Raising productivity through employee engagement
Employee engagement looks at the way organisations interact with employees to improve employee happiness in the workplace. This can include things such as; how employees work with others; their behaviour in the workplace; and their health and wellbeing.
Employee engagement and productivity go hand in hand. Research by the University of Warwick has shown that organisations can raise productivity by 12% through increasing employees’ happiness. Engaged employees will work harder; be healthier; are more loyal as they are fulfilled within their role; and more are motivated to contribute to business performance. In addition, it costs organisations more to replace an individual than to develop and keep them engaged. With a recent report from Business Advice revealing that it costs SME’s an average of £11,000 per new recruit. This includes the cost of; reviewing job specifications, advertising, the selection process, and onboarding. With ACAS reporting it costs organisations £30,000 per new employee, which includes the cost to organisations for the loss of productivity whilst getting a new employee up to speed, as well as the costs of finding a replacement.
With work being a big part of most of our lives, it’s no wonder a recent survey by HR Technologist found that 61% of employees would choose happiness at work over salary. Employees who are engaged are likely to stay employed longer as they feel valued, appreciated and enjoy the work they are doing.
There are lots of theories about how to boost employee engagement; from creating work socials allowing friendships to develop, to giving the employee a voice on business matters. Many of them can be linked back to Gallup’s work on employee engagement which has involved more than 17 million employees and been developed over 30 years. Gallup has identified twelve core elements that link employee engagement to productivity;
- Do you know what is expected of you at work?
- Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
- At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
- In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
- Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
- At work, do your opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
- Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
- Do you have a best friend at work?
- In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
- In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?
Here are just a few examples of things organisations can consider as part of achieving the twelve elements of engagement;
- Having clearly defined job specifications with objectives that are linked to the organisation’s goals;
- Ensuring information, related to the employee’s role is readily available to the employee, i.e. company procedures;
- Ensuring all office equipment allows employees to complete tasks effectively and efficiently;
- Having a robust appraisal process in place, which ensures employees have feedback on their performance and also have the opportunity to discuss development opportunities;
- Implementing Personal Development Plans in place for employees;
- Ensuring line managers regularly thank and praise employees.
It’s not easy to achieve all twelve core elements at the same time. Organisations should review current practices and gain feedback from employees before developing a strategy to move forward. It is suggested that organisation’s look at two-three elements at a time, in order to properly embed all twelve elements.
If you would like further guidance or support on this matter or require advice on other people management matters please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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