How to Boost Employee Engagement with Better Search
Employee engagement. The ultimate enigma. Keeping our employees actively engaged in the workplace is essential for workflow optimization and a productive workplace environment. But when employee engagement starts to slip, what can we do about it? We talked on a previous post about ways search is affecting workplace productivity. In this article we’ll be tackling the issue head on and discussing some of the best ways to re-engage your workers, with better search and more.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a metric for discerning how motivated, productive, and active your employees are in their day-to-day work activities. Ideally, every employee would be highly passionate and motivated about their responsibilities and roles. Whilst this might not be possible twenty-four hours of the day, seven days of the week, three hundred and sixty-five days of the year, improving employee engagement is very possible with the right attitude, tools, and techniques at helm. Fostering a positive company culture with your employees needs at heart is the first step towards sculpting a more engaged workplace. After all, happy employees are committed employees.
Engagement versus satisfaction
Though closely related, employee engagement and employee satisfaction are not entirely the same. An engaged workforce transcends mere satisfaction. Employees can be satisfied, but still disengaged. Rather, engagement pertains to how employees react with their projects, teams, and workplace on a more intimate level. As such, employee engagement is sensitive to a myriad of factors, from company culture, to flexibility, communication, and even the onboarding process itself.
Why is employee engagement so important?
So, why is employee engagement so important? Well, first off, engagement is mutually beneficial. Employees who feel engaged are happier, and more productive. That means less employee turnover and optimized work outputs. At the end of the day, that’s guaranteed to improve your bottom line. Employee engagement benefits employee and business health. It’s a win-win. In fact, an engaged workforce is 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than their disengaged counterparts. Plus, your business will cut back on absenteeism by an impressive 41%.
The big disengagement problem
The reason we’re here talking about employee engagement is simple. There is a big employee disengagement problem in the contemporary workplace. Employee engagement is fluctuating and reactive in nature. It can be impacted and impinged upon by socio-economic factors at large, technological change, job prospects, and company attitudes to their employees in general.
Today, many of these triggers are in full force. The workplace is going through a global digital transformation and employees are anxious about the what the growth of automation means for their jobs. Likewise, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased institutional anxiety.
But let’s talk numbers for a moment. Did you know that 70% of all U.S. workers claim to not like their job? It’s true. What’s more, staggeringly, actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy between 483 and 605 billion dollars each year in lost productivity.
Need I say more?
The numbers don’t lie. A disengaged workforce hemorrhages company money and destroy profits. So what can we do about it?
How to boost employee engagement?
If you’ve noticed apathy at the office, or your employee engagement rates are taking a hit, don’t fret. It even happens to the best of teams from time to time. In fact, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs.
That said, we’re going to provide you with some actionable tips to reengage and re-inspire your workforce to get those productivity levels back up to scratch.
How to boost employee engagement in 8 simple steps
1. Offer access to the information you need
Finding information simply and easily is a basic necessity for any employee. When we can’t find the resources needed to complete a job, it can be incredibly frustrating and a huge knock for motivation. From emails to essential documents, descriptions, tutorials, you name it, make sure your employees can search for, and find, all the information they need simply and easily. Prioritizing results-driven search functions, personalized search interactions with useful filters, and capturing feedback on results will enable your employees to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities.
2. Refine core values
Remind yourself of your core company values and if they no longer seem appropriate, refine them to match your desired company culture and ethic. Make sure your company values are clear to all and live them day in-day out. Employees are more likely to feel engaged when they have a clear goal to support. Everything from employee training to interactions, meetings, and decision making should clearly reflect these important company ethics. Lead by example, and change will soon follow.
3. Flexible working
Flexible working is high on the agenda of most employees today. Flextime, flexi-work, remote work, call it what you want, workplace flexibility is the new normal. Plus offering your employees flexible schedules or remote working opportunities can do wonders for engagement. You’ll demonstrate to your employees that they are valued, trusted members of your organization, whose needs are recognized and prioritized. Facilitating work-life balance is now essential. People have busy lives and multiple commitments. When employees can work in a way that suits their lifestyle, engagement, productivity, and positivity are set to soar. And remember to have tools that support the new flexible ways of working.
4. Development opportunities
It’s important that your employees feel like they have room to grow. Acknowledging your employees’ personal and professional growth potential is a sure way to increase engagement on the ground. In fact, employees who feel like they are making career advancements are 20% more likely to stay in a job. And that sort of long-term engagement benefits everyone. Employee retention ensure workflows remain streamlined and saves a substantial buck in offboarding and onboarding costs. Prioritizing professional development is one of the most effective ways to foster a loyal workforce.
