Across the U.S., employee engagement remains at an all-time low, down 26 percent since 1987. According to the most recent statistics, only 45 percent of employees are satisfied with their jobs and less than one-third feel engaged in their current position.
Although employee engagement may not seem like a huge factor, especially compared to other issues in the workplace, it could cost the U.S. economy about $370 million yearly.
Engaged employees have 37 percent lower absenteeism, 48 percent less safety accidents and 21 percent higher productivity as compared to their counterparts. They also have a 22 percent higher profitability.
Engagement should begin as soon as an employees sits down for their first interview. Using the hiring process as a springboard for engagement is an effective way to begin their overall development.
To boost employee engagement in your workplace, beginning with the hiring process, keep the following five tips in mind:
- Assess employees completely during the process: The on boarding decision-making process should include a range of factors, such as skills and experience, but also whether an employee is a “cultural fit.” When hiring a new worker, be sure to determine if he or she will work well with current employees, show an interest in developing themselves further and remaining within the company. As employee turnover remains another critical issue, be sure your new hire wants to remain on from the start.
- Gain trust: A recent survey found employees will leave a business if they do not trust their coworkers or managers. Be sure employees are able to trust both management and their decisions by enabling transparency, communication and an open forum dynamic during their interview and into their first few weeks in their position. Securing trust early on is a great way to form bonds and ensure employees are comfortable in their new role.
- Get everyone on the same page: Make sure everyone in your business understands the expected values and culture from the start. As improvements and changes are made, workers who are not in agreement should be spoken to in order to determine their place in the company. Business-wide changes should reflect an engaged culture, not just one or two separate departments. A unified front is best in terms of engagement.
- Invest in flexible benefits: Employees expect benefits, and these benefits are changing as much as the workforce is. Give prospective employees a sense of the benefits during their interview and how they will impact their overall ease into the position, as well as future happiness. Be sure benefits are flexible, such as working from home, perks for goals met and other incentives. If employees feel as if they are appreciated enough, they are more likely to remain within a business and perform to the best of their abilities.
- Provide opportunities for growth: Enable employees to step out of their comfort zone or make lateral moves by providing ongoing training and learning. Engagement is often spurred by employees working together in collaboration, developing new skills and enhancing their overall experience. If employees are aware of development from the hiring process, they are more likely to seek out these opportunities quicker than if they had no knowledge of them. Providing opportunities for growth also lets employees see what their future in the business may be like down the line.
Learn more about employee engagement and the hiring process on our website. Mastery has a range of e-learning videos available including “Respectful Workplace Communication” and “To Lead or Not to Lead: A Managers Guide to Communication and Leadership Skills.”