The field of industrial and organizational psychology crystallized during the First World War and has provided a great deal of insight into work performance and the motivation for individuals to work. Employee engagement is one factor that has a great impact on work performance and so improvements in engagement are bound to positively affect the overall performance of businesses.
About 90% of all US businesses have programs for employee recognition, which goes to show that employee-related programs are a vital investment to varying extents in nearly all fields of work. If workers know that their work is useful and makes a difference, and that their voice is heard when it comes to decisions in the organization, they are naturally more likely to want to give back. This gives rise to what I/O Psychology terms organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) which is workers’ willingness to do tasks that benefit the organization even though this surpasses their contractual commitment.
All of this boils down to one simple conclusion: If you want your organization to do well, you need to work with your employees, not against them.
Here are a few quick pointers for increasing employee engagement within your business:
- Pique Interest
Since employee engagement has a lot to do with how passionate employees are about the work they do, making sure they are interested is a very important factor in whether or not their engagement is maximized.
- Put A Face to The Name
Employees will appreciate meeting their bosses and hearing from them directly. Hearing praise from these bosses will also have a motivating effect which in turn will boost employee engagement, because the recognition of their efforts instills a drive to do better and continue with the organization.
It’s not a good idea for company hierarchies to function such that people at the pointy end never meet those on the grass-roots level of the organization.
In addition, it is extremely important that efforts are made to keep relations with management positive and honest, which will do wonders for the trust that exists between company employees and management personnel.
- Aid Their Career
Simply being keyed into employee aspiration and expectations from the organization can also contribute to increasing employee engagement. Find out where they want their career to head and provide them with opportunities to take themselves in that direction. New responsibilities, on-the-job training and regional conferences are just a few ways this can be achieved.
This is very important to not only foster engagement within the business, but also to explicitly avoid passivity on the job. Honest feedback can go a long way here by giving due praise and criticism, that ensures good work ethic and performance is maintained and behaviors harmful to the organization are avoided in the future. Workers will remain alert and quick to avoid any missteps.
- Social Responsibilities
This is a way of letting workers know the work they do makes a difference. They matter.
Either the company’s own products or skills can be used for social outreach or community projects, or the company can encourage employees to get involved. It creates a good feeling and a sense of good will.
Creating an engaging atmosphere for employees is an investment in the company itself, which makes the work place a trusting and productive environment, a place where people feel compelled put their heart and minds into their work.