Traditionally, employee engagement has been about educating employees on a company’s mission, vision and values, and giving them a reason to “buy-in” to that mission as their own. The ultimate goal with employee engagement is for employees to feel as impassioned about a company as its founders feel. When employees feel a strong connection to company and understand how they can make a difference each day by doing their jobs, they perform better and are happier.
The crux of employee engagement is communication within an organization – from the top to the bottom and across all members of a team. The number one cause of employee frustration, mistakes and turnover is poor communications between employer and employee. Almost every problem in an organization can be boiled down to a misunderstanding resulting from poor (or lack of) communications.
Communicating to employees can be much like communicating to your customers: use creativity, provide them with the opportunities to connect, put messages in places where they are likely to see them, know who they are, where and how they best like to be communicated to regularly. Once you start thinking about your employees as an audience just like your customers are an audience, the vision for communicating effectively to them starts to come into focus. The same tools used for customers can also be used for employees:
- Private websites
- Email campaigns
- Newsletters or postcards mailed to homes
- Posters/signs around the office
- Facebook groups
And just like your customers, when it comes to communications, employees want:
- To feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves
- Affirmation that they made the right choice when selecting your brand
- To feel like the brands says something positive about them by their association with it
Employee engagement is a result of effective communications. When you consider marketing the brand and the company to your employees in much the same way you market to your customers, employee engagement doesn’t seem as far out of reach.