Have you ever observed the strong correlation between employee engagement initiatives and employee morale? Or how disengaged employees have a direct correlation with negative project outcomes?

Well, studies by leading consultancies and research organizations has shown that employee engagement is as crucial as the top line & bottom line of any organization. Highly engaged employees show an increased amount of time and dedication towards their role &job responsibilities.Engaged employees are as good as a handful of happy-loyal customers.

Studies have shown businesses with engaged employees- have 20% more sales conversions and 22% more profitability. Not only this, the safety incidents also reduce by a whole 48%!

Long story short – having a bunch of gainfully engaged employees does more wonders than we you can count! Let us dive into the many aspects of nurturing engaged employees.

1. A reason to come back to work

An organization must have their core values, mission, beliefs and culture truly defined. This makes people feel belonged and feel motivated to deliver their best. Employees need to have a reason to come back– that goes beyond their pay check.

2. Value Employees

Engaged employees are productive employees. When employees feel that their opinion and judgments are valued, then they give more than 100%. On the other hand, if employees get a feeling that their every single move is being second-guessed, their productivity is sure to dip!

3. Culture of Learning

No employee will want to go the extra mile if there is nothing in store for them. Creating an environment of learning that allows them to learn new skills in a variety of domains leads to highly engaged and fruitful workforce.

Encouraging staff to learn or pursue a new hobby is just the kind of nurturing environment one needs.

4. Celebrating the little wins

As much as a paycheck, employees love it when they are recognized for their efforts – no matter however small or big. Someone stayed late to support the delivery of a critical project? – Appreciate publicly. Someone bent backward to make sure new employee experience is seamless? – Give a little pat on the back. You launched a new Learning Management Portal for the employees? – Recognize the first 5 or 10 employees who finish their course(s).

If you are an organization that stays focused on maximizing profits, then you will also want to focus on celebrating the little wins. The age-old “monthly/ quarterly employee recognition program” is famous for a reason 🙂

5. Flexible Process & policies

Studies have shown that almost 36% of employees leave due to non-flexible policies and processes. And over 70% of them continue to stay if they find the policies employee-friendly.

Need we say more?

6. Hire “Gooooood” Managers

Wondering why we have a special emphasis on “Gooooood”? Well, people join organizations but leave bosses. We all know how true this saying is. If your senior management is a bunch of casually selected ones… then you will see the impact in the people reporting to them a well. The dip in productivity will be evident and lack of interest in engagement program participation will be close to nil.

So doesn’t it make more sense, for us to invest time & efforts to select the BEST managers possible?

Now that we know the impact engaged employees can bring about, may it’s time we explore how to measure the various levels of engagement.

One of the leading ways of measuring the same, is “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Employee Engagement”.

This model is on the line of the famous Maslow’s need hierarchy. It says, that employees who experience a sense of belongingness, job security and understand the value of their contribution in the organization –can be safely considered as “happily engaged” and will stick with the organization much longer.

As you can see in the pictorial representation below, we can clearly locate the employees who are on the verge of leaving v/s who enjoy their work and end up inspiring others as well!

As you can see, just by asking the right questions and some self-analysis, organizations can clearly see how many employees fall in these 5 categories. They may then, accordingly plan their engagement calendar for the year.

One of the leading ways of improving engagement is to reduce the gap between employees and top management. More frequent the conversation between the two, higher will be the engagement among employees! This is a secret many leading MNCs and Fortune 500 companies seem to know.This is why they have monthly / weekly programs such as “High Tea”, “One on One with the CEO”, “Leadership Talks” and more as a part of their Engagement Plan.Companies such as TATA, Reliance Industries, Capgemini, Google and Deloitte among others follow this thumb rule.

Close interaction with the CEO/ Business leader not only allows employees to understand the future plans and certainty of business, but also allows them to share direct feedback about the organizational culture, process, policies or discomfort, if any.

Last, but not the least is the need for an organization to be an “inclusive” workspace. Gone are the days when “inclusive” meant men and women. Today the scope of “inclusive workspace” has increased manifolds and includes candidates with physical disability, those who are especially abled with conditions such as Autism, ADHD or Down syndrome, people with their own sexual preferences such as Homosexuals, Transgender, Queer and Eunuchs.

The world is becoming more and more borderless. And with it, organizations also need to represent what words like “global”, “inclusive” and “diversity” truly mean. Allowing people to be themselves and freely express their opinions, is sure to motivate employees like nothing else! So, companies looking to foster change, wishing to the trend setters, need to engage with their employees TODAY. From appreciating employee efforts to introducing flexible policies, focusing on employee’s growth to scheduling high tea with the CEO, from having a thought through hiring program to establishing the values and vision of your organization – Do what it takes to create that nurturing environment.