Nationwide, the job market is full of opportunities for employees and cutthroat competition for employers. The U.S. Labor Department announced that 5.8 million jobs were open in July, the highest number recorded since 2000. With so many jobs available, companies are under pressure to keep turnover low and bring in top-tier talent. Progressive companies are adopting a culture of engagement to stay relevant and appealing to a dynamic, diverse workforce.
“Creating a culture of engagement is about building a work environment and leadership habits so employees thrive and are emotionally invested in the company’s success,” says Melanie Nichols, director of organizational effectiveness, Ingram Micro. “Engagement sometimes becomes an activity in measuring and responding to a survey. However, a culture of engagement is embedded in how a company thinks and behaves.”
Companies with a culture of engagement focus on:
- Creating a mission or vision that explains clearly how employees are engaged in worthwhile and purposeful, meaningful work.
- Establishing open, two-way communications that are transparent, authentic, and frequent, and that tell employees why they are engaging in certain strategies rather than what they are doing.
- Building an environment of trust through empowering employees, providing appropriate challenges, demonstrating accountability at all levels, and recognizing individual and group successes.
- Promoting continuous learning that enables employees to take on new challenges, develops leaders, and spurs continuous business improvement.
- Inspiring fun. Adults spend the majority of their lives at work, so this time should be enjoyable and well spent.
Companies that purposefully create a culture of engagement are realizing big payoffs. Harvard Business Review reports that the annual revenue growth for companies with a culture of engagement is 682 percent, compared to 166 percent growth for those without.
The benefits go far beyond better finances. Stats from Gallup show that absenteeism is 37 percent lower, customer ratings are 10 percent higher, productivity is 21 percent higher. And, the data shows employees are six times more likely to stay with an organization.
“Companies are finding that changing work environments and encouraging new leadership habits makes a difference,” says Nichols. “When employees are emotionally invested in a company’s success, everyone benefits.” Now is the time to get started creating a culture of engagement at your business.