Employee Engagement – Why Should You Care?

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another – the sense of dread as we turn off the television on a Sunday night and hop into bed. It’s the end of the weekend, which means the inevitable thud back down to reality tomorrow morning as we return to the job we hate.

It all started so well – the perfect job role, the brilliant interview and the excitement in the first few weeks; but then it all went wrong – the culture just didn’t feel right.

In the past, business wouldn’t have cared about your feelings – some still don’t. Yet it’s the brighter cookies amongst business leaders that understand the link between how YOU feel and how well their business perform. After all, we spend huge chunks of our lives at work – if we’re happy, we’re engaged; and if we’re engaged, we’re far more likely to bring success to the companies we work for.

Much like any other relationship, the relationship between you and your employer can be fraught and hellish if handled badly. Like a marriage or a long-term partnership, both sides need to feel valued and appreciated; they need to communicate, express their fears, passions, goals and long-term aims without fear of judgement or negative repercussion. If people want different things, or if they’re simply not sure of what the other person wants, they’ll struggle to achieve their own goals, as well as the collaborative goals of the relationship.

If we feel appreciated and we’re given the opportunity to grow, develop and thrive, we’ll want the relationship to succeed. If we’re treated terribly and given no incentive to work well, we’ll soon grow tired and search for solace elsewhere. When this happens, the prospect of remaining in the partnership is dire – and more exciting, fulfilling alternatives begin to infiltrate the minds of those who aren’t happy. At work this is when an employee becomes disengaged – uninterested in the fortunes of the company and subsequently not driven to work hard and get results.

But why should an employer care about this employee? Surely there are plenty more fish in the sea, and plenty more potentially great employees to choose from?

Well, not quite. In fact, most of the time, workplace culture leads to more widespread disengagement and the consequences for success can be catastrophic. Disengaged employees take more sick days and are generally far less loyal. With this mind, we know recruitment can be a long, tiring and often frustrating process. Why would you not want to make a conscious effort to improve your employee engagement? A great engagement plan is like a brilliant marriage counsellor – it can work on the amazing things in your partnership, and provide long term, effective solutions to the tricky issues, and most of the time the suggestions aren’t difficult to enact. Solutions like establishing regular feedback sessions, improvements to message delivery and effective training can have hugely positive consequences for your business and your employees. By giving employees reasons to care, and opportunities to become involved, employees will make far greater contributions to the company and continue to thrive.

Written By

James Norman-Fyfe