It’s a tough being in management or HR.
What with everyone assuming that employee engagement or often the lack thereof, rests squarely here.
The truth is that employee engagement is a joint effort.
While engagement ultimately will navigate from the top down, employee engagement is a holistic model, one where everyone plays a vital role.
Engagement isn’t only something innovative tech companies do, it’s something that belongs to all of us. We all deserve to, regardless of generation, occupy jobs that we love and that make us feel valued.
Studies have shown that managers impact engagement variance quite significantly - up to 70%!
Because they control the environment and set the culture for employees to succeed and thrive or fail and wilt.
This is particularly true for direct managers who have a big impact on employee motivation on a daily basis. That being said, employees also play an important part in becoming engaged because engagement is a choice.
The choice to engage
Employee engagement is personal.
That’s why people experience workplaces differently.
In the case of managers who control the environment and set the culture, employees are responsible for controlling their own immediate environment and owning their engagement on a day-to-day basis.
This can be done by assuming ownership of their work and performing above and beyond i.e. applying innovation to address challenges.
Employees are vital in shaping workplaces, particularly company culture. Workplaces need to meet employees’ emotional needs hence engagement being so personal.
Employees desire a sense of purpose and that’s why frequent feedback as it relates to job performance is critical as it delivers a sense of achievement that reinforces their sense of purpose.
When employees have the necessary tools to do their jobs, they know what’s required of them, they’re given opportunities to grow, and their opinions seem to matter, then the engagement environment becomes easier.
For the individual, undue stress is eliminated, they feel valued, they feel heard, and positively challenged. This will lead them to play a more active role in nurturing their own engagement.
Why everyone is responsible for employee engagement
Real-time employee recognition supports a long-term employee engagement strategy.
This frequent company-wide communication provides the enablement for employees to support and recognise each other, creating a positive workplace at an individual and team level.
Employees want open, transparent communication.
Employees who are valued enjoy their work and are empowered to contribute to creating a positive workplace.
But who is really responsible for employee engagement?
Everyone in the company has a different role to play when it comes to engagement and therefore every person and team is responsible.
Here’s how to get everyone on board:
Right at the top you have the leaders - these are the employee engagement influencers and advocates for the company’s engagement initiative.
For the initiative to be successful it is imperative that leadership buys into and fully supports it. To ensure continuous buy-in create a framework, set goals and frequently communicate the data - what’s working, what’s not etc.
Managers play a pivotal role in individual and team engagement.
It is very important that they regularly analyse engagement levels, and provide feedback to teams whilst identifying opportunities to engage.
Managers are people and every now and then we need a nudge to keep our responsibilities on track.
A good tip is to link specific employee engagement outcomes to managers Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
As part of their job descriptions; managers are expected to lead, coach and manage their teams - perhaps a workshop relating to team performance and engagement could kick-start their buy-in to the engagement initiative.
Employees are your company ambassadors - they are the first people your customers interact with and offer a true reflection of your company’s current employee experience.
The truth is disengaged employees negatively impact your customer experience.
Engaged employees are the lifeblood of any business. They positively engage with their colleagues, new recruits and to customers. They are motivated to bring about change and want to be part of its growth.
One of the best ways to challenge employees to contribute to their employee experience and to get their buy-in for your employee engagement initiative is to hold regular employee focus groups.
Often employees feel like their contributions or opinions don’t matter. This is why the focus groups need to specifically unpack their concerns relating to their voices being heard and that the leadership and management is committed to addressing these concerns to bring about a positive change in the workplace.
A word to Human Resources - It is important that your entire team fully understands their role in the company’s employee engagement initiative.
Ensure that you set goals and measures with clearly-defined accountability. Human resources must walk the walk and talk the talk for everyone else in the organisation to buy into the initiative.
The workplace is a community - for leadership, management, teams and individuals. People perform best and are more engaged when they feel included and valued.
So the answer to the question; Who is responsible for employee engagement? It is everyone’s responsibility because it needs all of our buy-in.
We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of obtaining buy-in for your engagement initiative and why engagement isn’t a consideration for a dark office in the corner but rather something that requires input from all.
Let us know how you obtain buy-in from all stakeholders for your employee engagement initiative.