Employee Involvement: What’s All The Fuss?

If people are the fuel for business engine, a high performing group of people is key for business success. Creating a Talent Strategy that puts people first encourages high performance.

With studies, news anchors and special programming all geared around the lack of employee engagement savvy business leaders are working diligently to harness the power of employee engagement and unleash the potential of their workforce.

Employees who are respected, valued and motivated to perform are more productive, dedicated and satisfied on the job. While the advantages of having happy, committed employees are well known; the best way to achieve high levels of employee satisfaction is still a mystery and challenge for many hiring managers and business leaders.

It’s a waterfall effect – Employees who feel valued and listened to have higher levels of commitment; employees with higher levels of commitment typically reinforce that commitment by being more involved with their jobs and with the company as a whole; and employees who are more involved are typically the organization’s top performers. In the last 18 months there have been over 2200 articles, blogs, reports and media interviews directly linking company performance to employee engagement.

Increasing employee commitment starts with learning about how an individual feels about their job as well as their thoughts on the company, their career and the relationship between the two. Similarly, encouraging employee involvement and showing appreciation for it can be highly effective in steeping employee engagement, strengthening participation, and escalating contribution in achieving overall business objectives.

As a business leader, hiring manager or even as a member of the Human Resources department it pays to implement specific steps that help you increase employee involvement, unleash the spirit and passion of your workforce and ensure your organization utilizes and retains the right people.

Create a Talent Strategy That Puts People First– Adopt a talent mindset throughout the organization. Take the stand that people ARE the FUEL for the business engine, then define and implement a strategy that continues to perpetuate that belief. It starts with a hiring process that attracts and selects the right people to move the company forward, deliver on business initiatives and amplify the company culture. Employee engagement is about giving people the freedom to have a greater impact on their own job and have an influence on the overall goals and strategies of the company. When an individual’s financial and professional success is closely connected with the company’s success, they have more reason to sink their teeth into producing win/win outcomes.

Customize – Rather than have one employee engagement and retention program that suits all, understand that among your workforce is people and people are individuals with unique wants and needs. For one employee, recognition might be the catalyst for job satisfaction, for another it might be work/life balance and yet for another it might be earning top compensation and bonuses based on achievement of goals.

Exploit all 5 Families of Employee Retention – Employee engagement strategies that include creating a culture where relationships are initiated, maintained and fostered are paramount. Taking an inventory of the environment and making improvements that make your office a place people want to be is key. Other retention families include support, growth and compensation.

Fostering Relationships

Ask, How Are We Doing? – Create opportunity for employees to tell you their thoughts and how they feel about their job and the company. Consider conducting stay interviews or informal surveys that encourage ongoing dialogue between managers and employees about the company, their responsibilities and changes they’d like to see. Asking for the feedback is the first step in showing you care, implementing suggestions and making the changes happen is where the rubber meets the road.

Encourage Collaboration – Show employees their thoughts and opinions matter by encouraging involvement and participation in key decisions. Listening to a wider range of ideas and perspectives always illuminates other opportunities or areas of improvement and often brings fresh ideas to the table.

Recognize – Praise, recognition and appreciation increase the feeling of value and keep employees motivated to perform.

Create Pathways– Working with employees to discuss their career aspirations and future positions within the organization creates alignment between individual and organizational goals. When employees understand there is a future for them and opportunity to advance their career path, they are more likely to stay productive and remain with the company.