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Columbia Business Monthly

Top Workplaces: Three Way to Engage Your Employees

By Energage

As we approach the turn of another year, leaders are developing strategies to improve their business. If your organization is service-oriented or otherwise dependent on people to deliver value, no doubt your strategy will include ways to engage employees. After all, it's the best way to deliver better customer service, build better products, be more efficient and enhance the bottom line.

Research shows there are three crucial dimensions of employee engagement. Missing one could be the difference between an associate who goes that extra mile to delight a customer—and one who calls in sick on opening day at the ballpark.

Engagement with the work

People need to be engaged with their job. It doesn't matter where they work or who they work with—what's important is that they find meaning in what they do and can see how their work contributes to the greater good. It's easy to spot employees who are engaged with their work. They're proud of what they do, they speak highly of their job, and they're motivated to give their best each day.

To engage your employees, start by asking them what part of their job they love most, what aspect they feel most fulfilled by, and then give them the opportunity to do those things more often. Be sure to offer authentic and consistent recognition for a job well done and encourage them to train and mentor new employees.

Engagement with the team

Your associates also should be engaged with their teams. They find great enjoyment in the people they work with day in and day out. They want to see one another succeed and don't want to see anyone left behind. Commitment to their team keeps them from hunting for a position elsewhere, which reduces turnover costs.

To better engage your teams, focus on creating an environment that fosters strong relationships. When your employees feel a strong sense of belonging, it can reduce unwanted turnover. In addition, employees who stick around are a great benefit to your organization and to your customers.

Engagement with the organization

Finally, employees should be engaged with your organization. When engagement happens, employees want to stay put, they refer your organization to others, and they're highly productive. They believe in your company values and are aligned with your direction. They believe in what you do and want to be part of it.

There are two key ways to engage employees with your organization. First, you need inspirational leaders who make culture a priority. Second, you need a strong brand that your employees feel proud to be part of.

As you finalize your strategy for the coming year, be sure to focus your efforts on engaging your people. Doing so will help them to feel fulfilled, connected and rewarded. You will reap the benefits in your culture, customer service and product quality—not to mention your bottom line.

Debbie Rosen is interim head of advisory services and health care practice leader at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 2.5 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2018. 

Energage is the research partner for Top Workplaces. Nominate your company as a South Carolina Top Workplace at www.topworkplaces.com/southcarolina. The deadline for 2020 nominations is Jan. 17.


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