Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

How to… boost employee engagement

18 October 2012
How to… boost employee engagement

Employee engagement, or as we like to call it, "The Big E", has a huge effect on every business - no matter what you do or how many people you employ. If people are engaged they will be more productive and likely to stay with you - thriving and progressing; supporting you; and creating a better brand, business and results.

More often than not, "The Big E" is believed to be about just motivation and job satisfaction. In reality, this is merely the tip of a rather large iceberg. An employee that is enthusiastic about their work will always act to further an organisation's interests.

Therefore, engagement goes way beyond how motivated someone is. It's a state of mind, whereby employer and employee understand and honour their commitments to one another. "The Big E" cannot be requested or demanded as part of the job; it's brought about by the employee's desire to act in the best interests of work and colleagues.

Having willing, enthusiastic and committed people simply makes good business sense. Therefore, it's vital that you ensure yourself and your people are engaged and remain so.
Emily Perry is head of commercial development at Learnpurple

Five ways to improve employee engagement

1 Find out the current situation You need to know where you are now in order to plan and get to where you want to be, so ask your people. Ask the question during your performance reviews or in your employee opinion surveys.

2 Ensure your people promise is a realityOne of the number one reasons for poor engagement levels is the disconnect between what an employer promises and what the employee actually experiences. This boils down to the people promise: the mission, values, leadership, culture, benefits and progression.

Getting this right is critical to high levels of engagement; so if you haven't already, spend some time defining. What do you give your people that you're really proud about? What could be enhanced or improved? Which areas are just embarrassing?

Next, create a list of things which you should do more of, things which should be stopped and stuff which should be introduced. Pick three quick wins and make them happen - giving momentum to achieve the rest.

3 ABCDDanny Meyer writes of his "ABCD policy" in his book Setting the Table. Standing for "Always Be Collecting Dots" - this is what his workforce does to create strong links of loyalty at his restaurants.

If you "collect dots" - that is, gather intelligence about your people, then you're on your way to creating engaged employees. Do they have family? Names? Pets? Hobbies and interests… Think about how you could collect dots every day.

4 Communicate adult to adultYour people have mortgages, relationships, children and out-of-work commitments. They're grown-ups and, therefore, should be treated as such. Listen to, consult, respect and learn from them - you'll be amazed at the impact on engagement.

5 Enjoy yourselves!Having fun seriously impacts "The Big E". Make sure the hard work is balanced with times for your people to enjoy themselves. You could organise monthly team nights out where there's a "fun budget" for activities. Or have lunch together, sharing stories and experiences.

Remember though, everyone's different, so keep it mature and sensible, making sure you're never going to offend.

Purple your people discount

Learnpurple is offering Caterer and Hotelkeeper readers an exclusive 30% (RRP £12.99) discount on Purple your People: the secrets to inspired, happy, more profitable people, from which this article was taken.

emilyperry@learnpurple.com and quote Caterer.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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