If getting employees engaged in their work was easy, everyone would be doing it. And, since 85 percent of the world’s workforce reports feeling disengaged from work, it’s clearly not a simple task.
But it’s not necessarily a hard one, either. By understanding what drives employee engagement, companies can develop strategies that help build engagement layer by layer. Many organizations struggle with engagement simply because their efforts aren’t aligned with what employees need. Perks like a gym membership or an office happy hour won’t make a dent if frustrating software or systemic disempowerment is making your employees miserable.
From entry-level employees to C-suite executives, everyone wants to feel excited about coming to work every day. Highly engaged employees are generally more satisfied with their jobs and 38 percent more likely to deliver above-average productivity than their disengaged co-workers. They’re also more successful, helping their companies earn 2.5 times more revenue than competitors with low engagement levels.
Organizations can harness the power of employee engagement by implementing these best practices:
When employees feel a sense of ownership over their work, they’re willing to put in more effort. Researchers have found employees who have the freedom to make their own choices at work are often more productive—and, they find autonomy more motivating than extra pay. By encouraging individuals to take ownership of their own time and resources, companies can entice their workers to engage more deeply.
“Ownership drives the team to challenge each other, take responsibility, and push the limits of what we think is possible in order to deliver the best possible product for our company and community,” says Nicolas Dessaigne, CEO of San Francisco-based search platform Algolia.
One way to create this sense of ownership is to empower employees with tools that support autonomous decision-making. Sapho Employee Experience Portal, for example, proactively delivers the right information, at the right time, to help employees make smarter, faster decisions. By leveraging machine learning to augment human intelligence, Sapho enables business leaders to place more trust in their workforce, which in turn gives employees a stronger sense of ownership over their work.
Today’s employees want to work for companies that will invest in them and nurture their growth. Across all age groups, seven in 10 workers say opportunities for training and development play a key role in their decision to stick with a job. Since nearly three in four believe a lack of development opportunities is holding them back from realizing their full potential at work, there’s clearly plenty of room for improvement in this area.
“I believe successful employees are ‘learn-it-alls’ not ‘know-it-alls’ and engagement in the workplace comes down to providing opportunity for growth,” says Nikki Schlecker, head of people at WayUp. “The best organizations recognize people are self-motivated to learn and provide them opportunities to do that.”
Offering job-related training is a start, but too many companies stop there. Sapho helps organizations foster a company-wide growth mindset with personalized notifications about training opportunities relevant to each employee. By helping individuals find development opportunities that help them meet their career goals, businesses can unleash employee potential while fostering higher levels of engagement.
Great technology can be a powerful tool for engagement—as all smartphone-absorbed people can attest. Nine in 10 employees feel more satisfied with their job when they have access to technology that helps them work more effectively. Having the tools they need to do their best increases their likelihood of engagement by a factor of six.
Unfortunately, most enterprise software misses the mark, creating barriers to engagement rather than removing them. Complex user interfaces (UI), slow response times, and steep learning curves leave employees feeling stressed and frustrated instead of empowered.
The good news is that companies can create a consumer-like, personalized user experience that helps bring out the best in each employee without having to completely replace critical legacy systems or implement new ones. Sapho sits atop existing systems, gathering together everything employees need to work more effectively and bypassing clunky interfaces with a streamlined interface that delivers a seamless and engaging experience in portal that’s accessible on any device, intranet, or messenger.
While there are many different ways to go about increasing employee engagement, some are more effective than others. With Sapho’s help, companies can use these tried-and-true best practices to help employees engage more fully in their work.