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What exactly is employee engagement anyway?

So what exactly is employee engagement anyway?

“By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well” – Richard Branson

On average, it costs a company between £3000 – £5000 to recruit a new member of staff and with a staggering 36% of employees likely to leave their jobs within the first year, it has never been more important to engage with your employees and keep them “on board” with you.

Employee engagement does not have to be an all singing, all dancing benefits package and generous holiday entitlement because let’s face it, not all business can offer those luxuries, but how do smaller businesses and start ups get their employees engaged?

Here are some simple yet effective things you can do:

  1. Start as you mean to go on – you need to captivate an employee before they are even an employee.
    • Candidates are going to look at your brand and research your company, so really think about the message that your social media and website put out there.
    • Be personal, (but remain professional) show off what makes you, you as this will mean that you will attract like-minded talent as they are already bought into your ethos and personality.
    • This message should be consistent through the recruitment process. A well written job description should detail the personality and culture of the company as well as outlining the desired personality of any applicants.
    • Continue this through to the interview. Get to know the interviewee and let them get to know you, tell them what its like working there, is there office banter, inter department competition and team nights out? Does your company have charity days or family summer fetes? If so, talk about them and promote them to get your prospective employees to engage with you and understand your culture and ethos.
  2. Make your induction days fun. The first week in a new job is often the most nerve wracking but it can be fun as well. Yes, you need to get through all the health and safety legalities but make getting to know the team or the business structure fun and interactive. Have a fun quiz sheet matching employee’s names to their photos or job titles and see how many they remember after their first day and then after the first week. All of this helps on board your new employee right from the beginning and if you can captivate them now it is much easier to keep them engaged.
  3. Care and consistency – as an employer you have a duty of care to all your employees. Staff want to feel that you have their best interests at heart as well as the business and that you treat all staff the same, whether they are on a zero hours contract or are a member of the management team.
  4. Transparency – Employees want to feel that there is clear communication at all levels. All too often employees report back that they find out company information on the grapevine as it trickles down. This leaves employees feeling devalued and detached. Just 41% of UK employees feel aligned with their organisation’s goals.
  5. It’s the little things that count – remember birthdays, work anniversaries and other important dates in the diary.  Perhaps there’s an opportunity to celebrate the business birthday as well?
  6. Celebrate every success – often companies only celebrate sales-based victories, winning a new client, closing a big deal etc. It is vital for companies to celebrate all successes across all departments. Celebrate the completion of implementing a new more efficient process, or an engaging marketing campaign, or the accounts team with no outstanding invoices! This makes all staff feel valued and important to the overall process.

Simply put, employees want to enjoy coming to work, feel valued and contribute to the overall success of the company with the work that they do.

If you have a happy, engaged, motivated workforce you will ultimately have happy customers and a healthy profit. It’s a win win win situation.

Questions about this blog post or any other HR-related matter?  Talk to us!

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