Why 2018 Is the Year of Employee Engagement

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Perhaps you heard the news, and perhaps you didn’t. Either way, 2018 is the year of employee engagement. What does this mean and how does it affect you?

What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is the effort to improve the employee experience. It may include employee benefit programs and other efforts to increase employee happiness. Why is this important now in 2018?

New studies are showing that the number one factor contributing to employee satisfaction is whether or not they feel engaged — that is, whether or not their employer cares about them and feels their contribution to the company is valued. Employee engagement is a way to meet that need and create happier, more productive employees.

The Importance of Employee Happiness and Engagement

If you’re not convinced that this is an issue, you should be aware that a recent study showed that as many as 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their existing role if someone came along with the right offer. Evidence also shows that emotionally invested employees are three times more likely to leave a positive impact on a business. Those statistics are hard to ignore. Up until now, it has been the decade of customer engagement. Now it is time to turn your attention to employee experience.

How Can You Contribute to Better Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is more than just having cake on a worker’s birthday or having an employee appreciation day, although these are good ideas. For truly effective employee engagement, you want to create a culture where your employees feel like an integral part of your operation. Strategies can include:

  • Open Door Policies – A true open door policy, where employees are encouraged to feel free to speak their minds, is a great way to promote engagement. It is possible to set up an environment where you command respect, but your employees are comfortable saying what they are thinking.
  • Feedback – By the same token, good, quality feedback in both directions is another key element in employee engagement. Employees become more engaged when they feel like they are heard and that their ideas matter. Encourage your employees to give you feedback on company policies and to bring you their own ideas. Also, be clear and direct with employees about your expectations of them.
  • Praise When Earned – Don’t ever take your employees for granted. When they do something great, let them know. Don’t forget to thank them for their work, too. If there is an opportunity to let them know how invaluable they are to the company, take it.
  • Actual Ownership – Not all companies are in a position to give employees true ownership in a company, but if you can set up a system where you can give your longer-term employees a bit of stock in the company, it can pay huge dividends for both of you. Nothing is likely to get an employee engaged more than owning part of the company that they work for.

Make your employees feel valued in 2018 — and in the future.

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