Improving Employee Engagement: More Than Free Coffee


Measuring Employee EngagementThe U.S. job market is slowly showing improvement; as a result, workers are beginning to look for new and better job opportunities.

In response, employers are making greater efforts to keep their best talent—with more than just perks like coffee and donuts, or even pay raises. It is a strategy; concerted efforts in employee engagement—making employees feel like a respected part of the company.

Employees will step up a job search if they are not engaged in the workplace; the same is true for productivity. An employee that is not happy—or feels underappreciated—will not operate at a level beyond their basic job functions.

Employee involvement is as diverse as the individuals making up the business. With that in mind, no organization should use only one way to increase engagement on the job. A one-size-fits-all strategy to improve morale will soon sound hollow, doomed to failure.

What stands as the greatest challenge for human resources managers is how to measure accurately engagement. Most HR staff use staff meetings as a tool, followed by surveys and teambuilding programs.

In a recent survey, managers see one-to-one interaction among employers and workers was the most effective method to boost employee morale. Twenty-six percent of managers considered personal communication as the best way of improving engagement. Awards and acknowledgment were chosen by only 20 percent the most effective.

Money has always been a motivator for a majority of workers; indeed, over three-quarters of express pay is their main goal at work. That is certainly no surprise.

What is fascinating are those remaining employees, the 25 percent of workers who believe there is more to their careers than just money.

That leaves a question—how many top producers in your company vision forces other than money as their primary motivation? And how does a company find what makes these people tick?

Human resource management tools, such as performance reviews, are excellent opportunities for improving morale and getting to the needs and wants of employees. The review process has habitually been seen as a one way street—with supervisors commenting and critiquing employee performance. Fortunately, this approach is beginning to evolve.

Forward-thinking companies now approach performance reviews as a dialogue, something that will contribute to a deeper understanding of the goals, motivations and expectations of their workforce.

Employee engagement—the key to keeping your top performers giving you the extra effort—is more than an occasional perk, like snacks or the occasional company lunch. Winning over your staff rests on one thing—every employee should think they essential to the process; working for a company that has their interests in mind.

Engagement will never be a one way street, it is always achieved through cooperation.

Image credit: guesswho

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