Employee Engagement – An Important Key To Your Success
- Brand, Employee Engagement, Fulfillment, Programs, Recognition Award Programs, Safety Awards Programs, Services, Wellness
Employee engagement is vital to your company’s success. The importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated. Employee engagement strategies have been proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, retain customers at a higher rate, and increase profits.
What Is Employee Engagement & Why Is It Important?
Employee engagement is the ability to be present, focused, and energized. Why is this important? Engaged people go above and beyond what is expected of them because they feel part of a purpose larger than themselves.
Good news! A recent Gallup poll released February 2020 indicates that 35% of employees are engaged at their workplace. That is the highest recorded since the poll began in 2000. This is good news because engaged employees are healthier, happier, produce better outcomes, treat clients better and attract new ones, and are more likely to stay.
As Dave Steward, Chairman and Founder of World Wide Technologies in St. Louis offers, “My job is, and always has been and always will be, to serve the men and women who work here and help them succeed. When our people are respected, and yes, loved, it permeates through the organization and out the door to our customers and vendors.”
Employees are the lifeblood of an organization, and the cost of low employee engagement can be high – turnover, loss of productivity and institutional knowledge, loss of client and vendor connections, a hit to the organizational culture, and higher financial and educational training costs. The unhighlighted part of the Gallup poll is that 65% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged. So how can we continue to lower this percentage?
But it is a truth of business that if employees do not care about their company, they will in the end contribute to its demise.
2002 January. Mitchell, Colin. Selling The Brand Inside. Harvard Business Review.
Increasing Your Employee Engagement
Commitment Is Key
A commitment from the top of the organization is critical to successful employee engagement. Educate managers on how to foster employee engagement and held accountable to measured outcomes.
Define Your Purpose And Get Creative
Purpose is the foundation of engagement. It is the vital element that makes an engaged organization possible and is the first step to creating an engaged culture. Basically, it is your “why”.
How do you find your purpose? Start by asking yourself three basic questions.
- What does your organization do and who do you do it for?
- Why does the team enjoy delivering the outcomes that the organization delivers?
- How do teams go about enjoying the process of delivering that outcome?
Share your purpose. Tell your story. Inspire your employees. Weave your purpose into every element of culture. This includes the physical set up of your office, the decor, company outings, company wide communication, and events. Give your employees the opportunity to be excited about what you are doing. Share success stories. Keep them informed, so they can see and feel the brand’s impact on customers.
Be creative. Use creative story telling to communicate your internal brand. Let your purpose permeate the “ordinary” day to day interactions of your employees.
Use wall art to display your brand and tag line. Create spaces that reflect expectations. Do you want your team to do collaborative work? Be sure you provide the appropriate space.
Is sustainability a value? Use sustainable office products and apparel.
Seize The Moment
Not sure where to start? There are opportunities everywhere to show appreciation, build your team, and ultimately increase your employee engagement.
On boarding is more than employee orientation. It is a process that helps you to develop a happy contributor.
Successful on-boarding starts before the job begins. Think about your communication during the interview process. Does this convey your brand’s message? When they enter your space, does it tell your story, introduce them to your purpose?
On-boarding Welcome Kit / Orientation Kit
The first day at a new job normally involves trainings, meetings and paperwork. But if you only stick to formal tasks and documents, you’re missing your chance to really welcome a new employee to the team.
Create a welcome kit. Some items to consider include
- A welcome letter
- New hire paperwork and HR documents
- Technology setup instructions
- Company notebook
- Branded T-shirt / Apparel – uniform
- Mug or tumbler
- Office map (or perhaps favorite places to eat in the area)
- Company org chart
- New hire’s first week schedule
- A book relevant to your team culture.
Welcome kits can be given all together or split into parts. Think about how excited a new hire would be to get a package days prior to their first day in the office that had a company t-shirt and cup? Something that said, “Welcome. You are a part of the team. We value you so much we have already invested in you.”
Don’t stop on the first day. A sound on boarding plan last 1-2 years.
Professional Development Programs
Create powerful professional development programs. Keep employees engaged with recognitions and awards for goals achieved and years of service. Professional development programs often uncover the star performers who will motivate others as brand ambassadors. When team members take greater pride in and ownership of their work, they are more likely to support the company’s mission and goals.
Uniforms and Branded Apparel
Custom apparel can instantly inject your team with a heavy dose of team spirit. When individuals are wearing the same colors, they feel connected. There is a sense of belonging to a group and a feeling that they have something in common with one another. (We are in this together.)
A team plays together, functions together, and stands united even in the face of the most difficult situations. When everyone is wearing the same branded apparel, it’s easy for individuals to feel that they are working together, as a team, towards a common goal. Rather than striving to achieve individual greatness, people who are wearing apparel with the same logo immediately feel part of something larger than themselves. They are better able to see the bigger picture and strive towards a common team goal.
Employees feel valued with comfortable, well made branded apparel which ultimately saves the organization money.
Online Company Stores
Online company stores can be used for a diverse array of programs to engage your audience.
Give your team members a centralized place to purchase pre-approved company-branded apparel, gifts and promotional products. An online company store ensures brand standards, consolidates fulfillment and distribution and leads to time and cost savings throughout your company.
Employee Incentive Stores
Employee incentive programs motivate and reward your team members. An online company store with branded merchandise can serve as the home of a one-time recognition program or an ongoing incentive program.
Organizational events such as sales meetings and team building activities can create and sustain culture, loyalty, and productivity.
Seize these opportunities to engage your employees. In doing so, you will help them have brand ownership to become brand ambassadors. (Brand ambassadors have the knowledge and tools to communicate the company’s unique value.)
By implementing these ideas, you can boost employee engagement AND spur business growth.
Our mission is to make you look good! In so doing, to make your employees, your clients, and your vendors look good too! Please let us know how we can help.
About the Author
Brian Potter, Partner and VP Sales & Marketing, Branding Coach (10 years), Sales Coach (20 years), Boys Hope Girls Hope Board Member
Passionate about my spouse, 3 children, family, friends, community, gratitude, tennis, and golf – and I’m a work in progress (with occasional steps back) with all of these 🙂