Forget customer engagement: what about your own employees?

Author Jimmy Bower

Employee Engagement (2)

As a marketing recruiter, I’m constantly surrounded by a hum of buzzwords – content strategy, advertising revenue, audience targeting, and so on and so forth. Something we all do (or certainly should be doing) as business owners/managers is creating an effective strategy to engage with both potential and existing customers, whether that be through the service you offer or the content you create to add value to their time online.

But… How are you doing when it comes to engaging with your own workforce?

Employee engagement is an integral part to growing a business successfully. Recent research says that almost 64% of business decision makers agree that retaining staff is harder than finding and subsequently hiring them, which simply isn’t the way it should be.

Do you take pains to ensure that your employees are engaged with your business and its goals?

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is probably better explained by what it is NOT, rather than what it is. It’s not employee satisfaction, or happiness; it’s not about how people feel whilst they’re at work. Employee engagement can best be described as the emotional and mental connection an individual feels towards their place of work; it’s achieved when an employee is working for more than just a promotion or paycheque – i.e. for the betterment of themselves – but works largely towards the goals and success of the business itself. Employee engagement is about how and why the person goes above and beyond their duties or job responsibilities, doing more than just turning up every day on time and leaving as soon as they’re able to without getting a sideways look from the manager.

Why is it important?

For so many reasons – but, let’s be practical here. Sourcing, interviewing, shortlisting and hiring the right staff costs money – and don’t get me started on the price of onboarding each member you take on. Recruiting costs money, so any strategy you could put in place to reduce turnover is as vital to the profitability of your company as any other.

But from a human perspective? Simply put, a more engaged workplace is a more effective, productive and ultimately happy one. With more than a third of individuals citing recognition as the most important aspect they look for in terms of job satisfaction, engaging fully with your employees breeds all of the above.

Think of it like a marketing strategy.

But internal, rather than external. What are some proven methods of improving employee engagement across the board?

Use your internal communications – effectively

How – and how often – do you communicate with your employees? Whether you’re ten strong or a thousand, internal communications are a huge tool in engaging with your workforce, whether it be a monthly newsletter sent company-wide or regular group emails to keep everyone abreast of company news, goings on and exciting happenings. Simple things like this can make a huge difference.

Recognition & appreciation

Do you regularly recognise the efforts of your employees? And I don’t mean a quick, “Well done, nice work John,” – although these are important, too. What about using the internal communications mentioned above to give a shout out to top performers, or those who’ve gone above and beyond in the past month? Or holding monthly/quarterly/yearly celebrations or award ceremonies, to recognise the hard work your staff is putting in?

Recognition is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to bring your employees in emotionally – and it costs nothing. Do you tell your staff often enough how great a job they’re doing? If not, why not?

Mentoring & collaboration

Ever heard the phrase, “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”?

When you bring together different parts of your business – i.e. let the sales team work closely with tech on developing the website, or having marketing and sales talk through what a real ‘hot lead’ looks like – not only will you better company relationships in general, but the all-for-one way of thinking becomes tangible. The opportunity to learn is often cited as one of the biggest motivators in the workplace, so having your teams come together to collaborate on projects is a great way to have them feel engaged – with one another, the business itself and the part they have to play in the grand scheme. Employee engagement is about emotional connection, and what better way to garner exactly that than by having individuals within the business mentor others?

Why should employee engagement be top of your priorities in 2020?

Fundamentally, because having a strong employee engagement strategy in place will improve productivity and efficiency, whilst saving costs long-term. Staff turnover will reduce, as will the percentage of employees passively seeking jobs – which might be higher than you think.

To engage is to retain.

Here at Certus we don’t make one-and-done placements; we love to get into the nitty-gritty with our clients, about what makes your business tick and what could make it tick even more.

More than just a recruitment company, we’re your recruitment partner, strategy sounding-board and consulting do-gooders. Get in touch to learn more about how we’re changing the recruitment game here in London this year.