A Deloitte survey of Canadian business and human resources (HR) leaders indicated that culture and engagement was a top concern1. Do your employees share the same company values? Do they want to come to work? Do they know how they contribute to your business objectives?
Taking the pulse of your employees (via surveys, polls or other forms of feedback outlets) is much like a performance review for your company – the results can do the following:
It is easy to see how not embracing employee engagement can negatively affect your business.
According to Gallup’s 142-country study on the State of the Global Workplace2, 63% of respondents are “not engaged,” meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes. Companies who are unwilling to confront employees who are disengaged, unhappy, and unproductive are likely to spread that negativity to other co-workers. This is especially true for small businesses where employees may be working in closer proximity to each other and the impact of one’s attitude affecting the group is felt more.
Communication is key to understanding what motivates your employees; and the way employees feel about the workplace correlates with the effort they put in. Giving your employees a voice and more importantly, letting them know that they have been heard, builds trust.
How do you know how your company is doing if you don’t ask those that help keep it running? Business owners may be afraid of the answers, but knowing them early (and frequently) will help you identify those gaps, take the necessary steps to address the issues and come up with actionable solutions. Set a benchmark for how (and how often) your company will measure employee engagement and include representation at all levels.
HR professionals listed many benefits of engaged employees including willingness to do more than expected (39%), higher productivity (27%), better working relationships (13%) and more satisfied customers (10%), according to a study that examines employee engagement in the Canadian workplace3. It’s simple: Employees who are engaged are more concerned about and committed to the success of business outcomes.
Small businesses have an opportunity to move the needle of employee engagement – a win-win for both employees and the company. As Human Resources leaders who often work directly with your employees, you are in a perfect position to help align employees with the company’s core values to attract, develop and retain top talent. Your company will be stronger for it.
1Deloitte – Press Release: Leadership drives employee engagement and culture, April 15, 2015.
2Gallup – State of the Global Workplace, 2013.
3Psychometrics – A Study of Employee Engagement in the Canadian Workplace, 2011.