In an immensely competitive environment, firms struggle to stay productive. Along with other factors, employee engagement is significantly related to productivity, customer service, revenues, and employee turnover. Organizations where employees are truly engaged face fewer troubles and work smoothly. Such employees develop emotional connectivity with the business and work for a collective cause.
Unfortunately, engaged employees make up only 1/3rd of the total employees in any business. As per a Gallup study, 17% of the U.S workforce is disengaged, and just half of them were engaged. In the year 2017, research was conducted by the engagement institute; they found that the total loss of employee engagement was estimated to be $500 billion annually. Let us now see the key differences among engaged, disengaged, and not engaged employees:
Engaged employees are highly passionate about their work. They always go the extra mile to achieve organizational objectives.
These employees always show reluctance at work. They are unhappy and often undermine the positive efforts of others.
Not Engaged Employees
Such employees are only concerned with their routine work. They do not worry about the firm’s goals and objectives. Thus they do not willingly make additional efforts for the firm.
Today, firms are actively working to boost employee engagement. Although various tactics can be used to increase employee engagement, learning, and development has proven to be very effective. Learning and development is effective because it’s mutually beneficial for the employee and the employer; employees are willing to work hard if they get something worthwhile in return.
Learning and development do just that; it improves employee’s skills, brings growth in career, and makes them passionate about work. Here are a few things to focus on in L&D:
Communicating Objectives and Goals
A deeper connection should be developed with employees. For this, they should know why the firm is doing some business. In many cases, employees only know what the firm is doing. However, knowing the reason, passion, and motivation is highly important. For instance, an internet marketing services firm is planning to expand its service in a new region.
Employees should not just know about the expansion. They should know how the new expansion will increase revenue, how this additional revenue can benefit employees, and how it can contribute to their career growth. Instead of just communicating goals in employee orientation, weekly and monthly goals should be communicated.
When employers communicate goals, employees are more likely to work hard to achieve them as they feel entrusted with responsibility. Moreover, employees are more willing to learn new skills and hone previous ones because they want to excel and grow as the company grows. Besides this, goal achievement should be celebrated to show employees the benefit of learning and getting results.
Teamwork and Cooperation
Training sessions also develop an environment for teamwork. Since collective sessions are arranged, employees learn to work in a group and start taking more interest in work. Similarly, teamwork helps employees in understanding the strengths and shortcomings of other employees. They learn to communicate effectively, cooperate, and share common goals. This sense of coordination and cooperation among employees give rise to employee engagement.
Focusing on Individual Motivators
A common misconception among several managers is about motivators. Money, which is often thought of as a key motivator, is not always a motivator for all. Some employees consider recognition as highly motivating, while others consider career growth. It is, therefore, imperative to determine the key motivators for individual employees. Today, most employees are motivated by learning and development; they want to work only if the job is teaching them employable skills. Therefore, you can keep your workforce engaged by giving them new things to learn each day; if they are bored, they will be disinterested and less productive.
L&D of Virtual Employees
Since more and more employees are working remotely, managers need to make coherent plans for virtual learning and development. In comparison to on-site training and workshops, virtual learning is highly imperative. Since employees are not physically present in the firm, the chances of turning into disengaged employees are higher. Comprehensive course material should be emailed to every employee. Besides this, video-conferencing should be used for virtual training. Time- management and multi-tasking games can also be used for boosting productivity and employee engagement.
Every firm experience change at some stage. Employees often show resistance to change. Since this change comes along with various risks, resistance to accepting change is normal. However, managers can mitigate the risks and prepare employees for accepting change. This can be done through regular training and development. Training to deal with change involves using new methodologies, new tools, and a new mindset. If appropriate training and impeccable assistance are provided, employees will perfectly develop the new skills to accept change. Since they already have the skills, work will be smoother, and employee engagement will increase.
Improving Employee Retention
Employees love being valued. Investing in training sessions is one way to show the worth of employees. When employees notice ample career growth in any firm, they resist from going to any other workplace. Thus, engagement develops automatically. Since the training is usually based on performance and designation, employees work hard because they want to get the next big position. Thus, training sessions should be planned at multiple stages; skill development sessions should also be offered for boosting employee skills. Focus on industry exposure is imperative, and ample growth opportunities should be highlighted.
Employees love to become leaders. However, every employee cannot prove to be an ideal leader. If leadership learning is included from the very beginning, employees can learn the skills required to lead a team. It is another opportunity for employees to grow their careers. Thus, when they get leadership training, they start getting involved in the firm. This directly improves productivity and employee morale.
Wrapping It Up
In short, modern-day management is different. Today, if a firm takes good care of the employees, employees will take care of the firm’s objectives. Employee engagement is an asset. This asset is often treated as a competitive edge over various competitors because employee engagement is vital for productivity. Firms can develop many coherent strategies for building employee engagement.
However, learning and development is an ideal secret to develop engaged employees. L&D increases the soft and technical skills of employees, ensure career growth, give industry exposure, improve employee morale, and develop coordination among teams. When employees realize the countless benefits of learning and development, they engage actively in the firm. Thus, employee training is directly proportional to employee engagement.