15 Drivers Of Employee Engagement You Need To Know in 2023
Employee engagement is at the core of every organization. An organization's success depends heavily on its employees' degree of engagement. An engaged workforce is often a satisfied workforce. But what is it that drives employee engagement?
Schaufeli et al (2002) define engagement as " a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption."
Hewitt Associates (2004) developed an 18-item scale to measure employee engagement. It defines engagement as: " the state in which individuals are emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization or group, as measured by three primary behaviors:
Say (Employees speak positively about the organization to others inside and out),
Stay (Employees display an intense desire to be a member of the organization) and
Strive(Employees exert extra effort and engage in behaviors that contribute to business success)."
These three behaviors give us a clearer view of employee engagement instead of a two-digit number. Engaged employees exhibit these three behaviors, namely Say, Stay and Strive.
Identifying the behaviors of an engaged workforce was just the first step. We should now explore the factors that need to be a part of your employee engagement plan.
Top 15 Drivers Of Employee Engagement
A positive experience for your employees is one of the most important things when discussing ways to increase engagement. It is important to look into the culture of each organization before we build a development plan for their employees.
Ojaswini Sapatnekar, an HR Strategist of Intangles Lab Pvt. Ltd., talks about the changes in employee engagement and its emergence as the new superpower of business leaders.
"Employee Engagement for decades took the form of "one-size fits all" projects, policies, and initiatives. > > Data Science has made it possible to provide personalized services and products, so people no longer accept the generic engagement. Organizations will have to evolve their engagement practices to empathize with the specific needs of each employee. Empathy thus will emerge as the new superpower of Business Leaders."
Let's have a look at the top drivers of employee engagement to find what best suits your organization.
Tools And Resources
"We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and after that, our tools shape us."
― Marshall McLuhan.
The right tools are essential for every job. This is not limited to labor-intensive jobs. The software you use, your devices and services, and apps you subscribe to or use for your tasks are all included.
Each organization has its niche that requires different resources and tools. Understand employee needs by being aware of organizational and employee needs.
The right tools can make or break your organization. Be it financial, educational, experiential, or just outright human resource. Hiring new employees is sometimes not the best option. Instead, consider training and empowering current staff to take on more responsibility. This will increase job satisfaction and help to foster team collaboration.
Having the right tools enhances performance and helps your team meet its target. Effective communication tools will help you stay in contact with your team. It will also ensure open communication. All these factors lead to better engagement within your team and your organization.
"If you have a strong purpose in life, you don't have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there."
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Direction is very important in every aspect of life. This is no different for an organization. A sense of purpose connects employees to the organization at a personal level.
Achievers Workforce Institute found value alignment as number one predictor of employee engagement.
According to the Achievers Workforce Institute, value alignment is the number one predictor of employee engagement.
To reach the greatest employee engagement a company must have:
- a mission statement,
- core values,
- culture codes,
- an EVP
It helps connect employees and employers. And align individual goals with the company's goals.
Purpose or direction is a great driver for employee engagement. It is also helpful in recruiting great talent. It will help you recruit eager talent to work and go beyond the bare minimum to engage.
Recognition And Appreciation
Nothing can beat recognition and appreciation when it comes to cost-effective drivers. Gallup-Workhuman Study finds organizations can save more than $16M every year with a culture of recognition.
Looking at this data, it is easy to see that the recognition and appreciation of good work must be addressed. When employees feel appreciated for their work, they are more likely to engage. Recognizing and appreciating employees has benefits beyond money and morale. It also affects the company's reputation.
The chances of employees looking for newer opportunities drops by 56% when recognition is a priority. Be specific with recognition, and make sure that none of your workers feel invisible.
We at Vantage Circle understand the importance of recognition to keep a workforce engaged. This is why we offer a detailed Reward and Recognition platform that allows for prompt and easy recognition for your employees. Our social feed has features for timely appreciation and quick rewards. We have also added a service yearbook to highlight employee successes.
This driver for employee engagement starts from the start of the company. Many startups focus more on establishing a high-reward culture. Disregarding a positive company culture in favor of quick gains.
Culture has a significant impact on the daily lives of the employees and the level of engagement. Be mindful of the culture you set for your organization from the beginning. The culture you encourage at the beginning is how you will go as an organization.
In workplace relationships, the relationship among coworkers is of the most importance. The average person spends 81,396 hours — more than nine years — at work. This makes coworker relationships very important. it is at work where they are most likely to develop a friendship.
Having a best friend at work is good for the business. It leads to better retention, productivity, profitability, and work quality. A buddy system can help create these relationships.
After putting the buddy system in place, Microsoft found that 56% of new hires met with their onboarding buddy at least once in their first 90 days. This indicates that their buddy helped them become productive in their role.
Transparency is the soul of engagement, as it is the foundation of trust within the organization.
According to a 2018 Slack poll, 80% of employees want to know how decisions are made in their company. This leads to trust. With building trust, getting employees to commit to the organization is easier. So leaders must build a culture of transparency and honesty about workplace policies.
Transparency leads to better communication between the employees and also the management. Each member understands their roles and responsibilities. It encourages them to express their conflicts and concerns. This makes for a better environment to keep your employees engaged.
