Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin and entrepreneur, has a well-known philosophy: employees come first.
In an interview with Inc. president and editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg, he explains his theory, “If the person who works at your company is 100 percent proud of the brand and you give them the tools to do a good job and they are treated well, they’re going to be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience.”
It seems simple: Happy employees are engaged employees. Engaged employees deliver on results.
It’s not just customer service. Engaged employees are more productive, bring in more revenue, and deliver better quality.
Here are the stats:
- Fast Company indicates engaged employees are 12% more productive.
- Harvard Business Review concluded more engaged organizations have double the rate of success than ones that don’t.
- Harvard Business Review notes that more engagement equates to “48% fewer safety incidents; 41% fewer patient safety incidents; and 41% fewer quality incidents (defects).”
What is employee engagement?
Engagement can mean a variety of things, but at it’s core– it’s employees’ desire to come to work and do their best. Engaged employees typically believe in the company, including its goals. They know how they contribute to the goals and successes. They talk about the company to friends, encouraging them to join the company.
Engaged employees are fulfilling a purpose. They feel pride in their company and their work.
What can you do to increase employee engagement?
There are a variety of levers that human resource professionals use to increase employee engagement. Here are a few ideas:
- Engage your leaders — executives and officers. Leadership sets the example and the tone. The more engaged leaders are, the more engaged the rest of the organization is. Coach these leaders as necessary.
- Practice open and kind communication. If there’s a culture of open communication, people will be more likely to be kind and honest. They’ll also accept feedback more readily. This open and kind communication will ensure, too, that toxicity is diminished if not destroyed. Ensuring employees have a voice is half the battle to increasing employee engagement.
- Trust and push down authority. Are the employees most able to make the right decisions making them? Is there unnecessary bureaucracy or micromanagement?
- Help people understand how they contribute to revenue as well as company success. If they know how they’re influencing success, they’ll keep doing what you need them to.
- Ensure the environment is healthy — consider the wellbeing of employees and provide perks around them like the ability to volunteer and ways to exercise.
- Train new managers. Set things right from the very beginning. Help new managers understand their role, especially in making people and the company successful.
- Celebrate wins. When employees succeed, let them know. This feedback is just as important as areas where they need to improve.
- Ensure employees are able to chart their own course, receive promotions, and use their best skills. Create
projects that are a stretch, but make sure they have everything they need to do it. Allow them to make mistakes, too. That’s how everyone learns.
- Provide perks like working from home. Indeed indicates two of the top three benefits are related to working from home.
Have any tips around increasing employee engagement?
We love hearing how employees are engaged. Share your tips with us and maybe you could win some schwag.