Defining employee engagement in the workplace

CEO and co-founder of Vantage Circle, Partha Neog writes about the importance of employee engagement in the workplace and strategies for building a people-first culture.

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Employee engagement is not a new concept. In fact, it has been there all the time, but the emphasis has increased, and organisations are now more focused on creating a workplace with higher levels of engagement.

However, the big question is how workplaces and leaders are facilitating a working employee-engagement system that is robust, flexible and scalable.

Before answering that question, we should understand why employee engagement has become so important in the workplace. What are the factors influencing engagement in an organisation?

The importance of employee engagement in the present corporate scenario

Organisations have always strived for revenue generation, values and work culture success. And these are only achievable through a workforce invested in a common goal and engaged in a way that makes the workplace sustainable.

Why has employee engagement become so critical? A Gallup report has found that 85 per cent of employees are disengaged in the workplace. That is a huge number when it comes to constantly improving engagement in a work environment. I have been in this field for quite some time now, and I have witnessed where the gaps are. Speaking from experience, one has to realise that employee engagement was a nice thing to have earlier. Today, however, it has become a necessity. There is a need to act swiftly in this new era of working and take measures to make sound decisions.

First, have a solid understanding of what employee engagement is and how it drives the organisation. Second, determine employee engagement’s ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘why’ factors.
And third, go for the best solution for the organisation.

A few of the top reasons why companies invest more in employee engagement include the following:

Increased productivity — Engaged employees are the best performers and generate the desired outcome.
Higher retention rates — Employees love the workplace and are positive about their work culture.
Enhanced customer satisfaction — Employees who feel satisfied with their work invest more time and energy. As a result, resolving customer queries and difficulties becomes the top priority, increasing customer satisfaction levels.
Satisfied employees — When employees are engaged, they are satisfied with their leaders and the work culture. One of the key factors is the timely appreciation for all the good work they do.
Lower absenteeism — Engaged employees are more committed to their work and bring in the necessary enthusiasm to go that extra mile.
Improved Innovation and Creativity — Employees engaged in a workplace find unique solutions to problems with a different approach and become more creative with their work.

The right attitude and leadership style are critical to achieving an engaged workforce. There is no need to try very hard. All that is required is to have the right action plan and work towards successfully implementing it.

Employee engagement across all industries and types

Since the inception of our platform, the aim has been to improve the overall picture of employee engagement by doing something revolutionary. We are trying to cover all the industries and types that exist in the corporate world by creating a solution that fits everyone.

The idea has been fruitful till now, and we are expanding as much as we can by strategising and evolving our product by making it more flexible and easy to use. The biggest factor has been the client feedback, which gives us a clear idea of where to improve as a platform. It allows us to work on the shortcomings and brainstorm many ideas that will increase the overall usability of the platform.

Improving employee engagement with a people-first culture

As per studies, a significant 72 per cent of businesses agree that recognising fellow employees does impact engagement positively. Employee recognition has been the driving force behind a workplace that has achieved a people-first culture. They emphasise on their employees and cater to their growing need for appreciation without giving any second thought. But what exactly do we mean by employee recognition?

Employee recognition is the act of acknowledging the employees for their contributions and dedication. The contribution can be anything from daily tasks, teamwork efforts, ideal behaviors, or how they do things.

Often, organisations tend to blindly dive into their recognition programme. So, to better assist them, we created a tool to tackle the roadblocks while designing an employee recognition programme and building a solid foundation. The tool aims to provide a quantitative assessment of a recognition programme through which organisations can take actionable steps in making better decisions to improve recognition.

The AIRe framework is Vantage Circle’s proprietary methodology for designing and assessing recognition programmes. Short for Appreciation, Incentivisation, Reinforcement, and eMotional connect, AIRe, as a tool, is developed on these four essential pillars that enable companies to drive engagement in the workplace.

Recognition is not the only building block for a solid employee-engagement framework. Employee well-being is a critical component as well. It is important to create a safe working environment where employees feel comfortable approaching their peers and managers. Therefore, leaders must embrace mistakes made by employees and provide them with learning opportunities. This will allow them to create a workplace culture that values employees’ thought process and boosts employee confidence.

Furthermore, measuring employee experience is a tedious task. One must cater to their needs, listen to what they say, and empathise with them in order to do so. That is only possible by paying attention to employee feedback, which is another essential component of employee engagement. Giving employees an equal voice will make them feel empowered and valued, which is necessary for long-term engagement.

Expected changes in the employee engagement scenario in organisations

The main goal of Vantage Circle’s holistic and structured approach is to achieve authentic and impactful recognition. The authenticity of recognition is realised through leadership’s focused commitment, inputs, and investment aligned with execution. Our platform ensures that recognition is impactful to the core by linking desired behaviours with business objectives, optimising programme design, and focusing on measurability and ROI.

We have been taking a comprehensive approach to workplace culture and practices by addressing both the employer and employee perspectives, resulting in a virtuous cycle of workplace culture and practices. The structured approach ensures that the recognition programmes align with the company’s core principles by repeatedly reinforcing the company values through the defined metrics.

The author, Partha Neog is the CEO and co-founder of Vantage Cirlce

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