Who is In Charge of Employee Engagement?

As business owners, we see the effects of poor employee engagement every day. It shows up on our bottom line as a product of lower efficiency, productivity, and innovation at all levels of our organizations.

The lack of engagement creates that feeling around our work environment that not enough people care, not enough people "get" the idea of why they are working here. Googling the term "employee engagement" results in over 7.3 million references. If we know it’s good for business, then why is it still a problem?

If you haven’t done your own research, reading, or analysis because you’re waiting for your employees to figure it out, the unpalatable truth is that as the leader of your business, employee engagement is your responsibility. The reality is that you need to focus on eliminating or minimizing the issues that are adversely influencing the way your employees feel. At a recent board meeting, members identified the attitude and actions of an engaged employee, then generated the reasons an employee may no longer be displaying these qualities. The bad news is, it was a long list. The good news is that as leaders of our organizations, we have the power to influence or eliminate all of these reasons.

Employees are generally looking for a safe (physically and emotionally) place to work, to be valued for their contribution, to be part of a successful team or organization, to know where the business is headed, and to have some autonomy in how they help get there. If we follow the research further, there are many conclusions provided, but these six strategies are often described as core to influencing how our employees view and feel about their roles in our business.

  • Open Communications – vision, responsibility, opinions, results
  • Recognition Programs and Culture
  • Increased Autonomy where possible
  • Recognizing Personal Milestones
  • Reduced Workplace Stress
  • Continuous Education

Personal experience with changing a corporate culture confirms that these strategies will make an impact on both your bottom line, and the alignment of your employees with your business goals. It will not happen overnight, but as a business owner, you’re in it for the long run, so stay focused.