“Employee engagement” is a buzzword that gets tons of press as one of the biggest drivers of an organization’s success, but many stakeholders don’t understand exactly what it means. Furthermore, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there about how to improve it and what it can do for organizations. This article aims to help you understand what employee engagement is and some of the online solutions you can use to increase it.
We are Turning, educational specialists who have been making learning more engaging since 2002. We created the e³ philosophy of equity, evidence, and engagement to help learners and instructors get more out of schooling and professional training programs. We understand that learning needs to be engaging and inclusive, and we can help organizations of all sizes effectively engage employees and make sure everyone is involved.
Employee engagement is the level of emotional investment your team members have in your organization. Engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile to help your organization pursue its goals and are more likely to stick around to share in its success.
Employee engagement is often conflated with terms such as “employee happiness” or “employee satisfaction,” but both of them are substantively different. Happiness is a subjective term that changes on a day-to-day basis, and many simple concepts such as casual Fridays could increase team happiness without having any effect on employee engagement. Likewise, satisfied employees may be content with their jobs but not inspired to spend any more energy than they need to.
Employee engagement is the most important of these three terms because its impacts are quantifiable. For example, organizations with engaged team members enjoy 21% greater profitability, 17% higher productivity, and 10% higher customer ratings according to research published by Forbes. Engaged employees are also less likely to be searching for another job, saving your organization the expenses associated with hiring and training new team members.
Engaged employees adopt your organization’s goals as their own, so you must lay out a clear plan for what you hope to accomplish and how you can get there together. For example, you could lay out a mission statement and company goals on your organization’s website and relate specific job tasks to which areas they will help accomplish. You can also encourage your employees to interact with the company on their social media channels to foster more engagement.
Your team wants to feel that you value their contributions, so take everything they say seriously. If a team member brings up an interesting idea during a virtual meeting, praise their effort and make an earnest attempt to see if it can help you pursue your goals. Employees also value feedback, so take the time to provide positive performance reviews at all levels of your organization. This is especially important for remote workers who may otherwise feel disconnected from their colleagues.
Employees appreciate efficient workflow, so try to eliminate any unnecessary steps to promote engagement. For example, asking an employee to log changes to a document manually when services such as Google Docs can track them automatically makes them feel like they’re wasting time and disengage from what they are doing.
Likewise, team members need to believe in their prospects for growth within your organization. One of the best ways to do this is to offer training opportunities that both help employees succeed in their current roles and prepare them for more responsibilities down the line. Effective onboarding can help employees feel like contributing team members right away, while helping them pursue their ambitions ensures that they have a reason to care about your organization’s future. Our e3 philosophy is a great baseline to start with.
Dojo360 is a learning engagement platform that we designed to help learners of all ages and ability levels learn new skills. Our platform supports collaborative tools such as online meeting rooms and live chat to help team members socialize even when working remotely, helping them feel connected to their colleagues and the organization as a whole. It also supports gamification elements such as badges and live leaderboards to foster friendly competition and encourage team members to think like a team.
Dojo360 supports single-source hybrid learning, making it a convenient repository for all of your organization’s training materials. Best of all, Dojo360 makes it easy to set up personalized learning paths to help your employees study the skills they are most interested in. Try it today and see for yourself how online training opportunities can positively impact employee engagement!