2020-05-14

How to boost employee engagement

Drake Editorial Team

The pandemic has fundamentally changed how we work in ways no one could have imagined. The accompanying stress and anxiety has put a focus on the lifeline to organisations — engaged employees.Employee engagement is not a simple topic. In these trying times, it is even more complicated. Why? Because the pandemic has redefined the way everyone communicates, and day-to-day communication is the simplest way to increase engagement.

 

Hiring a new employee?

 

What is Employee Engagement?

Let’s start by understanding ‘employee engagement’. The phrase is often tossed around with different definitions so let’s connect it to a meaningful foundation.

  • Engaged employees are enthusiastic, dedicated, and emotionally invested in their work.
  • Engaged employees take positive actions to further an organisation’s reputation and interests. They are passionate about what they do.

Author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, describes employee engagement in the simplest of terms:

When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

With stats like Gallup’s reporting that engagement results in 21% greater profitability, a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59% less turnover, employee engagement is taking centre stage.

Understanding Engagement

This starts with understanding your employees. Everyone has their own personality traits and motivational and engagement drivers. We are all different.

In 2018, researchers studied the impact of personality on engagement with 45,000 global participants. They found that a staggering 50% of how engagement varies from person to person could be predicted by personality.

 Behavioural assessments, such as Drake P3, use scientifically based data, to will help you understand the personalities in your workforce better, and faster. The objective is to reveal a person’s natural tendencies, communication styles, emotional intelligence, motivational needs, decision-making abilities, energy levels, and more.

A better understanding of what drives each employee and their strengths is a critical step in building buy-in and engagement.

For example, top performing employees working together on a team can still fail to perform as a cohesive unit if there is a personality disconnect.

Seeing engagement data through the lens of a personality will:

  • help you better understand what drives each employee to perform well
  • help you select people for a team with complimentary personalities that gel, particularly when the pressure is on
  • target issues that can impact individual and team performance for early resolution
  • enable you to play to individual strengths for greater productivity and engagement

Once you understand personalities and motivators, driving engagement can become more focused and team based. Drake P3 assessments help businesses to select team members based on their personality, soft skills and values, and those who will work well together.

Focus on Communication

Communication is the cornerstone of an engaged workforce. Whether staff are working in an office or working remotely, as most are currently doing during the pandemic, and that may become the norm, communicating is a powerful tool that directly impacts trust and commitment.

To boost employee engagement, here are eight steps to strengthen your communications:

  1. Be open, honest and proactive in sharing the company’s goals and strategic direction.
  2. Be transparent. No one likes surprises. Positive cultures are built when visions are shared, and the truth is told.
  3. Be personally engaged with your employees. Whether it is face-to-face, video interaction or using other communication tools, meet and talk to them with greater frequency. Remote workers need that connection and sense of belonging. It can be lonely working on your own.
  4. Ensure each employee clearly understands their individual goals (tangible and measurable) and how their role connects to the big picture or they will quickly become disengaged.
  5. Confirm that each staff member has what they need to communicate, do their work and succeed. Check in with them personally and find out if they have the tools, training and support they require.
  6. Encourage staff to share their thoughts. Everyone wants to be heard and to know their opinions make a difference.
  7. Assign teams to work collaboratively on projects with a mix of office and remote staff. Take advantage of personality assessments to build teams that work well together to minimise issues for greater productivity.
  8. Build fun and creativity into your communications. It may be as simple as everyone having an informal video coffee break together to share thoughts and exchange ideas. Fostering closer connections to colleagues builds a stronger sense of belonging and more engaged teams.

 

All leaders and managers need to understand their vital role in communicating with their teams whether they work from an office or remotely. Growing engagement through relevant communications is a day-to-day responsibility. Also key is having a clear understanding of individual personalities and strengths. This is the foundational step to building stronger engagement.

 

Discover how Drake International’s portfolio of Talent Management Solutions solves your people, productivity and performance issues such as our Drake P3 behavioural assessment solution. Getting to know your people better, and faster will enable you to develop the right communication strategies to drive engagement.

 

Learn more about Drake P3

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