Engaged employees are the linchpins of a thriving organization. They're not your run-of-the-mill employees. In fact, they're the heart and soul of the workplace. Engaged employees are those who don't just show up to collect a paycheck. They invest their emotions, enthusiasm, and commitment into their work and the mission of the organization. They consistently deliver and contribute positively to the overall work environment.
What defines an engaged employee?
An engaged employee is more than just a worker; they are someone who feels a deep connection with their work, their team, and the organization they are a part of. They exude genuine enthusiasm for their job, demonstrate commitment to the organization's objectives, and are willing to invest their time and energy to ensure its triumph.
Characteristics of Engaged Employees
Passion for Their Work:
"Passion" is still an abstract. What does that look like at work? Those employees are notable because they bring new ideas. They are problem-solvers (not problem-finders!). They know the competition and field. They take on challenges and invest in themselves professionally. They consider their teams and prioritize collaboration.
Commitment to the Organization:
Engaged employees are advocates for an organization, talking good about it both at work and outside of the workplace. They are punctual and respectful at work. They express a desire to learn, take on stretch tasks, and prioritize teamwork above their personal agendas. Their work aligns with the organization goals.
Yes. We all love The Devil Wears Prada, but really, nobody wants to work with them. Grumbly, irritated, and negative employees can bring a workplace down. Simply put, they are toxic. Engaged employees bring light and positivity to the workplace. They are punctual, reliable, take responsibility for their mistakes, and hold themselves accountable for work that needs to be done. They conduct themselves with integrity.
Productivity and Excellence:
Engaged employees are flexible and resilient to changes. They are problem-solvers. They consistently show up and bring their best. They strive to learn and improve their teams. They are comfortable with the uncomfortable, and will get out of their 'zones' for the good of their teams and the organizations overarching goals.
Proactive Problem Solvers:
Three key characteristics of a great problem solver are persistence, intelligence, and empathy. Where others see problems, these employees see opportunities. they don't shy away from challenges and collaborate to find solutions and improve processes. They don't rush into solutions instead define the problem, identify the causes, collaborate with others to come up with a solution, and implement solutions.
They actively seek opportunities for learning and development, both for personal enrichment and professional advancement. They sign up for MOOCs, conferences, and ask their managers for shadowing and cross-department collaboration opportunities.
Why Engaged Employees Matter:
Engaged employees are the lifeblood of an organization.
Engaged employees are inherently productive. They consistently invest the effort needed to achieve their goals and drive the organization forward.
Higher Retention Rates:
They're less likely to leave their positions. Their strong connection to the organization makes them committed to staying and growing with it.
They provide exceptional customer service. Their passion and dedication shine through in their interactions with customers. This leads to brand loyalty.
Innovation is a tenet of successful, agile organizations. Engaged employees are more inclined to think outside the box. Their enthusiasm fuels creative thinking, leading to fresh ideas and contributions that promote the organization's growth. Also, they help organizations become more resilient during difficult times.
Improved Workplace Culture:
Engaged employees get to know their coworkers on a personal level. They are creative. They celebrate their colleagues, and show up for them. They participate in decision-making, offering candid, respectful feedback. They are willing to listen to others' ideas and come to a consensus about the best path to take for the good of the team and organization.
How to Foster Employee Engagement:
Employee engagement is a shared responsibility between employees and the organization. Last blog we discussed, at length, what drives employee engagement. Here, we'll discuss five ways to build a healthy organization culture:
This is a tall order and organizations need to take leadership seriously. Effective leadership involves inspiring and guiding a team toward a common goal, fostering open communication, and adapting to changing circumstances with agility. It requires setting a compelling vision, leading by example, and empowering others to achieve their full potential. Effective leaders prioritize teamwork, accountability, and continuous improvement to drive success in their organizations.
MAKE THIS A PRIORITY! And plan it. A corporate communication plan is the framework for how an organization shares messages both internally and externally. Internal communication can include newsletters, staff meetings, messaging platforms, one-on-one meetings, informal encounters. External communication includes press releases, blog posts, the website, brochures, email, and more.
Recognition and Appreciation:
Recognize and reward outstanding performance. Show genuine appreciation for employees' contributions through verbal praise, bonuses, promotions, or other forms of acknowledgment.
Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Offer training, development programs, and career advancement paths to keep employees motivated and engaged.
"Burning the midnight oil" comes from an English Poet and a book he published in 1635. And we think it should be left there. Setting clear boundaries and sticking to them is an incredible way to value your employees, their time, and their lives. Work isn't life, instead a part of it.
Bottom line? Engaged employees are the backbone of any successful organization. They bring passion, commitment, and a positive attitude to their work, driving productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, and a thriving workplace culture. Investing in developing a culture of engagement is not only good for your people, but it's also essential for your business.
"“People want to know they matter and they want to be treated as people. That’s the new talent contract.” --Pamela Stroko