Employee engagement is an often overlooked aspect of retention, perhaps because it is broader and more abstract than other metrics associated with retention such as compensation and benefits. However, engagement metrics are closely associated and correlated with productivity, retention, and employee performance.
Employee engagement, although measured quantitatively, is the emotional response, either positive or negative, that employees have toward their job. It goes beyond being satisfied with pay or with the cleanliness of the facility. It is more intangible than that. An engaged employee is happy to come to work, willing to help others, and enthusiastic about his or her job. A disengaged employee has negative reactions to the thought of coming to work, is not enjoyable to work with, and puts forth minimum effort on the job.
Managers need to maintain an organizational culture that keeps employees engaged. They should get to know the employees, find out what they like and do not like about their job, and make necessary changes to foster an employee-friendly environment. Human resources should help employees become engaged by building communication skills through workshops and team-building exercises.
Employee engagement is important to an organization because it motivates employees to do their best. If an employee is disengaged, customers will not want to do business with them and coworkers will not want to work with them. However, engaged employees will bring customers back and help projects to get done. A high proportion of engaged employees yields higher productivity and profitability. In addition, employees who are enthusiastic about their career are less likely to leave the organization.
To keep employees engaged, managers must show their employees that they can be trusted. They must be approachable, give constructive feedback, and show their employees that they care about them. The nature of a person's work affects engagement. Work should be stimulating, and employees should understand how their efforts contribute to the goals of the organization. If the work is monotonous by nature, managers should think of creative ways to bring fun to the work place. Engaging employees is an investment in the organization.
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