where they see themselves in a year or two or five, and see how you can help them get there.
Offer Additional Learning
One good way to help people steer their careers in the exact direction they want is to provide various learning opportunities. After all, the fastest path to growth is learning, and growth increases employee engagement.
Create your own materials, or pay for employees to sign up for courses on the platform of your choice. Custom Learning is always the best option, as the focus is on the skills that will help employees reach their goals — while upholding company goals.
Many businesses create their own customized courses employees can access when it suits them, which is very important. Don’t force people to learn when you see fit; allow them to adjust their schedules in a way that suits them best. Different people have different learning habits and also daily routines. What is important is that learning is taking place.
Everything considered, building engagement is a continual process with lots of adjustments. While you can expect some trial and error in the process, you can also boost your efforts by empowering employees and listening to their opinions. After all, a company that is the best workplace for everyone is the company that drives success and grows alongside its employees. Be open-minded and keep learning — that is the only proper way forward.