Lack of transparency creates confusion about who to report to for certain problems. This can lead to a complete breakdown in communication. Which in turn escalates to reduced engagement, productivity, and turnover.
Perks, Benifits, And Compensation
Perks, benefits, and compensation might seem unconnected as influencers of employee engagement. But it is the perks and benefits that ensure engagement. The right perks will make sure that your workers are engaged and an active part of the organization.
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Depending on the diversity of your work demographic, the desired benefits are affected. For example, there are significant generational gaps when it comes to benefit preferences:
Thirty-six percent of Baby Boomers want to pay parental leave.
Thirty-four percent of Generation Xers want to pay parental leave.
Forty-six percent of Millennials support financial literacy services.
Psychological safety is the belief that one can express their opinions without fear of repercussion. This safety is crucial to high-quality decision-making, healthy group dynamics, and interpersonal relationships. It also leads to greater innovation and better execution in the workplace.
The workplace needs to be safe and free from harmful substances. Every employee wants a safe and harmonious work environment where people can thrive and grow.
Employees perform better when they feel safe and can comfortably voice their opinions. Each person's role and responsibility are clear, making it easier for people to discuss disagreements or worries.
Diversity And Inclusion
A company hires people from different backgrounds and with different job titles. Create a positive workplace atmosphere by appreciating your employees. Make them feel accepted, especially if your workplace is diverse.
HR must hire people with similar values. Working on diversity and inclusion programs that fit their culture and promote engagement also helps.
Examining some data can help us understand the advantages of having a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Employees of diverse companies bring in 2.3 times higher cash flow.
Revenues of companies with diverse leadership grow by 19%
Diversity in the workplace boosts innovation by 1.7 times.
Gender diversity at an executive level accounts for 21% higher performance.
Businesses that are open to inclusion have 120% higher chances of accomplishing financial goals.
Diversity is unavoidable in every organization. Embracing diversity should be the real goal of any company. It is always a good idea to involve an external diversity consultant if facing internal issues.
Passion And Commitment
All employees prefer more fulfilling work over higher pay as long as it is beneficial for both parties. Employers are responsible for creating roles with meaning. But employees are also responsible for finding meaning in their work.
The hiring process should be the starting point to identify employees who are passionate and committed to their work. Transparency about your company's goals, mission, and values attracts passionate and committed employees. Start surveying employees to find areas to improve during the hiring process. This begins with the job description.
It is important to survey employees throughout their careers. This helps identify any potential issues with passion or commitment to their work. Often, the solutions to improve employee engagement are simpler than you think.
Hiring, Onboarding, And Training
Fifty-one percent of employees are not engaged with their work, according to a 2020 Gallup poll. Employees often stay in their job because of comfort, not working hard, and getting by on the salary.
Hiring, onboarding, and training are key for successful employee life cycles. Incorporating engagement assessment into hiring and onboarding helps create a more engaging workplace.
Related: Want to set the stage for a memorable onboarding process? Get it off to a great start with a well-crafted welcome letter to new employees.
Communication And Feedback
Communicating with one's age group is easier as there is more common ground to relate to. But, only some organizations you work in have people of the same age group as employees. Businesses must work to overcome the communication gaps between younger and older employees.
Largely all of Gen Z (97 percent ) are receptive to regular feedback from their superiors. This indicates that feedback conversations, though they may feel intimidating, are worthwhile.
To determine how engaged your workforce is, you could adopt several methods:
Regular employee engagement surveys keep employers updated on how engaged their team is.
Performance review is also another option that helps drive team members to do their best. They need to be a two-way conversation, not a one-sided review like in the past.
Get onboard with Vantage Pulse and get real-time employee response to optimize employee feedback. Listen to your employees' voices with e-NPS-based surveys that are customized according to your needs.
Management And Leadership Style
Management plays an important role in driving engagement. It is the top brass of the company that helps pave the path for future leaders. Forty-two percent of managers develop their leadership styles from recent managers. This might be a good thing but might not work as well for new managers.
It would be best if employees respected their managers' leadership style. Leaders need to be prepared to communicate with and meet individual employees' needs.
With more millennials in senior positions, new methods for leadership and mentorship are needed. Styles are changing, and it's important to make sure that the new styles improve employee engagement.
Initiative And Contribution
An engaging workplace requires initiative from the employees as well as help from the company. Leaders must also encourage those who exhibit this conduct to get more involved by praising them and rewarding them.
Encourage employees to experiment and pursue individual projects. It makes them feel more comfortable expressing their ideas, thus improving engagement. Appreciating and encouraging the employees' drive contribute towards a better work culture.
According to Statista, 72 percent of people looking for a job believe that work-life balance is an important factor to consider. Providing a work-life balance attracts more candidates and helps maintain the current workforce.
A lack of work-life balance was the major cause of the Great Resignation. To keep employees engaged and to hold on to them, focus on balance at your company.
Employee engagement has become the base for a productive work environment. Retention also heavily depends on engagement, making it essential to focus on the drivers of engagement.
These drivers must be addressed if you want a happy and productive workforce.