In this blog post, we discover the best examples of employee engagement. inspiring you to improve your employee engagement!
Employee engagement is the ultimate achievement for organisations to attain. Surprisingly, only 15% of employees are engaged with their work worldwide! More needs to be done to improve employee engagement and we’re here to help guide this process for you.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement refers to the emotional and intellectual connection an employee feels with their job.
Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel that they are treated fairly and that they understand what is required of them. It improves job satisfaction, productivity, and competitiveness.
Companies should focus on making employees feel engaged in their role by giving them the opportunity to be creative, make decisions, and take ownership.
Benefits of employee engagement
Employee engagement is defined by Gallup as "actively looking forward to their work each day".
When employees are engaged it impacts a company’s financial performance. It also leads to a positive work environment and increases productivity.
Employee engagement is an important key to organizational success. This is because it has been linked to greater productivity and profitability for firms over time.
Companies fostering engaged employees have lower turnover rates. Their increase in commitment is often due to the shared company values and goals.
An engaged employee is anyone who is motivated, committed, satisfied, and proud of what they do every day. They have a high level of energy that not only benefits themselves but also their coworkers.
Employees should have a sense of belonging and feel that they are being heard not just as an employee but as human beings.
The Psychology of Engagement
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is one of the most well-known theories in the history of psychology.
Maslow believed that you cannot be healthy, happy, or productive if your needs are not met.
The three-tiered hierarchy starts with physiological needs, then moves on to safety needs and finally to social or esteem needs. When these levels are unmet for any length of time, it will lead to serious consequences.
Similarly to our human basic needs, certain needs have to be met in the workplace for employee engagement to flourish.
- Having a comfortable space with the necessary tools needed
- Being paid fairly for the amount of work contributed
- Job security
- Recognition and rewards
- Feeling empowered to make decisions
- Clear path for promotion and growth
Examples of employee engagement
Even if a company's culture and work environment are very positive, employees might still not feel engaged. Engagement is more than just a feeling - it is about the behaviours and mindsets you learn to have at work. Leaders need to make sure that employees are behaving in an engaging manner.
Below we go over some real-life examples of employee engagement. Hopefully inspiring you to take a leaf out of the experts' books and implement some employee strategies of your own.
1. Leaders connecting with employees
Tesla has a great example of employee engagement that improved the overall safety and wellbeing of their organisation. Prior to 2019, Tesla had a high amount of injuries at its Fremont car assembly plant.
CEO Elon Musk got down with the production workers performing the same tasks on the production lines where injuries were reported. Enormous safety improvements were implemented. As a result, injury incidents were reduced by more than 50% in one year.
In 2011, The Society for Knowledge Economics released research from interviews with 5,661 employees in 77 Australian organisations. The findings showed that, in high performing workplaces, leaders spent the most amount of time with their workers. In contrast, in low performing workplaces, leadership behaviour was more formal and compartmentalized.
2. Culture of teamwork
Apple is infamous for its team collaboration efforts. Back in 2010 Steve Jobs said, “There is tremendous teamwork at the top of the company, which filters down to having tremendous teamwork in the rest of the company.”
From their office design to fluid company hierarchies, Apple is focused on encouraging teamwork and collaboration. From 2015, Apple offered free stock shares to their employees.
3. Instilling the company value and culture
A recent study by Society for Human Resource Management found that employees needed to have a clear understanding of the organisation's vision and mission for employee engagement.
Innocent Drinks make their vision, mission and culture central to their company direction. While giving 10% of their profits to charity, they also encourage their employees to be involved with their charitable efforts. Best Companies ran a survey and found 100% of staff agreed that the organisation is run on strong values.
One notable perk by Innocent is that each year, a handful of employees can take an extra week’s worth of holiday to work with a not-for-profit project.
Hiring employees with the same vision, goals and values is key to maintaining employee engagement based on shared beliefs.
4. Recognition and rewards
There is a strong and direct correlation between how an employee feels about their role and the level of engagement that they have with the company. An engaged employee is one who feels that they are valued and appreciated. They feel authentically connected to what they do, care about it, and see it as helping to achieve their goals.
There are many ways to keep your employees engaged. One of the most important factors in retaining employees is using recognition and awards for their contributions to the company or organization - whether it be a project or a task completed.
Zappos is a great example of a company with a tremendous recognition and rewards program. Through using a peer-to-peer rewards program, employees can award their colleagues points that can be added up to be exchanged for real-life gifts.
Peer-to-peer reward programs such as this, enable employees to feel engaged and appreciated within their teams. Motivating them to be more productive, engaged and present in their roles.
5. Include Employees in Company Strategies
One of the most effective ways of keeping your employees engaged is to include them in important decision making.
After all, employees are an important part of the company. Giving them the empowerment and autonomy to contribute to important company decisions strengthens their engagement to the company.
As well as improving company engagement, the benefits of including employees in these decisions has many benefits such as:
- Getting diverse ideas
- Connecting employees to their work more effectively
- Making employees feel empowered
- It’s free to do
- Reduces turnover by giving employees a strategic stake in the companies future
- Reveals the employees with leadership potential
- Improves the respect and importance employees feel within the company
Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, is a fine example of this. They appreciate and invite their employees to give their ideas a go through their 20% creative, 80% work time program.
So for 20% of the employees' time, they were encouraged to work on their innovative ideas. One of the most successful innovations to come out of this program was Google AdSense. This tool made up for 20% of the total revenue for Google in 2014.
How to improve employee engagement?
Different companies have different ways of keeping employees engaged, but there are some ways that always seem to help. From creating a nurturing work environment to fostering an inclusive culture.
No matter what, communication is important in keeping employees engaged. So it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and take other steps to make sure that employees feel like they are being listened to.
Employee engagement is a critical part of any company because it affects their performance and productivity. The quality of a workplace depends on the quality of communication.
3M is a great example of communication for engagement done right.
15% of 3M’s day is spent collaborating with colleagues to pursue fresh ideas. Much like the Alphabet example above, 3M put a focus on encouraging collaborative communication. (Although it's rumoured Google stole this idea from 3M!)
3m’s 15% program uses internal comms to help connect employees and foster internal communication from any location. With effective communication, 3M can pursue their goals of continued innovation for all employees.
How to measure employee engagement?
It's great to see companies making an effort to improve employee engagement and even better when they measure it.
Employee engagement can be measured by how committed, involved, and enthusiastic a person is in their work. It is determined by the five As:
- Attitude: Positive feelings about work or negative feelings about work
- Activity: Level of productivity
- Assertiveness: Demand for respect from supervisors
- Adaptability: Ability to cope with change
- Accountability: Actively taking responsibility for actions
A great way to measure the 5 A’s is to continually ask employees for feedback. One effective way to do this is through utilizing employee survey feedback tools.
Engage with your employees today!
Engagement is all about championing your team and creating a culture that cultivates professional success.
For more information on improving your hiring, internal communication and employee engagement, take a look at Reworking.
A designated app for video job interviews, which can be used to foster employee communication and engagement. Helping to improve many Human Resources tasks with advanced technology.