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Building Strong Employee Engagement

SHRM’s 2015 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey examines 43 aspects of job satisfaction and 37 factors directly related to employee engagement by polling over 600 Human Resources professionals to understand trends in their organizations. The respondents discussed their views on career development, corporate culture, engagement behaviors, and overall conditions for engagement. This survey provides important insights on what matters most to your employees, and how you can structure your HR services to exceed their needs. Once you move beyond basic compensation and benefits, what factors are most important to your teams?

Career Development & Training

In the 2015 report, 76% of employees indicated they were satisfied with contribution of their work to their organization’s business goals. Your HR team can build on this success by focusing on career development plans and offering ongoing training. Respondents scored the variety of assignments and opportunity to use skills and abilities as strong factors in employee engagement. Offering interesting and challenging projects along with skills-based training is a great way to keep your teams engaged.

Corporate Culture

The next factor that leads to long-term employee engagement is your firm’s corporate culture. The report identified that “Organizations that reinforce the “management versus non-management” mentality may create strong hierarchies, leading to cynicism, distrust and negative attitudes”, and recommend using a flat organizational structure to promote collaboration. The report also discussed the importance of open and frequent employee communications. Your HR team can use a variety of channels to keep your teams in the loop, such as team dashboards, town hall meetings, social media or electronic newsletters.

Indicators Of Employee Engagement

Another way to build strong employee engagement is to make sure team members know their efforts are valued at your organization. The 2015 report discussed the top two indicators of employee engagement as the team member’s ability to be proactive and the ability to adapt in changing situations. Your employees need to feel empowered to make timely decisions to address challenges as well as take advantage of new opportunities. Observing your teams ability to adapt to changes is another strong indication of engagement. Team members that sit back and wait for more instructions are less likely to feel satisfied with their role in general.

Conditions For Employee Engagement

For four years straight, the SHRM report showed relationships with coworkers as the number one factor leading to employee engagement. Your teams spend 50+ hours together every week, and it helps to encourage professional and personal relationships among the teams. Your HR team can support this effort by creating a schedule of social events and volunteer opportunities where everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. Other popular responses included work/life balance and flexible work schedules. Your teams need to know that they don’t have to put their lives on hold to be considered successful in the firm’s eyes. Building an environment where your teams can happily coexist and balance the demands of their personal lives will put your firm on the right track for strong employee engagement.

Whether you have an organization of ten or ten thousand, your teams want to be happy coming to work and to know that their efforts matter. The survey results were spread across multiple industries and represented all generations in the workforce. There are several ways your HR teams can enhance employee engagement through career development programs, sharing ideas and goals, and building a collaborative work environment. I urge you to read the full report and understand how the information can guide the HR programs at your firm.