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To Engage or Not to Engage, It’s Not a Question with Employees

· internal comms,communications,employee engagement,engagement

Recently, Deloitte surveyed 1,300 full-time employees across the U.S. and found out that 80% of respondents think that inclusion is an important factor in choosing an employer. More incredibly, 72% of respondents said they would leave or may consider leaving an organization for one that has more of the inclusive aspect they desire.

What does this information mean? It means that more than ever, companies need to invest in employee engagement initiative to help employees feel like valued components of the organization. Bruce Maddock, CEO of TaskUs, said it best, employees do matter and companies should put people before profits. Companies that truly focus on employee engagement will see a continuous growth over time. Why? Well companies will retain talent that feels like an integral and appreciated part of the organization. Whether they’re working for a hospital or a consumer goods company, employees want to feel like they’re making a difference. Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant said,

 “People come to work for more than a paycheck, they want to feel that their contributions are making a difference. If an employer cares about your long-term growth and happiness, you’ll feel a much greater sense of purpose, and reward.”​

Make it a part of your company culture to allow your employees not only learn and grow​ but to also to feel like they’re making a lasting and profound effect as part of your organization.

Choose Your Words and Delivery Wisely

As you might be well aware of, the manner in which you deliver information is crucial ​– especially for leadership. If you’re aiming to increase employee engagement and make your employees feel inclusive, remember to choose your words and delivery wisely. Itay Talgram gave an intriguing TED Talk about the different styles of leadership as exemplified by orchestra conductors. Leaders, take note.

Tips for Employee Engagement

I recently read Ally Bunin’s summary of the PRSA Connect Conference which happens in June. She discussed the creative and innovative campaigns that different organizations are utilizing to make employees feel inclusive, including hand-written Thank You letters and ATT & T’s #SpreadTheCheer campaign. For some, a Thank You letter seems like such a small gesture but in reality, it really goes a long way. I’ve had a manager send me a heartfelt written Thank You letter after a long project and I genuinely felt that my contributions were appreciated.

Here are things to keep in mind when creating employee engagement initiatives:

  • Develop a plan and actually execute it. Create a plan and incorporate employee feedback into it. When you executed said plan, always remember to measure the impact; do not simply create a plan and not measure. How will you know what you did well and what you did not?
  • Communicate accordingly. Balance your content as there is such a thing as too much information (which might confuse the audience) and too little information (which might lose the audience).
  • Be human. Whether you go with a storytelling campaign, community initiative, or Thank You letter, whatever you choose – treat people like "valued partners in the business' success," as Erika Anderson put it, not disposable objects.
  • Always remember that the success of a business starts with employees.Shahrzad Rafati, founder and CEO of BroadbandTV, said it best,

"Creating a successful business isn’t just about having a stand-out product, true success ultimately comes down to having a team of stellar people." ​

Because at the end of the day, if your company wants to retain its unique talent – inclusion, it matters.