6 Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Engagement

18 Jun 2016

Rebecca D'Souza

Rebecca D'Souza is the former editor of award-winning digital magazine, Manufacturing Global, and a journalist for Retail Digital. She now works as a freelance writer covering topics relating to SMEs.

Encouraging the best out of your workforce is a learning curve and one that should be met with as much enthusiasm and caution from both management and employees. With a reported 70 percent of employees in the U.S. reporting job dissatisfaction, establishing trust and enticing commitment from employees has never been a more pressing issue in relation to the success of a business. Effective communication is often the most obvious cause for workplace accountability, and consistency in productivity can only be fostered by positive relations in the workplace.

Follow these top recommendations for best understanding the benefits of maintaining positive employee engagement for small to medium enterprises (SMEs):

Let your employees know they’re valued

Letting those you work with know they are appreciated can make all the difference in how they respond to the tasks you provide them. Likewise, bosses like to know that their investment in employees is being appreciated. Beginning a dialogue on the positive and negative aspects of the everyday working situation between all levels in a workplace will only improve current conditions. Again, the role communication plays in monitoring a company’s progress is always best put into regular workplace practice.

David Rozee, the managing director of Triark Pumps, a distributor of Sandpiper Pumps, is a firm believer in rewarding employees for their hard work in order to keep them positively engaged and performing at their optimum level. As an SME operating in a technical area, Rozee understands that it is cheaper to retain top talent than sourcing new talent and training them from the beginning.

“If your company is growing, it is important to make sure your best staff are coming on the journey, too, and are being rewarded for their input. If your employees go the extra mile then you, as the business owner, should be prepared to do the same for them,” Rozee said.

This mutual respect between staff and management is a surefire way to keep a good relationship with your employees and makes sure they remain engaged.


Also on StartupNation.com: Engagement in a Digital World


Understand your employees’ perspective

A recent Willis-Towers-Watson survey found that while in many instances employers are aware of what their employees want out of a job, the basics of salary and job security topped the list of employee’s perspectives. Employers showed career advancement opportunities topping the list of what they thought their employees wanted out of working for the company. These opinions show a basic misunderstanding between employer and employee, as it seems many employees value the opportunity of continuing a career at a company that offers them the basic advantages of their labor. By capitalizing on what is a shared interest, the continuing success of a company for both management and staff workplace relations can improve and in doing so directly relate to financial progress.

Organize a training weekend to improve relationships

Various companies specialize in providing training weekends designed to improve relationships between management and staff. At the center of these weekends are activities which highlight positive attributes which employees can bring to their work. Benefits of these weekends range from increased levels of attendance with a noticeable decline in staff sick days, productivity and performance gains, generally higher levels of motivation and, most crucially, lower levels of staff turnover.

Communicating employee engagement

Although listed above are straightforward examples of ways to communicate with employees in an engaging, positive and productive manner, issues of a more complex nature may arise out of this engagement. A recent article in “The Guardian” stressed that although employee engagement is absolutely crucial in maintaining a dedicated workforce in today’s difficult employability climate, employees themselves are best understood as individuals rather than types of workers. Issues that can result from employee engagement practices are best discussed before steps for engagement are taken.

Employees are individuals who think and work independently

Even with the very best of intentions, research indicates that in today’s business climate, employees place their own well being in front of the success of their employer’s company. Employees seek satisfaction by finding positions that will cater to their realistic expectations, while employers seek satisfaction by hiring employees whose work will cater to their idealistic expectations. Employers should always stress the work ethic and needs of individual employees more than it does the priorities of the company. While the bigger picture is the company’s financial development, this will be an increasingly slower process if employee dissatisfaction leads to regular staff turnover and irregular quarterly breakthroughs. SMEs cannot afford many changes in their recurring lineup if they want to see regular growth.

A company must show interest in the skills of its employees

Successful businesses are made up of many facets, and although the importance of a company’s positive image can be stressed in terms of customer base, a positive attitude towards employee engagement should be equally stressed. No business owner would like to think that their company’s image and the services they provide left a negative impression on the customers they encounter. Why should a different attitude exist in terms of a negative impression left by employees working for the company? Value should be insisted on as an MO for any small to medium business; if you believe your company can deliver value to potential customers, then being an employee for your company should be a position which is valued by your existing staff. Engagement, effective communication, evaluation and trust should be the foundations of management and employee relations. Ensuring these are in place provides the safest means of progressing forward as an SME in today’s constantly fluctuating employability climate.

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