Employee engagement is about allowing staff to have input, choice and flexibility.
For example, flexible working does not suit everyone. Various studies have shown that many people like the routine of regular hours in a regular place. These people must have the same freedom to work how they wish as those who enjoy the freedom of flexible hours and places of work.
Benefits of employee engagement also come through changing the way people work. Rather than giving people a specific role, tasks are altered with different projects. Teams form for certain projects with leaders and team members chosen based on suitability for that project. These teams are fluid and change with the next project.
But the business can go a step further and work with different staff at different levels. Some may be happy to work on a freelance basis, with a variety of contract options. This means core staff can be augmented by specific skills on an as-needed basis, giving the organisation even more flexibility and cost-savings.
Employee engagement should be in your DNA
However, it is not just about the working practices, it is also about organisational intelligence. Every individual has specialist skill sets relevant to the business. So harnessing and developing those skills becomes an important part of organisational development.
But these same individuals have also accumulated knowledge about your business. Their ideas for the business and their feedback become an important part of the way the organisation works. True engagement is about two-way dialogue. And taking notice of this dialogue maximises business growth, leads to innovation and helps cope with change.
Additionally, employee engagement develops your people, enriches their working lives and improves their wellbeing. In turn, this improves performance, reduces attrition rates and recruitment costs and increases your organisations value to your clients.
Engaging with the community
How many communities are you involved in? You have clients, suppliers, market sectors and locations that are all affected by the activities of your business. Your staff come from a community and you may have communities that you affect without even knowing.
So how valuable would it be to improve the skills and knowledge of the members of the community where your employees come from; to better engage from the community that buys from you; or to pay quicker the community that comprises your suppliers?
And while we are talking about suppliers, where does everything you buy from them come from? Do you have a complete supply chain audit so that you know nothing you buy involves underpaid staff or resource inefficient materials?