Friday, 23 November 2012

Employee Engagement Strategies and Benefits

Employee Engagement Strategies and Benefits

Employee engagement is a buzz phrase these days and an often overlooked aspect of retention, perhaps because it is broader and more abstract than other metrics associated with retention such as compensation and benefits. Employee engagement, although measured quantitatively, is the emotional response, either positive or negative, that employees have towards their job. It goes beyond being satisfied with pay or with the cleanliness of the facility. It is more intangible than that. An engaged employee is happy to come to work, willing to help others, and enthusiastic about his or her job.

Employee engagement is a valuable asset but, as much as we all want engaged employees, engagement is something the employee has to offer: it cannot be ‘required’ as part of the employment agreement.

The following factors can be considered during the interview process to hire engaged employees:

1. Hire for a positive attitude and passion: Employees with positive mental attitude and passion for work will differentiate your company from your competition. These candidates stand out during the interview in many ways: they appear energized, excited and genuinely interested in their jobs.

2. Probe the candidate about negative experiences: While probing the hardships of the candidates, their reaction both verbally and through body language can be observed while they describe their difficult work experiences.

3. Interview for intelligence and a desire to learn: While interviewing, the focus should be on the applicant’s intelligence and their ability to learn new things. During the interview ask the candidate about the feedback they’ve received on “projects gone bad” and what actions they’ve taken as a result.

4. Identify candidate who fits your culture: It is not just what you know, but also how you fit in the culture that results in enhanced performance. Cultural fit involves distinct characteristics that can be difficult and often impossible to teach or develop. During the interview, it is not only critical to determine if the candidate possesses the right knowledge and technical skills to be a good fit for the job, but also if he possesses the right attitude, expectations and beliefs to be a good fit for your culture.
 
Benefits of Employee Engagement Strategies

Today organizations are trying to achieve more with less, move faster at the same time as improving quality and customer service without increasing costs. As they do this they realise that what makes the difference is not just strong brands, state-of-the-art technology, new products or new markets. Increasingly organisations realise that they also need to inspire their employees to go the extra mile and feel passionate about the future of their company. They need to motivate them to exert maximum effort, deploy maximum intelligence, and apply maximum creativity in their work for the benefit of the organisation as a whole. In a nutshell, many organisations now realise that engaged employees are a powerful source of competitive advantage.

An engaged employee is willing to put discretionary effort into their work in the form of time, brainpower and energy, above and beyond what is considered adequate. An engaged employee has a desire and commitment for always doing the best job. They grip any task with energy and enthusiasm. They bring fresh ideas, infuse their teams with their own engagement and are less likely to seek opportunities to work elsewhere. They believe in the purpose of their organisation and demonstrate that belief through their actions and attitudes.

An engaged workforce can help put a business ahead of its competitors. But despite this recognition, new evidence suggests that UK businesses could benefit by redoubling their focus on this aspect of organisational culture. According to the results of the Towers Perrin 2007 Global Workforce Survey only 14% of employees in the UK are fully engaged and this points to a major opportunity for UK PLC to unlock the competitive power of its workforce.

One key to unlocking the full potential of a workforce is to understand and address the organisational factors that drive employee engagement. According to the Global Workforce Survey the number one driver of engagement is a belief amongst employees that their leaders are sincerely interested in their well-being. The survey also reveals that employees are now increasingly concerned about the reputation of their employer. Indeed, an organisation’s reputation for social responsibility is the fifth most important driver of employee engagement.

Why Engaged Employees are More Valuable?

Organizations depend on their staff's ability to work together in an efficient, productive manner. This is particularly true in the hospitality industry, where service quality is such an important determinant of success. Your staff's ability to work together as effectively as a well-oiled machine can mean the difference between success and failure for your business.

In turn, your staff's ability to work well together is determined, to a large extent, by the attitude and outlook of each individual employee. Decades of research have shown that happy, involved, and emotionally invested employees are more likely to be positive assets to the team than are their alienated, disengaged counterparts.  Furthermore, employees who describe themselves as engaged and fulfilled are up to 75% less likely to report looking for a new position.

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