If you see your budget as a barrier to employee engagement, you’re not alone.
If you see your budget as a barrier to employee engagement, you’re not alone. In fact, Employee Benefits polled employers on the subject, and 47 percent said the cost of engagement was an obstacle. The poll also found the following:
- 44 percent of respondents named time and resources as a snag in employee engagement efforts.
- 31 percent of respondents referred to senior management as a hindrance.
Employee engagement is a top-down effort. It relies on management to regularly and honestly connect with staff. Training opportunities, consistent feedback, and transparency are all components of this sort of workplace culture.
The Value of Face-to-Face Interaction
Utilising digital communication and prioritising face-to-face meetings are two affordable ways to improve engagement. When teams at global companies frequently work with one another from various locations, it often can become challenging to replicate the effectiveness of in-person meetings. Given the cost of international travel can be prohibitive for organisations, using technology such as video conferencing tools can not only encourage employee engagement but also greatly improve the quality of it.
Leveraging mobile devices can also help employers effectively engage staff on a budget. With an increasing workforce that works remotely, being flexible both on the locations and devices employees use to communicate with the rest of the team can make for a better work environment. It also demonstrates that the employer is flexible in meeting the needs of employees in return for their work.
An Open Door C-Suite
When senior-level staff makes engaging employees a priority, the effort will trickle down. Leading by example, executives that communicate greater initiatives, and how the efforts of less of senior employees align with these initiatives, foster a highly engaging environment. Beyond enabling more vertical collaboration within the corporate hierarchy, executives can also improve retention rates and attract millennial candidates, many of whom reject corporate cultures lacking transparency.
In corporate communication and marketing efforts, social media can prove to be valuable in fostering engagement with both employees, as well as customers. It gives the brand a face and, when executed properly, communicates company initiatives and values in transparent and even inspirational ways. In a recent annual Social Media CEO report from CEO.com and Domo, 39 percent of CEOs were found to be active on at least one social media platform. This is an increase from 2012, when Forbes polled Fortune 500 CEOs and found only 7.6 percent were active on Facebook and only 4 percent on Twitter.
This effort to build relationships in the workplace can ultimately improve retention and job satisfaction. Both within and outside of the workplace, demonstrating and establishing trust lays a foundation critical in building relationships. Relationships that are mutually beneficial not only benefit the employees and teams involved, but they also benefit the organization as a whole.
Relationship building is also strengthened by visibility into others’ efforts. An honest feedback loop between departments eliminates qualities of a toxic work environment like gossip. Feedback, even when criticism, should be provided by both parties in a professional manner, with an intent to develop a solution that will ultimately move the business forward.
Lack of Engagement’s Cost
Hesitancy to invest in training employees to foster more engagement is frequently due to cost. The ROI on such training, however, can be astronomical. A Gallup poll found that disengaged workers cost US businesses between $450 and $500 billion annually.
Even without a proper budget to directly address a lack of engagement, elements of each of these tactics can be layered into an organisation over time at minimal cost. Start with actions, processes, and suggestions that won’t impact your budget, but that also have measurable results. If the results indicate an increase in employee engagement (as well as its correlated benefits), these findings can be used to gain executive buy-in and, ultimately, the proper budget to scale these efforts throughout the entire organisation.
Millions of dollars are being invested in training each year. But how are organisations measuring the effectiveness of their training, especially soft skills training like sales? At Richardson, Eileen Krantz, Vice President of Client Analytics, has discovered that some clients believe that there is just an inherent value in providing quality sales training, others are more concerned with just aligning training with the sales strategy, and some develop a comprehensive measurement strategy to isolate the financial return on their investment.