A variety of factors constitute Business to Business (B2B) growth, including generating new leads and nurturing existing customers. But one of the most important players contributing to the growth of any business is its employees. Did you know that employee engagement happens to be one of the most important yet overlooked factors that can affect your business growth?
We’ll discuss what employee engagement is, why it is important, the benefits it offers, how you can measure employee engagement, and the ways you can improve it.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement refers to the involvement, motivation, and emotional commitment of the employee to the company. This term differs from employee satisfaction – although the two terms are commonly misunderstood to be the same thing.
The difference between the two terms is that employee satisfaction is YOU are working towards keeping the human resources in your company happy. In contrast, employee engagement is the HUMAN RESOURCES working towards building the organization. Do you see the difference? In the latter, employees are treated as an important part of the company and not people who serve the organization.
Companies tend to have many employees who are satisfied with their paycheck while putting in minimal effort because they do not align with the goals, mission, and vision of the business.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
In a nutshell, employee engagement represents the employee’s dedication and passion for the business, their role, and how well they identify with the company’s culture. Hence, it is vital for a bunch of reasons when it comes to business growth.
Here are a few benefits of employee engagement:
The biggest benefit of good employee engagement is enhanced customer satisfaction.
B2B businesses, especially, depend a lot on engaging and nurturing relationships with customers. There are a lot of interactions amongst the customers and the different teams at different stages of the buyer’s journey. If your employees are happy and driven at the workplace, you can expect them to interact with your customers with the same zeal. This energy is infectious, and your customers are bound to take notice of this.
According to Harvard Business Review, companies with engaged employees had 89% greater customer satisfaction and 54% higher rate of employee retention. Your employees will stay loyal to your company and work to make sure that your customers come first, which is vital for the growth of any business.According to Harvard Business Review, companies with engaged employees had 89% greater customer satisfaction and 54% higher rate of employee retention. Click To Tweet
This one should go without saying. If your employees feel like they are a part of something great, they are bound to go the extra mile to make sure they do a good job. In other words, employee engagement will lead to your employees understanding their contribution to your organization, thus valuing the time they spend at the workplace and their work and role in your organization.
Another logical benefit of employee engagement is increased profitability. After all, if your employees are driven to bring out the best in themselves to get the best results, you will see a substantial rise in profits.
For one thing, you are likely to retain more customers, as mentioned above. Secondly, you save yourself the time, money, and trouble of having to recruit new employees. Finally, with increased productivity, you can add new products to your catalog and enhance your business.
Better Company Culture
Company culture refers to the values, vision, and attitudes that define an organization. When you have engaged, committed employees, you can expect them to help establish a company culture that catalyzes productivity and overall success.
When you deploy employee engagement strategies to boost your employee engagement, you will find that you create a culture with employees who are easy to work with.
Increased Chances of Retaining Your Employees
This is huge and ties into the point about avoiding frequent employee recruitment. It is one thing to save time and money on hiring new employees. Keeping your current well-performing employees is another advantage altogether.
Not to mention the fact that your employees are the face of your business. This is especially true for B2B businesses because customers interact and build a relationship with your employees as the representative of your company.
To your customers, the salesperson, or the customer care representative, who meets them are their point of contact, and they will always reach out to this person when they need something. Losing such an employee would mean someone else has to start from scratch to build the relationship again.
And, what if this employee joins your competitors and takes the customers with them? This is far more common for B2B businesses than you can imagine.
At a time like this, where employees have an abundance of options in the professional marketplace, it is absolutely essential to keep your top-performing employees engaged in order to increase your chances of retaining them.
Mentally and Physically Healthy Employees
It is depressingly common for employees to be unsatisfied and even frustrated with their current roles and workplace. This frustration leads to not just mental health issues but physical fatigue as well.
Prioritizing employee engagement by ensuring each employee understands the business, their roles, and the company’s direction will ensure that your employees feel how important they are to the company.
Setting up an inclusive work culture that recognizes talent and good work is critical, too, to keep your employees happy, healthy, and mentally sound.
Boosted Social Media Presence
According to a report by Cisco, a social media post by an employee about their company can generate up to 8x times more engagement than the same made by the employer. Just imagine how much social media visibility your company will have when you engage your employees and bring them into your social media picture.
So, how to utilize employee engagement to boost your social media presence?
Take, for example, this scenario, your company is launching a new product. Instead of posting about the product on your social media, you can create an appreciation post about the team behind the product. It will not only humanize your brand, but every team member will be proud to share this on their own social media channels, thus, increasing the reach of the post manifolds.
How Do You Measure Employee Engagement?
Now that you have a fair idea of the importance of employee engagement, you ought to know how to measure it.
But first, you need to know why to measure employee engagement. In other words, you ought to know what to look for when you measure it.
You should measure employee engagement for the following reasons:
- To Build Trust: Employees want to feel valued. Asking for their feedback will give them the impression that you care about their opinions and want to help them better their experience at the workplace. Measuring employee engagement builds trust.
- To Be on Top of Current Trends: Trends change all the time. Measuring employee engagement helps you keep track of what is happening in your organization and compares it to your competitors in the industry. You can use this data to identify your areas of improvement and make provisions accordingly.
- Easy Problem Solving: As you may have guessed, frequent employee engagement measurement makes problem-solving easy and efficient. Tracking this regularly can help you identify key areas for improvement, which you can share with all the departments in the organization along with measures to remedy these issues.
