Increasing employee engagement has become a prominent issue for human resources and talent development professionals. The benefits of employee engagement center on the understanding that when employees are more engaged in their work and their organizations, their performance improves, and they remain with their companies longer. These benefits to employee performance and retention are crucial to any organization's success. But the question of how to engage employees remains.
The best ways to increase employee engagement involve providing employees with career development opportunities and instilling a sense of trust and recognition for the value they bring to the company. But before delving into the specifics of improving engagement, we should first define what it means for an employee to be engaged.
Employee engagement is defined in terms of the effort an employee exercises in completing tasks (discretionary effort), and the employee's commitment to their company's success and to the people that comprise their organization. The Corporate Leadership Council defined employee engagement as "the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organization and how hard they work and how long they stay as a result of that commitment." If highly engaged employees work harder than disengaged employees, it follows that engaged employees will also perform better in their roles (though this is not always the case). And if engaged employees are more committed to their organizations, they are more likely to remain with the company rather than seek employment elsewhere. This is why engagement is closely tied to performance and retention - two factors that significantly contribute to the efficiency of a business' workforce. It is no wonder, then, that employers are concerned with how to increase employee engagement at their organizations.
A solid strategy for increasing employee engagement involves providing employees with opportunities and resources for career development and mobility within the organization. Getting employees engaged involves satisfying their needs to learn, advance, and make progress for themselves. Broadening the scope of an employee's duties and providing more complex, meaningful tasks are important for keeping employees engaged in their work and committed to the organization. Meaningful work inspires engagement and enthusiasm in employees, motivating them to take ownership of new challenges and broaden their experience and skill-sets. Employers that work to provide engaging career experiences enable employees to develop the skills and competencies that the organization needs, giving employees a sense of progress and the experience necessary to fill more advanced and diverse positions at the company.
Ultimately, a sound employee engagement program provides employees with meaningful work, opportunities to develop skills and experience, and opportunities to take on new roles and greater responsibilities within the organization.
Facilitating a targeted employee engagement program that provides employees with access to development and advancement opportunities can become a complex endeavor. The SHRM recommends leveraging digital technology to offer employees professional development opportunities, like skills training and competency assessments, which can simultaneously enable administrators to track employees' progress and recruit qualified talent from within. HR portals and online solutions can offer employers a framework to transparently present the competencies employees need to move to a new position - while employees can use career pathing and planning tools to begin mapping their careers with their employers in an informed way. When employees start planning their futures at your organization, they engage.
Insala provides online solutions that help employers keep employees engaged - with employee career development software. Insala's software helps employees get engaged by enabling administrators to list competency and skill requirements for company positions; then employees can take assessments and create comprehensive career development plans to start on their paths to filling those positions. Provide your employees with opportunities for career progression that fulfill your organization's workforce needs and talent objectives - and keep your employees engaged.
Learn more about using talent development for employee engagement.