When it comes to employee engagement, you have a few options as to how you can execute. One of those options is to do nothing. If your company culture is “work only”, and doesn’t offer much in the way of cultural outlets, then you can choose to not consider your employee engagement as a cost savings measure. For some this can mean a minor cost saving on the bottom line, year on year. However, the cost of doing this could be far greater than the simple implementation cost of using an employee engagement program.
For instance, if you lose your newly recruited employees to lack of engagement, the costs can blowout. The first six months in an employee’s time is crucial, with 90% of newly recruited employees deciding to stay in an organisation within this period. With a lack of emphasis paid to employee engagement, only 24% of employees in Australian workplaces are engaged, whilst 16% are actively disengaged. The Gallup Report which discovered the paucity in employee engagement stated that this costs $54.8 billion of the Australian economy annually.
A new employee sets out with the right intention. They seek a simple recruitment process to get them into the right role for them, and then to be able to perform the requirements of their job without letting the company or their team down. When they feel these goals are not attainable, they become disengaged. So how do you stop the cash drain and keep your employees engaged?
The simple answer is culture, but the implications of this become a little more complex.
The importance of company culture
Your internal brand, and how you implement it, is key in recruiting and retaining effective employees. Having a good understanding of your company values and what they represent can lead to asking candidates about their own personal values aligning with your company values during the recruitment process.
This strategy enables you to recruit candidates who are the right “fit” for your company. Not only will they get along with other employees, but the sense of teamwork at a department and company level will be enhanced.
Additionally, recruiting candidates who uphold the company values as their own personal values are likely to champion the company culture when representing it to clients. These engaged employees are your money makers, your salespeople, and they should be highly valued in the recruitment process, potentially even above qualifications and academic achievements.
Trust and understanding
Developing a good rapport with your employees as management, being transparent or promoting trust and understanding should be part of the company culture in some shape or form.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your employees is incredibly valuable, as it prevents disengagement. You should ensure that all employees feel heard and valued and that any grievances they may have can be heard openly.
Gratitude and respect
Calling out your employees for their good work is another essential aspect of a positive work culture, and this should be represented in your company values in some way also. You should keep track of your employees achievements and regularly make a point of thanking them in front of their peers. This cannot be understated. Though you may give financial rewards for good work, verbally thanking your employees is extremely effective in reducing workplace stress in a way that cannot be generated by providing financial reward.
Though the Australian economy appears to be a crisis of disengagement, you can stop your company from falling prey to the same fate by improving your company culture in the aforementioned ways.