For many businesses, employee engagement is too often seen as ‘non-essential’ –.
But this should not be the case according to recruitment agency, Pure, who recently took a wider look at the impact employee engagement can have on businesses big and small.
It’s clear that, in the current economic climate – with companies still remaining cautious with regards to pay increases –businesses need to think more creatively around how they reward their staff and make them feel valued.
According to a report by ‘Engage for Success’, businesses that make the effort to engage and motivate employees experience a two-fold increase in annual net profits.
Organisations in the top quartile are reported to experience 18 per cent higher productivity in terms of employee output, increased customer satisfaction by 12 per cent and a 40 per cent reduction in employee turnover.
“As the competition for the very best talent hots up and the cost of retraining new staff rises, engaging with your most promising staff members has never been more important,” said Gill Buchanan, director, Pure.
As most of us know, finding top talent is a difficult task and retaining those top performers can be even harder if they feel undervalued and it would appear that businesses are beginning to acknowledge the need to adapt.
More than half (51 per cent) of organisations across the UK plan to alter their employee benefits mix to specifically attract and retain industry-leading staff.
In addition, 85 per cent of workers themselves believe that employers actually have a responsibility to look after their health and wellbeing as well as their morale. But rather interestingly, two-fifths of all UK companies offer no health and wellbeing benefits whatsoever; which could well contribute to the 131 million working days lost through ill-health in 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Culture and engagement is one of the biggest issues facing growing companies across the globe. According to Deloitte’s Culture Human Capital Trends 2015 report, 87 per cent of organisations surveyed cite culture and employee engagement as one of their biggest challenges, with half labelling the issue “very important”.
Pure have provided some top tips for employee engagement in a bid to inspire businesses to take those first steps towards creating fantastic places to work, including:
- Giving employees a ‘voice’
Take on board staff views and opinions – consider running staff focus groups to encourage employees to let you know where your business could be doing better to incentivise staff and improve productivity.
- Employee wellbeing
Consider offering employees discounted gym memberships to keep them healthy and motivated; offer support for those who wish to quit smoking; and arrange out-of-office games and activities such as 5-a-side football, badminton and squash.
- Research and development
Follow Google’s example and encourage employees to develop their skills through research and development time. R&D enables staff to hone their talents by developing their own projects at work which, in turn, can generate many great ideas for your organisation.
- Charity challenges
Develop team unity by taking part in a challenge to raise funds for charity. If your employees love pushing themselves to the limit, there’s no better way to foster close working relationships with colleagues than by pitching them together in a test of minds, stamina and willpower.
Now is the time to redefine employee engagement beyond a basic HR measure. It should become a continuous, holistic facet of an entire business strategy. If your employees enjoy their work and the environment you create, they will work effectively and have a desire to innovate, continuously improving your business output.