How to increase employee engagement

By Georg Tichy

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Successful businesses tend to share similar values that boost their employee engagement. A loyal, dedicated, and energized staff, working toward a common goal, is the gold standard for a happy and engaged workforce. Across size, industry, market share, intellectual property, and other economic variables, employee engagement stands out as the hallmark of a successful company. What does the engaged workforce value in their employers? Diversity and inclusion, social and environmental stewardship, and transparency in company values and practices.

In a just society, the workforce should reflect the population. In universities, high tech startups, factories, farms, the workforce should reflect the color, age, and gender of the population. If this criteria is used to judge, there is not a just society on this earth. Education influences career, and gender, age, and color effects access to education. How can business step beyond the way things have always been, into the world of the future, where everyone will have equal access to education and economic opportunity? A world in which we have access to our full human potential?

Diversity and inclusion in the workforce is a company value that is appealing to workers across ages and socioeconomic strata. Efforts to recruit and hire a qualified and diverse workforce are aided by programs such as Textio, the AI system that evaluates job descriptions for language that discourages diverse applicants. Blendoor is a merit based recruiting app that removes pictures and names from applicants CVs, so issues of color, appearance, and gender are more neutral in the application and recruiting process. But companies that engage these types of programs have already taken the first big leap–understanding and acknowledging that unconscious bias is present in most humans, and efforts must be taken and progress regularly evaluated to make sure that unconscious bias is not keeping businesses from recruiting and hiring the most qualified workforce.

With a diverse group of applicants and new hires, workplaces are putting mentoring programs in place to assist new members of the workforce to adapt to the new company culture. Navigating the social mores and expectations of the workplace are challenges that all new workers face. Mentoring programs with mentors outside the chain of command allow workers to settle into their new positions and successfully transition from school to the working world.

When a company puts the resources into recruiting and hiring a qualified and diverse workforce, and then mentoring that workforce in the beginning of their careers, several things are obvious to all across the board. The company values their people, and understands that an engaged workforce is the company’s greatest asset.

Depending on the corporate-phase of your company, you need to attract the right talent for your business-phases to ensure high employee engagement. Corporate-development can be divided into three phases with regard to its growth-factor:

  • Growth
  • Saturation
  • Decline

Your measures and recruiting profiles should match the phases. Let’s have a closer look to the phases:

         1. Strong Growth /Start-up

This phase is about establishing new ideas and reaching new heights. Important working conditions to attract talent are:

  • Open communication
  • Network-oriented
  • Project driven work
  • Trusted work environment
  • People have the right competencies
  • Celebrating
  • Innovation-oriented
  • People are hired that love to investigate new ways and processes (for the first time)
  • Hard work is OK as long you can achieve something

        2. Saturation

This phase is about preservation and modest innovation. You need people with the following talents:

  • Good developers
  • Good people managers
  • People who are more accurate
  • More love to details
  • Not chaotic – more organised
  • Not so long working hours

    3. Decline

You need to facilitate change in this phase – you have to achieve a turnraound: It’s important to attract new talent, but be aware that you have a large selfsustaining organisation. Some good ideas may come from existing organisation – but face it: they haven’t managed to improve the situation – or you haven’t given them the opportunity. Be it as it is – now you/they have to change fast.

  • Increase speed
  • Give clear commands
  • Maybe new personnel
  • Good food and drinks for motivation
  • And most important : a short term goal (no vision – but concrete goals)

Finding the right talents for each of your company development phases will increase employee engagement and motivation significantly.

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