Ways To Measure Employee Engagement
There are several ways to measure your employee engagement. Here are some of the most effective ways:
Never underestimate the power of private conversations. If you value honesty, you are highly likely to get it from your employees, too, provided you have to ensure they feel comfortable enough to share their truest opinions.
You are especially likely to get honest answers and opinions from your employees when they know they aren’t being evaluated in a formal fashion, or they will not be penalized for telling the truth as they see it. Assuring confidentiality is crucial.
Be sure to get your managers to conduct these meetings fairly often, preferably every month or quarter. When you conduct these meetings, be sure to ask the questions you really want to ask. But more importantly, take the time to listen to what your employees have to say, even if it’s probably not what you want to hear.
As the name suggests, exit interviews are interviews that you conduct when an employee is leaving the company. An exit interview is a perfect time to ask your employee for feedback because they are likely to give it, knowing that their job is not on the line. Be sure to conduct multiple exit interviews and look for patterns in the answers you receive.
Employee Engagement Surveys
Conducting an employee engagement survey is another effective, commonly used practice to get honest feedback. It is essentially a poll to determine your employee’s commitment and what they really think of your organization based on answers and ratings they give. Be sure to let them know that they can answer these surveys anonymously.
Measuring The Vertical Relationship
The vertical relationship in a workplace refers to the two-way relationship between the employees and the manager. If you are managing employees, you’d know that they count on you for clear communication, feedback, and tasks. Measuring this relationship will help identify the areas for improvement, and in turn, increase employee engagement.
How Do You Improve Your Employee Engagement?
Now that you know a thing or two about employee engagement, the most important thing is to leverage it to boost your sales and grow your business.
But, how do you do that? There are tons of employee engagement strategies out there that you can choose from, and here are some of the best ones:
Welcome Feedback and Take It Seriously
As explained earlier, measuring employee engagement is primarily about taking feedback. However, merely taking feedback is futile unless you act on it. Here’s why:
- For one thing, without implementing the honest feedback you get, you will not see any real results, which means your organization will not grow.
- Also, if you do not take the feedback seriously, you will give your employees the impression that you are taking them for granted, which is counterproductive to your goals.
As your company grows and you onboard more employees and create new departments, it can be difficult to keep everyone in the loop, causing employees to work in isolation or small groups. If you are an HR manager, you will be tasked with taking care of company communications.
You will have to communicate with your employees regularly, feeding them the latest, whether in person or online. Besides this, be sure to find out what is going on with them, how they are finding their tasks, and if they have any issues.
The goal here is to let them know that you are watching your employees and that nobody is left out. Go the extra mile and put up posters in shared spaces about company news, an employee’s achievements or birthday, and so on.
With Covid-19 sweeping the planet, most businesses are functioning online, which means almost all employees of any given organization are working from home. So, make sure you have all the necessary digital tools to make communication easy between employees, teams, and their respective departments.
Be Clear with Your Organization’s Vision and Make Sure Your Employees Are Too
It can surprise you how many employees have no idea what their company stands for and what they want to accomplish. In a survey conducted by Gallup, 59% out of the 3,000 respondents did not completely understand what their company stood for and how they were different from their competitors.
If your employees do not completely understand what your organization wants to achieve, you cannot expect them to be completely engaged in their work. However, with a deeper understanding, they will feel closer to your brand, and this will reflect in the work that they do.
Start by questioning the senior management and the other higher-ups from time to time to check if the vision is still valid. If so, check if the company is functioning based on that vision. If not, figure out what to change and communicate the same to all your employees regularly.
Recognize and Reward Good Work
One of the main reasons why employees are disengaged is because they often feel overlooked, unappreciated, and taken for granted. This is especially true as your company grows and you onboard more employees. If an employee in a particular department performs their tasks exceedingly well, be sure to publicly acknowledge this.
Another way to remedy this issue is to introduce incentives and awards, encouraging more employees to put their best foot forward.
Assign Meaningful Tasks
Here’s another thing you can do to improve employee engagement, pushing decision-making autonomy. An integral part of increasing employee engagement is actually assigning meaningful and important work. Empowering your employees and trusting them to make important decisions is one of the most effective ways to get them to try harder and commit to your organization.
Continual, Constructive Feedback
We understand how unnerving it can be to give decision-making autonomy to your employees, especially considering that they probably have no experience of handling such work.
This is where the need for constructive feedback and support comes in. Actively supporting their individual growth through continuous feedback and creating opportunities to sharpen their skillsets is a sure-fire way to boost your employee engagement substantially.
Encouraging different departments and teams to work together on projects can increase productivity, save time, and cement friendships among one another. This also leads to creating relationships at work that can be instrumental in increasing employee engagement.
To recap, employee engagement is one of many factors that drive B2B business growth, and having engaged employees is one of the greatest assets a company could have to ensure higher customer satisfaction levels, increased productivity, better company culture, and a stable workforce.
Organizations must be proactive in their efforts to keep their employees engaged by taking their feedback seriously, assigning them meaningful work, providing support and feedback, encouraging their growth, and providing them with holistic growth opportunities.
In the past, companies could get away without these provisions. However, in the digital age, there is an endless slew of options, which means your employees are continually looking for a better deal at another company. If you want your company to dominate your niche or industry, you will have to put your employees first and let them take the helm.
While employee engagement is a significant factor to successful business growth, so is an effective marketing strategy. To learn more about the marketing services we offer, contact us at OneIMS today!