Ensure They Rise
A high level of staff engagement is also believed to be one of the cornerstones of a healthy safety climate – so you can't afford to get it wrong.
When employees feel informed and trusted, they are far more likely to be loyal and productive. Studies have shown that companies who treat people with respect and listen to their opinions are significantly more successful than those that do not.
Effective Communications = Motivated Staff
Employee engagement means that people are connected with their workplace and their colleagues; it's a virtuous circle where people put more in because they feel they are getting more back. And communication plays a very important role in several ways:
Let's start with Internal Relationships. It was in the 1930s when Elton Mayo conducted his Hawthorne experiments and work as a social unit was first identified – people enjoy working in teams and collaborating on tasks. For this to be successful, you need effective relationships between colleagues, managers and other departments. Everyone needs to understand what they're doing and why; how their role fits into the overall aims of the business. Once everyone knows what's happening, you have a positive working environment which leads to increased engagement and productivity.
Clarity is also vital when you are dealing with a number of different departments and demands. Unclear communication or "mixed messages" lead to breakdowns in trust and expectations not being met. So for good workplace relations, make sure your communications are clear.
Creativity is another area that requires the effective flow of information between colleagues; knowledge sharing can help others develop and can generate new ideas. Most companies have internal social media platforms which showcase best practise, celebrate success and give insight into other people's roles. These platforms are often used to encourage employee ideas for business improvement – and here feedback is key. The system needs to have a well-structure process for following up the ideas and keeping people informed, otherwise they will become demotivated and disenchanted with the scheme.
Keeping the information flowing
Another of the key tenets of successful engagement is Information sharing. This is a two-way channel where employees need to feel well informed about the company and what is happening, and at the same time, they need a channel to be able to feed their views upward. However, the caveat to this is that you should avoid information overload and be selective about which media you use. Each company has their own preference; for many weekly team catch ups with a monthly newsletter do the trick; others prefer quarterly meetings and newsletters. Whatever you do, make sure you keep it relevant and digestible!
Involvement in decision making
Offering an opportunity for people to get involved in decision making has been proven to increase motivation and lead to higher productivity. By consulting those who are in working "at the coalface" you have the double advantage of better understanding the issues and demonstrating that people's opinions are valued.
Finally, the ability to develop within one's role and the company is a key motivator. Effective communication between managers and employees helps to identify training needs and opportunities for career and personal development. Aside from promotions, this may also include secondments, mentoring, training or shadowing – the main thing is to talk and listen.
The end result?
A natural (and welcome) result of high engagement is an increase in Staff Motivation and Customer Satisfaction. If people are fully connected with the company and feel valued, this has a trickledown effect on the way they treat your customers. So making sure the channels of communication are open and everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet makes sound business sense!