Employee engagement is vital to the success of any organisation. Engaged employees are more productive, more loyal, and more likely to go above and beyond their job requirements. They are also more likely to stay for the long term, reducing the cost of turnover and recruitment.
However, according to a recent poll, only 10% of employees are fully engaged in their work in the UK. This means that a significant percentage of the workforce is disengaged, which can have a negative impact on productivity, customer satisfaction, and overall performance.
The connection between employee engagement and leading change
Leading change is a complex process that requires the support and commitment of all employees. Here are some strategies to help leaders engage employees in change initiatives:
Communicate the why
Employees are more likely to engage in change initiatives when they understand the rationale behind them. Therefore, it is critical for leaders to communicate the “why” of the change initiative, explaining how it aligns with the organisation’s goals and values. This can help employees see the bigger picture and feel more invested in the success of the initiative.
Involve employees in the process
Engaging employees in the change process can increase their sense of ownership and commitment to the initiative. Leaders can involve employees in the change process by seeking their input and feedback, assigning them key roles and responsibilities, and providing them with training and development opportunities to build the skills needed to support the change initiative.
Acknowledging and celebrating successes along the way can help employees stay engaged and motivated throughout the change process. Leaders can do this by publicly recognising individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to the initiative, hosting team-building events, or providing rewards and incentives for achieving key milestones.
Foster a culture of continuous improvement
Employee engagement is not a one-time event but rather a continuous process. Leaders can foster a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging employees to share their ideas and suggestions, providing opportunities for growth and development, and soliciting feedback on a regular basis.
Practical examples to increase employee engagement
Create a positive work environment: Provide a comfortable, clean, and safe workplace, giving employees a say in how their workspace is organised, and recognising and celebrating accomplishments.
Encourage open communication: Encourage open communication by setting up regular meetings with employees to discuss their concerns, ideas, and feedback. Use various communication channels, such as email, messaging apps, and social media, to keep employees informed about the latest news and updates.
Provide opportunities for professional growth and development: Offer training, mentoring, and coaching programs. This will help employees feel valued and invested in the organisation.
Offer flexible work options: Flexible work options, such as hybrid working, flexitime, and job sharing, can help employees achieve a better work-life balance. This, in turn, can increase their engagement and productivity.
Recognise and reward employees: Employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. Recognise and reward employees by offering incentives, such as bonuses, promotions, and extra time off.
Foster a strong company culture: Foster a strong company culture by creating a sense of community and shared purpose among employees. Encourage employees to participate in team-building activities, volunteer opportunities, and other social events.
By prioritising employee engagement, you can create a more motivated, productive, and loyal workforce that will help drive your organisation forward. The 20Twenty Business Growth and Leadership programme and the Help to Grow Management course both focus on employee engagement and leading change to varying degrees.