How do we engage our employees? How do we measure that engagement? Is increased employee engagement worth the investment? These are all questions I get asked all the time.
Invest in your people first
I know from experience that businesses stand to gain a lot by getting on board with employee engagement, because I have seen it at work for ten years. We started the company back in 2007 with no investor, no money and a very small team, but thanks to a highly engaged workforce we’ve been able to scale rapidly over the last decade to become the largest company in our market, working with over 1,200 clients worldwide.
Technology has made employee engagement necessary and also made it easier. The world has gotten very fast; technology changes in the blink of an eye, making the business world dramatically more competitive than before. That competition drives standards up. How do we meet those standards? Either you must have employees who work effectively towards a goal or you rely on the efficiency of automation. And automation is good at some execution, but it’s not good at innovation, creativity or customer connection.
For the innovation, creativity, and customer connection, you’re going to need employees who you will want to be innovative and work hard, and they will need to be engaged.
Increased employee engagement will not necessarily cause your employees to sacrifice extra time to their job. Extra time is not what you want though. Increased engagement makes employees more focused, more creative, more connected, more likely to do the right thing for your customer. Would you rather have seven hours of highly focused work and productivity, or ten hours of someone just showing up? What company can thrive in a competitive market if everyone just shows up?
Engaged employees make better decisions, because they care more. They are productive, because they love what they do. And they innovate more, because they want their organisation to succeed.
I’ve seen how much employee engagement can affect an organisation, because Reward Gateway wouldn’t be around if we hadn’t invested in our employees. People stayed because it is a great place to work and because they believed in the work they were doing.
And I want to end by making it clear that investing in employee engagement isn’t a soft option, it’s not about making a fluffy place to work, it’s about creating a real and lasting connection with your people so they want the organisation to succeed. The work at Reward Gateway is tough - you only have to read our employee reviews on Glassdoor to see that no-one says it’s a picnic - so it’s important to have a team that is engaged and truly believe in what we are doing. It’s not only important for them and the company, but also for the leadership team. Feeling like you have a community around you is important on the particularly difficult days. They don’t necessarily make the difficult days easy, but they make them less difficult and remind us why we are here. That’s important - no, that’s integral - to our happiness and success as a company.
The best employees are the ones that are constantly innovating and genuinely want to make the company more successful. They come to work energized, and they work as a team to constantly improve our products and services because they truly want us to succeed. They believe in our mission, and we believe in them. Working together, we are highly successful.
Companies can stand to gain a lot from increasing their employee engagement. But the question isn’t really “What can you stand to gain by engaging your employees?” The real question is “Can you stand to lose by not engaging your employees?”