When a business owner thinks about losses in productivity and/or revenue, the usual suspects always come up security breaches, changing market conditions, the economy, etc.
One thing owners may not consider, however, is a disengaged work force. But, according to Jessica Galardini, the president and COO of JRG Advisors, the management company for ChamberChoice, a disengaged work force can be a company’s death knell if not properly handled.
“The investment we make to attract, retain and develop talented employees is significant and only promises to remain as a top expense,” Galardini says. “When we recognize and prioritize this cost as an opportunity and we access resources for outside-the-box benefits thinking, we can advance our employees and objectives rapidly.”
If workplace engagement is not a part of the benefits your company makes available to employees, then it should be. According to findings from the annual Towers Perrin Global Workforce Study, which surveyed approximately 90,000 individuals, it is a model to absolutely include in the strategic planning process for your employee benefits package. Without it, your company could be plagued with unhappy and unmotivated employees.
Smart Business spoke with Galardini about workplace engagement, how to implement it and why doing so is so important.
What is workplace engagement?
Workplace engagement begins with an employer who genuinely has care and concern for his or her employees. It is simply not enough to just say you care or to know independently that you do. Employees need to actually see your concern for them demonstrated, and they need to feel it constantly. Employers who truly care will want their employees to benefit from the company.
How does an employer demonstrate care and concern?
The best place to begin is by listening and asking questions. The employer working toward achieving an engaged work force must have open and non-threatening communication channels that apply to everyone in all positions. It is equally as important to show gratitude, exercise flexibility and provide meaningful experiences for every individual to do something that is special and contributory to the objectives. A professional survey to gain valuable employee feedback is a great tool and starting point.
Why is it important to pay attention to this concept?
Workplace engagement inspires employees to go above and beyond. Inspired employees who are engaged deliver results in key areas of retention, growth and profitability. The consequences that result from disengaged employees can be detrimental to a company. No one strives to provide mediocre work, so it is important to acknowledge your employees’ potential and provide a work environment that promotes employee engagement.
What is the best way to begin the process?
First, make the commitment to be engaged yourself. Engagement from the top is imperative. Next, recognize that this is not a one-person process. You need to form a team that includes your senior management and supervisors, the elite performers among your work force who demonstrate good citizenship and who you see as already engaged, and a professional consultant who can guide the team and objectively measure expectations and results.
What are some of the behaviors of an engaged employee?
Engaged employees invariably speak positively about the company to coworkers, potential employees and clients, and they are genuinely proud of the company and its accomplishments and values.
What are the risks of not having an engaged work force?
Without engagement, a workplace can quickly suffer through high employee turnover, decreased productivity, lost training dollars and diminished morale. Smart leaders who develop and nurture workplace engagement will achieve an unrivaled work force of inspired employees who deliver exceptional work and who value constructive feedback, mentoring and accountability.
JESSICA GALARDINI is the president and COO of JRG Advisors, the management company for ChamberChoice. Reach her at (412) 456-7231 or email@example.com.