While at the SHRM Conference a couple weeks ago, I was able to meet and talk to a few different clients and HR managers about employee engagement programs and tried to get a feel for what engaging employees meant to them. Everyone seems to have their own employee engagement definition. Many HR managers are perplexed about what employee engagement means, how to prevent employee disengagement and how to proactively engage employees in the workplace.
This feeling of confusion around what managers think the employee engagement definition really means is echoed online as well. A recent BusinessWeek.com point of view article entitled, “Employee Engagement: Enough!” gave two experts the opportunity to present their opinions on employee engagement to readers.
From Paul Hebert, “Employee engagement is about having a well-run enterprise based on consistently applied values. Do that, and engagement follows.”
From Gregg Lederman, “What if all employees in your company were engaged and willing to give the company 15 minutes of discretionary effort each week? The ROI would astound you and the improved customer experience just might make the difference between surviving the Great Recession and thriving in it.”
From 2007 to 2008, nearly two thirds of employers polled in a Quantum Workplace survey reported decreases in their employee engagement. Organizations have the ability to combat this decrease in employee engagement by proactively engaging staff members with a recognition award program. Employee engagement programs recognize both managers and employees for reaching various goals designed to increase employee engagement.
Managers tend to be given goals that encourage them to recognize and reward their employees, meet or exceed budget guidelines and are rewarded for reaching anniversary milestones. These goals will help to increase the recognition culture of an organization, empower employees to budget wisely and increase management retention.
Employees who participate in an engagement program are given goals designed to encourage them to advantage of training and mentoring opportunities, achieve excellence in customer service and are also rewarded for reaching anniversary milestones. Goals of this nature are implemented to empower employees to develop their career, increase customer satisfaction and increase employee retention.
The results of one study featured on HRWorld.com showed the bottom line impact of implementing employee engagement programs: Highly engaged employees are 26% more productive than other employees, translating into an increase of 13% in returns to shareholders. As a result of instituting an employee engagement program, you can effectively manage employee engagement and positively impact organizational profitability. What does employee engagement mean to you and your organization?