Employee Engagement – It’s a Team Sport!
Employee engagement is a hot button subject for many companies.
So much so I contemplated whether or not I wanted to broach the topic. The concept is simple enough, keep employees actively invested in their work and personally fulfilled and they will remain happy and motivated in the workplace, but the actual active engagement of employees takes quite a bit more organization and effort than many realize. Companies can go to great lengths to put programs and policies in place to help support employee engagement, but at times that isn’t enough and they’re left scratching their heads as to why these programs aren’t effective. The reason; employee engagement is a team sport. This means both the company and employees are responsible for creating an engaged culture.
So, assuming your company has engagement programs, what are some simple ways employees can help foster engagement and create a positive and productive environment?
As employees, you’re truly asked to participate in a lot of activities. I entirely understand that on top of your regular jobs this may seem like extra “stuff” you don’t want to do or don’t have time for. However, it is important to keep in mind participation is key to engagement programs being successful! The reason being is participation helps foster community and overall promotes engagement. If you don’t participate, how do you reap the benefits of the programs?
For employees not involved in putting these programs together, the purpose may be unclear; this is where leadership must do a better job in explaining the purpose behind all that is done. Once the purpose is understood, employees should do their best to participate and approach programs with excitement! Overtime this will lead to more successful engagement programs that don’t seem like a chore to partake in.
While we would all love for programs, projects, presentations, etc. to go off without a hitch, things come up, priorities change and you have to learn to roll with the punches. Sometimes it can be hard to be flexible with programs such as these, because changes or last minute cancelations may come off as not valuing employees’ time or just not valuing employees in general. I assure you, if a company is putting effort into these programs, you are valued! Keep an open mind and approach the situation with a positive outlook. Likely these changes are out of necessity or because priorities have changed and the program is changing in a manner that is intended to only bring further benefit to employees. Flexibility is key in all areas of life and it is important to keep that in mind when it comes to employee programs.
Communication is needed for ANYTHING to be successful. As a company, your HR and leadership teams do their best to create programs to meet employee needs. However, if you do not voice your needs how can they be known? The most effective engagement programs are ones that serve a purpose and meet an employee need. Do your part to let your leadership team know what you would like to see! Is there something you really like or don’t like about a current program? Again, kindly give your input. Programs such as these are here to serve employees and leadership would much rather put together something that you enjoy than something that people dread participating in!
So, to answer the question, “Who’s responsibility is it to keep employees engaged?” It’s both the company and the employee’s responsibility. Both parties need to do their part to create a positive and engaged environment. Companies need to consistently meet employee needs and employees need to actively put effort into the engagement programs that are put on. With both pieces of the puzzle working together, engagement programs have a much better chance at success. Employee engagement is a team sport!
By guest author: Michelle Hanson, PHR | Employee Relation Specialist, Ascentis