Kevin Kruse, writing for Forbes, says, “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.”
An employee may do everything required of them during their shift without complaint, but that isn’t true engagement. Truly engaged employees are those who are motivated by the goals of the company instead of just the paycheck they receive. Thus, they’re also willing to invest their creative energy and resources into the well-being of the company, beyond what is required in their job description.
An effective employee enrichment program is an integral component of ensuring that your organization achieves the best possible outcomes. With employees who are satisfied and engaged, research demonstrates your organization will be poised to achieve maximum productivity, profitability, and customer ratings.
Just as a company has a business plan and a marketing strategy, those who succeed at employee engagement are those who have carefully thought out a program to foster employee enrichment. For this plan to work, all levels of management need to be on the same page and working towards the same enrichment goals.
Not all experts have the same ideas about the most effective way to make employee enrichment happen. What virtually everyone does agree on, though, is that continued training and education is vital. Employees should not be placed in positions and left to remain stagnant. Instead, each employee should be presented with opportunities to further their knowledge base and understanding.
The way to build confidence in employees and to recognize potential leadership is to trust them to do their jobs without micromanaging. Employees who are not able to take responsibility for their jobs will never thrive. Micromanaging is so harmful to employees’ wellness, it’s been connected to higher rates of early mortality.
Leadership that works to nurture employee strengths and capabilities will find its organization is filled with individuals who are confident and trustworthy.
One study found management transparency is the number one determining factor of employee engagement and happiness. The authors wrote, “The cost of improving transparency is almost zero, but requires an ongoing dialogue between management and staff. We see an increasing number of companies using transparency as a weapon to attract and retain top talent.”
You can’t create a community of individuals working towards common goals if you are unwilling to allow them to see behind the curtain. They’re not customers, they’re team members who deserve honesty.
Not only should management trust employees, employees need to be able to trust that the vision and goals of the company are authentic. The company structure and dynamics should demonstrate to employees a sense of authenticity.
Company culture needs to remain consistently aligned with company priorities, and underpinning every effort there should be a team dynamic.
Employees who are engaged are employees who know that the organization they work for values them and is willing to show it. Paying a competitive wage matters because it is the clearest signal you value them.
Additionally, employee enrichment programs should include consistent methods of demonstrating that employees are valued. Even on a budget, you can reward and recognize their value as both a person and employee.
It’s crucial that your enrichment program is consistently under scrutiny so it remains relevant and influential. One of the primary ways to ensure that happens is by measuring employee engagement to see how your enrichment efforts are changing the landscape of your organization.
Your company culture should be such that employees feel comfortable reaching out to leadership. Leadership should be trained to respond to employees appropriately. Not only should employees have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns in the form of things like surveys and scorecards, they should also have the opportunity to receive feedback.
According to Northeastern University, “One of the primary benefits is that regular feedback can increase engagement, which can pay dividends for your company… By reviewing the performance of your staff members at periodic intervals, they will gain greater understanding of how their position contributes to the goals of the company and likely become more invested in the outcome.”
One of the most valid ways to encourage engagement and clarity in your employees is by exemplifying what it looks like in company management.
Companies that recognize the uniqueness of their distinct organization and the individuals it is made up, are the companies that do this best. The Harvard Business Review points out the value in assessing things like the participation numbers of meetings, the amount of time spent working outside business hours, and collaboration spent with customers outside the traditional scope of their job.
Those types of analytics allow a business to do a better job of assessing true engagement as opposed to perceived engagement.
Additionally, depending on company size the specifics of this will vary. Yet, even the very smallest of organizations will make efforts to ensure their enrichment program is solid.
Arizona State University notes that even for brand new businesses, the entrepreneurs who run them must, “Focus on soft skill development such as communication, interpersonal skills and time management so you’re able to relate to different types of people.”
Essentially, it does not matter how large or small a company is, the individuals whose efforts support it will always be a priceless component of its success.
In a way, employee enrichment programs are largely about creating the type of work environment that will foster the same passion and motivation in employees, that prompted the company’s founder in the very beginning.
Any way you look at it, employee enrichment programs that prompt employee engagement are a straightforward way to not only better the quality of life for those who work, but also better the quality of the company as a whole. Engaged employees will inevitably pour the best of their efforts into the organization in such a way that the metrics will become clear cut as the strength of the individuals becomes the strength of the company.
By Devin Morrissey
Devin prides himself on being a jack of all trades; his career trajectory is more a zig zag than an obvious trend, just the way he likes it. He pops up across the Pacific Northwest, though never in one place for long. You can follow him more reliably on Twitter.