Rules of Engagement Part 1

It’s about time for some good economic news! After a long period of recession, recovery seems to be well underway. Corporate earnings are trending upwards. So is hiring…which can be bad news if your workforce is disengaged and looking to greener pastures.

You might ask why you would want to keep unhappy employees. After all, if their hearts and heads aren’t in the game, their quality and productivity won’t be there either. Maybe you’d be better off too, if they went elsewhere. But it’s costly to attract skilled talent and time-consuming to onboard them. There are definite advantages to reengaging and retaining your current employees.

Chief among these advantages: higher levels of employee engagement mean higher levels of quality, productivity, customer satisfaction, sales, profits and shareholder returns. You also have less turnover and absenteeism. Plus, you save the time and effort involved in recruitment and keep continuity throughout your operations.

In a survey on, 70% of employees reported varying levels of disengagement. It might not be that prevalent in your own organization, but it’s there to some degree – and it can be corrected.

First, it’s important to recognize that employee engagement isn’t the same as employee satisfaction. Where satisfaction is self-centered, engagement has an outward dimension that embraces the corporation, fellow workers and even the community. Rather than “What’s in it for me?”, employee engagement is “What’s in it for us?” There’s an emotional component to engagement that leads to extra effort for the greater good of the company, rather than personal gain or recognition.

Second, creating an environment of engagement has to start at the top, with leadership, management and human resources. Start by demonstrating your own commitment to your employees. Make efforts to earn their loyalty. Show them how their contributions make a difference not only in their immediate departments, but to your bottom line…and to your customers.

Stay engaged yourself – watch for upcoming articles with tips to foster employee engagement in your workplace!

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