Employee Engagement: Winning in the Workplace

Doug Conant, a successful American businessman and former CEO of the Campbell Soup Company believed, “To win in the marketplace, you must win in the workplace.” Put simply, this means that employees are excited to come to work each day and are engaged and motivated to accomplish their tasks.

When employees are engaged in a workplace it creates an environment with integrity, mutual commitment, and open lines of communication. Positive engagement improves individual and corporate productivity, performance, and by extension business growth and success.

This is achieved by creating the right conditions that elicit positive emotions, the right dose of passion, and ultimately the propensity of employees to apply discretion at the workplace.

Employee engagement varies from poor to great and can be cultivated, increased, or lost. To a large extent, employee engagement influences the growth and success of any organisation and should be prioritised from the beginning. 

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

When employees are engaged, they are able to place their specific tasks within the context of the broader organisation. They are also able to feel comfortable bringing their personality, identity, and experiences with them to work.  These employees have an appreciation of the organisation’s mission, vision, values, and how their contribution is significant. When employees dread the beginning of the work week, this is often because they do not understand the bigger picture and feel like they have to leave (at least part) of their identity at home.

When an organisation, like yours,  has engaged employees in its workforce, it will reach beyond its competition because there will be better decision making, innovation, and ultimately business growth.

Employee engagement also leads to overall happier employees. Happiness, when examined psychologically,  is a product of positive emotions which increase the levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin that enhances learning, as well as the retention and organisation of information. Consequently, thought patterns, analysis of information, and ultimately, problem-solving capacities are enhanced.

Effective employee engagement strategies are critical to any enterprise because they contribute to the overall work culture which allows for better hires and better employee retention.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Employee engagement is an easy concept to speak about but much more difficult to implement. In order to make changes, the core culture of the organisation must often be transformed. 

Here are some practical suggestions to help begin that process or enhance an employee engagement project that has already started. 

Employee Engagement
  • Humanise your workplace

Your employees are humans, not robots so reward effort and achievement with praise. It is amazing how much building an attitude of gratitude can improve people’s perceptions of themselves and their work. Show employees you care by listening and trying to understand their individual needs and empathise with their experiences. Team building and employee engagement activities will only be as effective if people are interested and excited to join. 

  • Encourage Competition and Challenge

Nothing sparks employees like friendly competition and workplace challenges. This serves to motivate and bring them closer together while aligning them with the organisation’s goals and vision. 

  • Empower Decision Making at all Levels

There will be instances where quick decisions will be necessary to execute business processes. Management needs to learn to trust their employees and employees need the proper knowledge and confidence to make these decisions. It is important to celebrate the successes of such efforts and spend time on providing constructive feedback if necessary. 

Through building a strategy to implement some of these ideas, employees will begin to feel more included in the company culture and its future. After a while, they might even be engaged enough to take on a leadership role in this process. 

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