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Employee engagement is the degree to which employees feel enthusiastic about their work, are highly committed and put their best effort in the growth of the business. As employees are backbone of any business, so employee engagement not just meant for running your business smoothly, but also helps in overall success.
Engaged employees are focused, full of energy and always present in the situation. They are constantly ready to do more than what is expected out of them as they feel connected with the purpose of the business. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees outperformed their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
Assume you have a small business employing 10 people. Because of the size of the business, your employees work in a tight knit team where they know each other very well and all are committed for business growth.
You can encourage employees to be engaged and be more productive in following ways:
Regular and open communication, listening effectively promotes unity in the small business by breaking barriers. This will boost their morale and productivity. Engaged employees are 51% more productive (Harter, J.K., Schmidt, F.L., & Hayes T.L., Psychology, 2002 Vol. 87, No. 2) and outperform 20-28% more (The Conference Board, 2006).
As a result, employees become more creative, engaged and happier. They would like to come to work every day. Engaged employees take an average of 2.7 sick days per year, whereas disengaged take 6.2 (Gallup research). Another research by Marks & Spencer carried out on their employees found 25% reduced absenteeism when their employees were engaged.
It is important for employees to feel appreciated when working hard on key projects. Simply thanking for their efforts in a team meeting, rewarding them by small gifts, setting up awards like ‘employee of the month’, ‘top performer’ make them feel valued for their work, boosts their motivation and hence, they get engaged. According to Bersin & Associates, companies that have recognition programs are highly effective in improving employee engagement and lowering voluntary turnover by 31%.
As every employee is unique, understanding their needs can improve their productivity and motivation. It is vital for a small business to nurture relationships with their employees and providing respect and flexibility can bring job satisfaction and hence, engagement. According to The Centre for Creative Leadership 2009, employees with high degree of trust in management are more committed by 80% in comparison to employees with low degree of trust.