Three Ways to Improve Employee Engagement


You’d have to be hiding under a rock to miss the attention employee engagement has been getting in the press lately.  According to Aon Hewitt, employee engagement is the leading indicator of company growth after macro-economic conditions. Recent Gallup research found that only 13% of employees are engaged worldwide resulting in lower productivity, and less emotional attachment to the organization.

So how can employees become more engaged?  Here are 3 approaches to empower employees and improve productivity across the IT organization:

1. Foster a collaborative work environment

By encouraging a collaborative culture, employees feel empowered to contribute ideas, share information, and reach out to their networks to solve all types of problems.  Managers can share best practices with each other to solve common challenges.  Employees can bounce ideas off each other and help support those with less experience.  Chances are that someone else in the organization has experienced a similar challenge.  Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid reinventing the wheel?  Consider rewarding employees and managers who consistently help colleagues to encourage others to do the same.

2. Use surveys to get feedback and build consensus

How can you fix it if you don’t know what’s broken?  Gathering employee feedback and responding is essential to any employee engagement strategy.  From formal, annual surveys to more frequent, quick polls, information that comes directly from employees on potential issues is often most valuable. Perhaps you have an upcoming organizational change that may affect the way employees are scheduled.  Taking the temperature on how employees may react could help determine the best way to roll out the modification.  Addressing change in advance can go a long way into making employees feel more empowered and part of the overall decision making process.

3. Allow employees to help build their own schedules

This idea sounds scary to some at first.  However, the overwhelming majority of customers I’ve spoken to who have implemented self-scheduling have experienced great advancements in employee morale, less unplanned absences, and higher productivity for both employees and managers.  By giving employees more input into which shifts they work, they gain a sense of empowerment and are less likely to call out due to an inconvenient shift.  Take shift preferences and availability into consideration when planning schedules.  You can begin offering self-scheduling in phases.  Benefits can even be seen by allowing employees to select 1 or 2 shifts per week at first, ensuring adequate staffing while building an environment where employees feel valued.

What are some challenges you are facing at your organization when it comes to employee engagement?  What strategies have worked best?