Seven Best Practices for Cultivating Engagement in You Organization - Business Results
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Seven Best Practices for Cultivating Engagement in You Organization

Seven Best Practices for Cultivating Engagement in You Organization

Disengagement within a company can exact a hefty toll on both financial resources and morale. When employees are disconnected from their work, the ripple effects can have a significant impact productivity and revenue. Research conducted by The Predictive Index® found that a mere 20 percent of employees feel truly engaged in their work. To reverse this trend and harness the full potential of talent, organizations can embrace the following seven best practices, which have proven effective in nurturing high levels of engagement.

The first step is to embrace a purposeful culture. People want to know that their work has meaning. Cultivating a culture rooted in purpose is essential for fostering a sense of belonging and commitment among employees. It’s not enough to just create a lofty vison and mission statement or to list a set of values; they must be lived and breathed throughout the organization. Leaders must ensure that these principles are integrated into every aspect of the workplace, from daily operations to employee recognition initiatives. How do you recognize and reward people for living those organizational values? Look for ways to allow employees to also recognize their peers for embracing these organization ideals.

Leading by example is critical when you lead with your values. We know that leadership sets the tone for organizational culture and that people will model what they see. When the higher-ups say one thing but do another, people notice that too. Leaders at all levels must embody the values and principles they espouse. For instance, honoring boundaries such as refraining from sending emails outside of business hours communicates a genuine commitment to work-life balance. If you say accountability is a core value, but no one holds themselves accountable, and others consistently fail to do what they need to or perform as expected, well, that’s setting up the company for disaster.

Another thing, you must remember that employees are more than robots who’ll be in one job forever. They aspire to do more and to grow beyond their roles within the organization. Invest in understanding their personal and professional goals, and provide opportunities for learning new skills and competencies for both career and personal development. Managers, all leaders really, should make sure that regular check-ins with direct reports create space for honest conversations about progress and areas for improvement.

As much as possible, show all career paths available. Clarity regarding career advancement is crucial for employee engagement. Provide transparent career progression frameworks that align with individual strengths and ambitions. If traditional paths are limited, explore creative avenues for skill development and lateral moves across departments. One Business Results client has all jobs in the organization listed including skills, education, competencies, etc. that are required for each role. Another small company client that doesn’t have as many roles or career paths still provides in-house training and encourages employees to acquire new certifications while knowing that some people will leave. The owner says he has very little turnover and even has had people not accept job offers from other companies because the culture of caring that they have created is just not worth the money a larger organization pays.

Don’t forget your benefits. Every organization needs to tailor employee benefits to reflect the organization’s core values and priorities. Health plans, vacation, and holidays are a given, but also consider offering unconventional benefits such as charitable contribution matching or educational support, which resonate with many employees’ beliefs. Some employers are going back to an old school pension. Four-day workweeks are another option, as are hybrid work schedules. Want to really mix it up? Ask for suggestions from the current employee base.

Regularly evaluating employee engagement through a survey as well as 360 assessments are vital for understanding organizational dynamics and areas for improvement. Conduct confidential surveys at least annually to solicit feedback on the employee experience. Ensure anonymity to foster trust and openness in the feedback process. But then you must act on this data.

Gathering honest feedback and then ignoring it is a huge mistake that too many organizations make. Measurement alone is insufficient without meaningful action. Develop action plans based on the feedback, both at the organizational and managerial levels. Set tangible milestones to track progress and incorporate engagement-related metrics into ongoing assessments.

By embracing these practices, organizations can cultivate a culture of engagement that empowers employees to bring their full selves to work, ultimately fostering innovation, resilience, and sustained success. Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help.