How to Increase Employee Engagement in the New Business Age

Employee_engagementEmployee engagement. It’s on the minds of fortune 500 companies and family-owned businesses alike. If it’s not on your mind, it should be. A recent study shows that companies lose around 350 billion dollars a year due to employee disengagement and high turnover rates. When your employees are unhappy or uninterested, your business and bottom line will suffer.

However, the old models of gauging and improving employee engagement are no longer working. In fact, they never really worked in the first place. Businesses which implement e-learning systems, optional training, discussion panels, and more often find themselves spending more money on those “extras” than they will ever see returned by employees. Employees don’t want more training, to spend more time “discussing” issues, or to spend their free time learning more about their jobs. So how can you help foster an environment that encourages engagement in the new age of business?

The answer is not to think bigger, or devise more interesting options for every employee, but actually to think simpler. Think very, very simple. Boiling down your complicated business plans, missions, and vision statements to the very essence – the singular goal – of your company will open far more doors than any other employee engagement idea you could have. Employees need to have one vision to work toward and get passionate about.

Once you begin to foster an environment focused on one goal, you can begin to let go of some of the decision-making and micro-management. Give employees the destination, and then hand them the reigns.

An article from Forbes magazine states: “Allow employees to see themselves as architects of their own circumstances, not victims.” By giving the power back to the employee, you immediately pique their interest in their job and begin to foster engagement.

A recent InnoFuture article titled “One Rule Strategy for Continuous Improvement” discusses this idea of distilling the company vision for engagement and improvement. Following some of these simple principles can help raise your bottom line, create a powerful workforce, increase innovation capacity, and raise your bottom line.