Even though employees may be present at the office, they might not be putting energy or passion into their work. These disengaged employees are more common than one may think; more than half of U.S. workers are present but not engaged or inspired at work. Gallup estimates that this costs companies $450 to 550 billion in lost productivity per year.
Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its goals— it doesn’t necessarily equate to employee happiness or satisfaction, though it may encompass those attributes. Highly engaged employees will work because they care about their work and how it will affect the company, not simply for a paycheck.
Benefits of Improving Employee Engagement
Organizations who invest in employee engagement efforts will start to reap positive ROI such as:
- 22% higher productivity.
- 2.5 times more revenue growth in comparison to competitors.
- 25 - 65% lower turnover rates.
Carol Rozwell, an analyst at Gartner, says that “engaged employees will be more willing to collaborate, take on challenging roles and provide coaching if they are excited by their work and see the opportunity for growth in the changes being requested of them.” So how can organizations improve their employee engagement?
According to a Gallup Poll, 70 percent of employees feel disengaged due to collaboration barriers. One way to overcome those barriers is by leveraging a tool like a digital experience platform (DXP).
A DXP provides the architecture for organizations to build effective and personalized collaboration tools, such as an intranet. These custom intranets provide far greater flexibility and scalability for large and complex enterprises than a “one size fits all” point solution.
Using a DXP to Engage Your Workforce
With a powerful DXP, re-engage your workforce by buidling an intranet with a few of these common features:
- Workflows: Actively engage your team with streamlined processes that make it easy for them to do their job more effectively. Create unique workflows with a drag-and-drop designer and assign them accordingly.
- Blogs: Build up employee engagement by encouraging team members to write and share about their team updates and achievements through blogs. When individual team members post regular updates, they can feel the impact of their work while the rest of the workforce is being brought up to speed on their progress. Empower your employees by inviting them to be active participants and contributors to the well-being of the company. Extending a voice to your team members through a full blogging platform supported with commenting functionality and inline videos can increase their sense of value and commitment to the organization.
- Forums and Message Boards: Set up more casual channels to encourage frequent and open interdepartmental communications. Increase engagement as employees actively come together to solve issues, discuss ideas, and share knowledge. Being able to connect with other team members easily helps to increase a sense of teamwork but also motivates employees to actively participate and add to the well-being of the organization.
- Social Network: Give employees an experience that matches other social media sites that have become a part of their daily lives. Enable users to connect across departments with @ mentions, comments, and individuals profiles and sites that they can follow.
While these tools may be helpful, technology alone cannot be expected to reverse disengagement. Supplement your intranet tools with intentional leadership to ensure the success of your employee engagement strategies.
Leadership-Driven Strategies for Engagement Success
Although there’s no “one size fits all” employee engagement strategy, any successful initiative will be headed by leaders who seriously want to increase engagement levels but also genuinely care about their workforce. Here are suggestions for leaders to begin with:
- Developing Relationships: First and foremost, leaders need to show genuine care for their employees. Highly engaged employees respond much more favorably to the question, “Does my supervisor care about me as a person?” than disengaged employees. So invest time into building team exercises that focus on building deeper relationships with one another. Encourage your employees to be open about their problems as well as their successes. These relationships will be the foundation of a highly engaged workforce.
- Collecting and Acting on Feedback: Encourage your employees to provide feedback on how these initiatives and tools could be improved. However, it’s not enough to simply collect feedback — action needs to be taken based on employee input. Make changes and explain to your workforce the reasoning behind the changes. When employees see that their input is taken seriously and regarded as important, they will be more invested in efforts to better the organization, even if that goes beyond their paycheck.
- Rewarding Engaged Employees: Praising employees who are actively engaged will not only further motivate them to continue, but will also encourage others around them to do the same. These rewards do not need to be monetary but can include team lunches or dinners, social events, or even public acknowledgement on the company intranet. Celebrating high levels of engagement will also encourage peer recognition, building even stronger bonds between team members.
Your company may be struggling with a disengaged workforce; however, changes to a company’s collaboration tools and leadership style can help instill higher levels of employee engagement that will create long-term benefits for your organization.