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Employee engagement is more than being a “yes person”

It’s natural that every employer wants their employees to feel connected to their team, to management, and to the company. A strong connection is at the heart of employee engagement, and engaged employees are crucial to the success of businesses.

Why employee engagement is important in today’s businesses

One of the most common ways to think about engagement is being willing to put in significant effort at work, or in short, to go above and beyond. According to Forbes, only 30 percent of the American workforce is engaged, and the result is a loss in productivity and efficiency that costs the United States between $450 and $550 billion a year. To engage employees, businesses should skip impractical perks and goodies, and instead focus on the core elements of a good employee-employer relationship:

  • Encouraging a team approach so workers feel connected and involved with their work
  • Meeting an employee’s needs so they feel supported, with opportunities for personal growth
  • Providing adequate training and development so employees can master their tasks and feel good about their part in the work
  • Involving colleagues in decision making and goal setting so employees feel their efforts and voices matter

Promoting employee engagement is a comprehensive effort that requires the full participation of both employees and managers.

Better communication: A powerful factor motivating employees

Imagine a baseball team with nine players, none of whom communicates regularly with the others. The catcher signals to the pitcher for a curve ball, but pitcher isn’t paying attention. Center field doesn’t notice when left field and right field are moving in closer to the pitch. There’s a player on first base, but the second baseman isn’t watching him. How successful will this team be?

Like a baseball team, being team-oriented in the workplace requires constant communication, status updates, and attention to what the other team members are doing. One way to encourage better team communication is to make sure that each employee understands where they are in the workflow. An employee who deals with purchase orders should know what needs to be done to process them, who sets the request in motion, their role in the process, and whether there are POs waiting for their approval or if they are stuck in a bottleneck somewhere along the line.

When the employee fully understands their role in the workplace—where they are involved and what they will contribute–the team overall will be more engaged, effective, and productive. Like a baseball team, better team communication builds rapport, confidence, and a sense of being valued.

The right tools are key to building better employee engagement

When we think of technology today, it’s easy to think that the sky is the limit. However, most enterprise tools that most employees must navigate have complex user interfaces, slow response times, and steep learning curves. Workers have to use an email client, such as Outlook, communicate with their colleagues via messenger clients, use a travel and expense management system like Concur to book travel or submit expenses, manage their calendar, and on top of all that—spend time looking for the information needed for work. In fact, the average employee could spend one day a week searching enterprise systems for work information. It’s no wonder employees get frustrated.

Employees want to feel empowered—and when they have the right tools, they are more likely to feel valued and engaged in their work. That’s why, nine in 10 employees report feeling more satisfied at work when they have access to technology that helps them be more effective and productive.

Help employees regain focus

Sapho Employee Experience Portal helps engage employees by intelligently surfacing everything employees need for work to any device, intranet, or messenger. Sapho, built on top of existing business systems, brings together personalized tasks and information into a single place without requiring any additional logins. As a result, workers are provided with a consistent, engaging experience that allows them to bypass clunky interfaces and focus on work that is truly valuable.

With this enhanced level of personalization, each member of the team has a clear overview of where they are in their work and what is needed to complete basic tasks, helping to improve their engagement and overall productivity. As the individual’s sense of engagement improves, the company’s goals are better achieved, and all members of the team benefit.

Spending time and resources to develop a strong team is just one aspect of creating a positive environment where employees can feel engaged. Ensuring that employees are provided with the tools and processes they need to do their best work, feel valued and part of the decision-making process, and receive support and growth opportunities are key for companies that want to improve employee engagement.

Topic: Employee engagement

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