How to Improve Employee EngagementAfter a long recession, worker engagement is low. Engagement is making a shift from HR leaders to the agenda of top managers.

Ryan Estis, author of Passion on Purpose, and Dan MacPherson of Modern Survey examined the future of work and the opportunity HR professionals have to drive business performance through employee engagement. They used a current data set from Modern Survey research.

Employee Engagement Key Findings

  • Sixty-five percent of our workforce is classified as “under engaged”
  • Twenty-two percent of survey respondents are actively seeking alternative employment
  • Forty-one percent of respondents have confidence in senior leadership

Estis also provided immediate actions leaders can take to improve employee engagement.

Provide Clear Communication

Let your employees know what is expected of them, what the company values and vision are, and how the company defines success. Employees can’t be productive if they don’t know the part they play in the overall success of the company.

Estis says, “More effective communication from the top drives alignment, minimizes confusion, mitigates apathy, and elevates confidence.”

Reward and Recognize

Get to know your employees and celebrate their accomplishments and efforts to give them a boost. “Appreciation and feedback matter,” says Estis. Know their goals, stressors, what excites them, and how they define success. Show an interest in their well-being and, when appropriate, do what it takes to help them feel more fulfilled and better balanced.

Invest in Employees

Estis suggests leaders be proactive and innitiate career path and future-directed conversations.

Employees are looking to their current employers for job enrichment opportunities. Career opportunities are an important driver to them.

Some ideas for leaders if there aren’t current growth opportunities include lateral moves, special assignments, and cross-functional training.

Be Generous

Corporate giving and responsibility programs can help motivate and engage employees.

In this CNN article, Kellie McElhaney, director at the Center for Responsible Business, Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley said, “For today's 'millennials' entering the workforce engagement in sustainability is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. They don't want to be told what the company is doing. They want to do it."

Employees are human beings and today’s leaders must make it a priority to get to know them so they can provide whatever is needed to keep them fully engaged. Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Their ideas, feedback, and enthusiasm for what they do helps your business grow and succeed.

What initiatives have you seen that have kept employees engaged?