5. Recognize achievements
Make sure your employee’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. We all need a bit of praise and recognition from time to time. Failing to recognize your staff’s achievements is the fast route to employee disenfranchisement. This one is so simple and easy to achieve. Dedicate some one-to-one time where you can congratulate an employee for their excellent work. You might even want to send out company-wide recognition awards on your communications channels. Incentives go a long way in retaining engagement and provide a stimulus for continued efforts.
6. Employee wellbeing
Make your employees’ wellbeing your company’s top priority and you’ll reap the rewards when it comes to productivity and engagement from the ground up. When an organization cares about the health and wellbeing of its employees, those employees have the peace of mind that their job is secure even in times of personal difficulty. Policies such as unlimited sick leave and mental health days, for example, demonstrate a company’s trust and commitment to its workforce. You might even want to introduce wellness-based programs into office life- fitness classes, or excursions are a great idea.
7. Feedback culture
Make sure feedback is regular and consistent. By keeping open channels of communication, employee engagement stays up. Managers who give regular feedback tend to be favored by employees over those who do not. And that’s because people like to know how their doing in their jobs. Regular informal check-ins and reviews keep managers and employees on the same page and engaged. But remember, feedback isn’t just for employees. Actionable feedback in which employees can review their experiences and propose changes is a great way to identify where your company is doing well and in which places there is still room for improvement. Plus, your employees will feel listened to, appreciated, and valued. A recipe for future engagement.
8. Improved onboarding
Onboarding is an employee’s very first impression of your company. Getting this process right is integral to maintaining that employee’s engagement in the months and years to come. Optimizing your company onboarding process is one of the best ways to encourage new employees to integrate into their new working environment and invest in the company culture, ethos, and goals. Don’t rush your onboarding process. Make sure new hires have the time to feel comfortable and settled in their new environment. Keep communication channels open and set them up for success.
How search can boost your employees engagement?
One of the best ways to help your employees engage with their work, is to remove as many roadblocks as possible. The number one roadblock when it comes to the over 1 billion knowledge workers is bad search. When employees can’t find the resources they need to get the job done, they end up wasting time and get endless frustrated. With so many tools and places to look for information, it’s critical that workplaces put the necessary attention on a good search experience for the data and tools your company uses. Intranet, emails, website, databases, or other information platform that are integral to geting work done should be looked at, so you can maintaining employee engagement day to day.
So, how can we use search to increase your employees engagement?
The number one most important thing when it comes to search functionality is confidence in finding results. Accurate results. Information workers use search technologies and web search engines to find information and content day-in, day-out. A smarter search engine allow users to quickly narrow down to what they’re looking for, hopefully with directed content that answers their search question first-time. So, make sure that your search tools are working at their best, and don’t forget to constantly review them for improvements and to remove irrelevant data.
Unify Search across Apps and Sources
With so many tools and places to look for information, it is ever more important to provide one single place to search for answers. But this doesn’t mean you should have only one search for your entire company. Teams have different needs, and being able to taylor search to their data, apps and language is key to a successful search experience. Nothing more annoying than looking for something your team needs only to be bombarded with completely irrelevant results from other departments.
Personalize Search to your Teams and Data
The same way as every team handles different responsibilities, so do their information looks different. And where one abbreviation or term might mean something for your sales department, it might be something complete different or even irrelevant to engineering or customer service. Personalized search is integral for productivity and holding onto employee engagement. That way the most relevant information can be retrieved quickly, and the user received accurate, relevant results. This also applies to how the information is displayed and linked — no one wants a garbled search result that is hard to read and understand if it is what you’re looking for.
Boost your workforce engagement once and for all
So, here’s the roundup on employee engagement. There are so many factors that shape employee engagement. Everything from company culture, to communications, policies to onboarding, engagement metrics fluctuate constantly. But, as well as ensuring that your office is peppy and friendly, and a real-team unit, there’s more than goes into maintain engagement. When it comes to the nitty gritty, the best way to improve workforce engagement is to help your employees get their work done without any significant challenges along the way.
For employees working with information, being able to search for necessary data, documents, and data is imperative. When employees cannot find the information they need to carry out their jobs, engagement plummets and they end up wasting time and effort. By optimizing search for your company, employee engagement is set to soar!