Making sure your employees feel appreciated, valued and able to share thoughts on company strategy, all make a difference to the health of your company’s bottom line. Employee engagement is key to business success.
Why is employee engagement key to business success?
This is especially true when times are hard and the country is in the grips of a recession.
Feelings of satisfaction at work encourage staff to engage with the business and lead to increased levels of productivity.
This is why internal social media tools are being adopted by firms, from big brands to small businesses. These platforms enable conversations to flow between management and staff as well as peer-to-peer engagement.
For example, Aviva recently employed this strategy, with great results. Life business chief executive David Barral posted a question on Aviva’s intranet about how to encourage people to think and plan for the future – and received more than 300 responses in only three hours.
Of course, it isn’t solely SMEs that benefit from these types of initiatives – which is why big brands like Aviva, Sainsbury’s and BBC are utilising such an approach.
Christy Stewart-Smith, group internal engagement director at Aviva said: “Contributing to strategy gets employees excited and increases their involvement in a business. This is a pretty efficient way of squeezing out their knowledge while making them feel involved and appreciated.”
He adds that internal communication influences the external brand and that a company with strong communication channels will likely be better received by consumers. This makes sense because dissatisfied employees pervades every aspect of a business, and customers can pick up on negative impressions through customer service experiences, for example.
Sainsbury’s director of colleague engagement Jacki Connor said: “Customers can see benefits, even if it’s just a smile when they go to the checkout, or whether it’s clearer links, such as people being able to talk about provenance or how to cook something. If you do this well it has huge impact.”
Keeping communication open between management and the workforce makes a big difference, especially when the economic situation is tough and cutbacks are being made.
Connor commented: “We did some research last year asking what was important for colleagues. We found that what is happening at work and the level of trust they have in the business are very important issues for them. When things aren’t going well, staff need to hear what is happening as much as when things are going well because it’s about trust.