Developing and managing employee engagement
About the author: Szilvia Vitos is a Certified Transformational Health- & Life Coach, Founder and General Manager of LIVVITY – Maximize Your Wellbeing.

LIVVITY provides solutions to help you elevate your lifestyle by applying a 360-degree holistic approach considering physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing – on both individual and organizational levels.
Szilvia has stepped into the Health & Wellness industry following her passion after 15 years of Corporate Experience in various Executive Management roles. She loves working with people and organizations helping them achieve their goals. Her outstanding leadership and mentoring skills practiced in Fortune 500 companies made her be recognized on several occasions.

Being engaged means the state of being emotionally connected and committed to the workplace. The importance of developing and managing employee engagement is imperative for organizations.

Gallup research shows that only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs.

These figures also come with a significant financial impact on organizations in lost productivity. Alone for the United States, this number is upwards of $550 billion a year as Gallup reports show.

Knowing this gives companies an excellent opportunity to master the art of managing employee engagement.

What are the key drivers that help manage employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a key driver of a company’s success, and it can be recognized as the KPI for a positive employee experience in the organization. The more engaged employees are, the more motivated, productive, and loyal they become to your company.

Managers' behaviors account for up to 70% of the variance in employee engagement globally.

We have collected the top drivers of managing employee engagement that are essential to master in a thriving organization in 2022:

1.Purpose and meaning at work

Do employees understand the organization’s purpose and objectives and how their role fits into that?

Finding meaning at work is one of the most important aspects of developing and managing employee engagement. When employees find value in work or feel a sense of purpose at the workplace, it becomes a huge factor in self-motivation, loyalty, and productivity. An important contributor is having a clear company vision and mission to which people can connect to.

2.Personal and professional employee growth

Are employees given learning and development opportunities based on their potential?

When ambitious employees see the opportunity for future growth within the organization, they will be more engaged and perform better as it gives them motivation in form of a long-term goal to be achieved, rather than looking outside the company to accomplish the same.

3.An empathetic manager

Do managers in your organization lead by example? Do they lead with empathy, build  meaningful relationships with employees, practice active listening and be open to giving and receiving feedback?

Managers play a major role in driving and managing employee engagement, and they must create an environment where every individual can thrive. It is the responsibility of the managers to build strong relationships with their team members, serve as a sounding board of feedback and ideas, show appreciation towards each individual and help people develop and grow.

4.Effective communication in the workplace

Is there consistent and two-way communication established across all levels of the organization?

Engaging with employees in regular feedback sessions and having a clear communication plan from management can go a long way. The yearly conducted performance reviews are important, yet far not enough to drive and manage employee engagement. Leaders need to consciously make efforts in listening to their employees and take action on their validated inputs. Employees also need regular, constructive feedback from their managers and peers as well.

5.Culture of recognition and appreciation

Are employees regularly recognized for their work? Do they know how their contribution benefits the organization?

Being valued and appreciated for the contribution to the company’s success is a fundamental part of developing and managing employee engagement and plays a crucial role in productivity and higher retention. Being recognized and appreciated by managers boost employees’ morale and confidence which sparks creativity and innovation.

The managers’ role in developing and managing employee engagement

Managers’ role in developing and managing employee engagement

Managers are the primary drivers when it comes to developing and managing employee engagement. They can make the difference between a high-performing team and a low-performing one. Managers can be the best motivators and leaders when they use their power and knowledge wisely. However, they often struggle with how to create an employee-centric culture with high engagement.

Managers need to ensure that employees understand their business strategy, and how their role contributes to it. Employees must have clear direction on what is expected of them, so they know what success looks like. The relationship between managers and team members is important because this will shape the company culture and set examples for others to follow. It’s also critical that managers encourage open conversations with team members about their challenges, ideas, and suggestions so that they can help them grow professionally. Do not underestimate the power of recognition, even a simple “thank you” can go a long way and may have a significant impact in terms of employee engagement.

9 powerful steps to improve employee engagement

Improve employee engagement to build an employee centric organization
  1. Identify the current engagement levels in your organization and set strategies with clear SMART goals to achieve.
  2. Inspire employees through clear definition and communication of vision, mission, and core values. Let them become one with your brand identity.
  3. Hire the right people for the right roles. Use Emotional Intelligence techniques to filter the best candidates. Attitude is what matters the most, skills can always be learned if the “will” and “want” is present.
  4. Strengthen two-way communication and empower employees to express their ideas, opinion, or feedback in a constructive manner.
  5. Clarify roles and responsibilities in line with the employees’ skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
  6. Invest in personal and professional growth of your workforce.
  7. Recognize employees for their contributions and achievements.
  8. Establish a flexible, yet engaging work environment.
  9. Take use of modern technology to easily measure where you stand with regards to employee engagement. Remember that what you cannot measure, you cannot improve.
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” - Simon Sinek

Employee engagement is a critical ingredient of an organization’s success. Employee engagement is about a deep connection to the organization based on mutual respect and trust which automatically and positively impacts many key performance indicators (KPIs), such as productivity, absenteeism, turnover rate, employee NPS, and financial results.

So, now is the time when you sit back and think - Where does your organization stand in terms of Employee Engagement? Which of the strategies would you consider implementing to improve on that very important indicator for even more success?