10 Factors That Affect Employee Engagement And How To Fix Them
Employee engagement gives businesses the much-needed edge in the competitive market. Employees who are truly engaged in the workplace are not just satisfied with their jobs but are also likely to go that extra mile to give their best to an organization.
Engaged employees are emotionally connected to their work and co-workers, and can align their goals with the company vision which leads to increased productivity.
In contrast, employees who are not satisfied with their jobs view it as a chore and face an early burnout. This affects the company morale and leads to low productivity.
It is further bad news for businesses as it increases overhead expenses, including locating, recruiting, and training costs.
- So, how can companies avoid this?
- What are the factors affecting employee engagement?
Let us take a look at the top 10 factors that affect employee engagement.
Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?
Employee engagement matters because disengaged employees do not meaningfully contribute to an organization. Due to their dissatisfaction with the workplace, company culture, leadership, and work responsibilities, it affects their day-to-day performance.
Low employee engagement hampers company growth, productivity, and ultimately profits.
Despite the positive benefits of keeping employees engaged, very few organizations do so, due to which only 30% of employees are known to be actually engaged.
10 Factors That influence employee engagement
Employees dislike micromanagement; having leadership and management breathing on their necks with a rule book, closely monitoring everything they do.
As long as the end outcome of their decisions aligns with the company’s goal, organizations should allow employees to find their own way and make their own choices. Giving them the freedom to complete their tasks in their own space will give them a sense of responsibility.
Employee engagement is influenced by a variety of factors, including communication. There will always be issues inside the organization if there is a misunderstanding between you and your employees.
To combat this, regular team meetings are crucial where everyone offers insights to improve communication. This will bring both the bottom line and leadership to come together and work collaboratively towards achieving the company’s goals.
3. Pay Structure
Salaries can be a sensitive issue but it is an unavoidable conversation. Ultimately, earning a monthly salary is everyone’s driving force in any organization. So, if there aren’t sufficient opportunities to progress in an organization and earn promotions, employees are bound to feel demotivated.
In such a scenario, discussing with your team what criteria needs to be met for a promotion is a good idea.
4. Lack of Opportunities to grow
One of the variables that contribute to employee engagement is growth opportunities. If employees see that their employers are not concerned with their career advancement, they will not put in the time or effort to learn and grow.
To avoid this, managers and HR representatives should constantly inform employees of growth opportunities within the organization and pave the path for them to work smarter and better to secure these positions.
Employees look up to their senior managers and trust them to guide them on the right path. Managers can create positive employee engagement by being a mentor to them. It makes employees acknowledged and cared for.
6. Peer culture
When employees have a good peer-to-peer relationship, they are more willing to help out their coworkers. This is a good sign as employees then become highly responsible and engaged towards the organization’s growth.
It also leads to high productivity and healthy competition.
7. Type of job
Employee engagement increases when they are provided assignments that interest them. Managers could also engage employees in tasks that give them a healthy challenge provided that they align with their experience and qualifications, of course.
Employees need to be recognized for their hard work and efforts. Companies that prioritize recognition and award their employees with promotions, incentives, or corporate gifts are better positioned to succeed in their employee engagement manoeuvres.
Relevant read: We’ve put together a giant list of unique corporate gift ideas for 2021.
An interesting point to note here is that employees who have a strong bond with senior management are more likely to be engaged. So, getting recognized by seniors can have a positive impact on employee engagement.
Employees work together in sync towards the organization’s goals. Keeping them aligned towards the bigger picture directly contributes to employee engagement and impacts productivity.
10. Cultural Diversity
In a generation full of multicultural diversity, we need to have the same environment on the office floors too. A good cultural diversity happens when companies hire employees from various backgrounds regardless of their religion, culture, and ethnicity.
Hiring a diverse group of people brings many benefits to organizations as every culture has a different thinking process. The sheer amount of creativity and work ethic this brings to an organization is beneficial for companies in the long run.
Steps to Improve Employee Engagement In Your Organization
Employees are the lifeblood of every business, and successful firms understand this. Satisfied employees bring positivity and zeal to the work environment. They also contribute to generating high revenue for the organization.
To ensure companies reap the benefits of employee engagement, here are 4 steps they can take to improve engagement in the workplace:
1. Invest in your employees’ well-being
Apart from increasing employee engagement, managers should look into catering to their employees’ well-being. It is equally essential because poor well-being leads to faster burnouts which make employees quit sooner.
Investing in employee assistance programs and employee health insurance are a few steps the organizations can take to improve the well-being of the employees.
Employee assistance programs can make sure the employees are helped with their personal problems that are affecting their work performance. For instance, trained therapists can help them with their mental health problems. In the case of health insurance for employees, it makes sure the employees are financially stable in case of any medical emergencies.
Managers could also ask themselves if: Employees are working longer hours than usual? Are people coming to work despite being sick? Physical and mental health are both equally important factors that contribute to employee engagement.
2. Ask for feedback
Managers should cultivate a habit of taking feedback from their employees periodically. Feedback may not be physical. It can be anonymous forms where employees can be confident about sharing their opinions and grievances. Feedback is crucial as managers will identify where they need to rectify their strategies to create a healthier working environment.
3. Transparent communication
When organizations grow, bonds tend to get weaker as everyone gets engrossed in their tasks. This leads to communication happening only over emails and Slack, where transparent communication is just not possible.
Cultivating a habit of having verbal, face-to-face conversations with your employees is a good way to improve their engagement and keep them in the loop. For example, it could be anything from work-related discussions to celebrating a colleague’s birthday.
4. Employee recognition
Organizations should recognize their employees for the work they perform. Employees who get recognized for their achievements feel heard and that makes them always give their best. If you do not recognize your employees on a timely basis, they will feel dejected and may lose interest in their tasks.
FAQs on Factors Affecting Employee Engagement
1. Why is it difficult to engage employees?
It has become a challenge to engage employees as employees split into two teams, i.e., the engaged and disengaged. It results in negativity. Another factor is the generation gap.
Newer generation employees have an entirely different thought process compared to the previous working generation.
2. Is low employee engagement bad for organizations?
Absolutely. Employees who are not engaged willfully in the growth of their organization are uninterested in achieving any goals on a personal and professional level. Low employee engagement harms organizations as it kills productivity and makes jobs a chore.
3. How can HR Improve Employee Engagement?
HR managers can improve employee engagement by investing in their employees both monetary-wise and towards their mental well-being. Making employees feel heard is essential to the company’s success.
4. What are the dark sides of employee engagement?
Employee engagement also has its dark side. Engaged employees who perform and get paid better unknowingly create a toxic working environment for disengaged employees. This further causes disengaged employees to lose sight of their goals and eventually quit.
Taking care of your employees is essential if you hope to create a positive work culture in the organization. Employees who are positively engaged tend to be more disciplined and productive.
Follow these employee engagement strategies to manage engagement at job roles and get the best out of your employees.
Srikanth Acharya is the founder of Offineeds, a leading corporate gifting company in India. He is on a mission to help organizations, HR managers to improve through home Delivery of corporate gifts, new joinee kits, brand stores & rewards programs.