How to create a work culture that promotes employee engagement
Employee engagement is at the crux of ensuring a productive and happy work force and work culture. Organisations are increasingly realising the value of employee engagement and seeking ways to keep employees engaged. This is especially the case as they realise the value employee engagement has on different operations throughout an organisation.
A study by Gallup showed that properly attributed employee engagement increased customer ratings by 10%, productivity by 17%, resulting in a 20% increase in sales. The same study showed that employee engagement led to decreased absenteeism, employee turnover and work place accidents. This being said, organisational leaders need to be aware that engagement is a topic they must indulge in should they want to reap the benefits mentioned above.
Many leaders face the challenge of building an engaging work culture. Since it is intangible, culture becomes a challenge for managers to develop as it is tied to so many factors in organisations. Even though everyone in an organisation has a role to play to in building a work culture, it is the role of leaders to introduce the desired culture and monitor it as it spreads across the organisation. Here is how managers can create a culture that promotes employee engagement:
Clear and timely communication
Clarity regarding work descriptions and expectation to employees is crucial to getting work done efficiently. Lack of clear communication leads to role ambiguity, which can mean that sometimes there is more than one person performing the task or some tasks are left undone. This results in confusion, and negative feedback, which affects motivation dampening the morale at the work place. Timely communication means that issues should be communicated to employees as they arise. Holding back information leads to speculation and mistrust which leads to mistrust between management and employees and can poison the work culture.
Allow for employee development
Employees are motivated by opportunities to develop in the work place. This keeps them engaged as they work towards growing into their role, climbing the corporate ladder and taking on more responsibilities that they are proud of. To encourage engagement, leaders should therefore collaborate with employees to understand their growth interests and work with them to achieve that. This is can be made possible through empowerment, which comes with the independence to make some decisions, flexibility, and development through training. All the above creates a work culture that appreciates employees and the more employees feel valued at work, the more they are emotionally invested in their job.
Encourage a flexible work environment
Employee engagement heavily relies on work satisfaction that employees derive from their jobs. Satisfaction is hardly ever felt where employees feel stifled in their positions. Leaders can create a positive work culture by encouraging work-play through team building activities, encouraging informal interaction, as well as some flexibility relating to working conditions. To encourage this, managers should set an example by participating in informal events and allowing play once in a while. This creates a culture that the work place is a happy place and employees don’t have to keep checking the clock hoping for work hours to be over. It is important to cater for various personality types, though and be aware that some employees prefer a more formal environment. Once a happy medium is found, the more employees will enjoy being at work, and the more they will be actively engaged in achieving organisational goals.