The importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated. Companies have noticed that employee engagement has proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, retain customers at a higher rate, and increase profits. As a matter of fact, happy employees are 12 per cent more productive than the norm, and 22 per cent more productive than their unhappy peers (Source: The Happiness Index). Engaged employees are more likely to innovate, cross-pollinating ideas that lead to improved processes and creativity.
Most importantly, engaged employees have a healthier work-life balance, Gallup found:
- Engaged employees accept challenges and more responsibilities; they don’t often let problems become an excuse for inaction or destroy their ability to perform.
- They seek ways to optimize efficiency, which means they focus on their strengths and don’t spend too much time trying to do what does not come naturally to them.
- They are intentional about their engagement. They have a plan and independently, proactively try to improve their engagement rather than expecting someone else to engage them.
- They take accountability for their performance instead of blaming others when things don’t go as they want. **
** Source: Gallup
Organizations have been studying employee behavior and have placed higher emphasis on happiness at the workplace. In fact, many companies have adopted the “Happiness Index” as a key metric to measure positive attitudes towards work. Many companies also have a “Chief Happiness Officer” who specializes in ensuring employees are happy in office.
Employee engagement starts with establishing culture — using a core organizational message, initiatives and overall engagement strategy as a base to create a concrete plan. With a strategic internal advocacy program unique to a brand based on its objectives, an organization can rely on its team to authentically amplify its message. Employee engagement furthers an organization’s commitment towards diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Using an event targeting employees to reaffirm appreciation of their work and aligns them with the overall objectives of an organization. It takes more of an active approach instead of a reactive one. Events provide a chance for employees to step away from their desks and talk through individual experiences — good and bad — at a company in a constructive, fruitful manner.
To create effective events that yield results, organizations need to use these pointers:
- Plan, plan plan: Needless to say, planning is essential to the entire process. An event should be aligned with overall organizational goals. Know your objectives and the message that you want to communicate; one of the biggest flaws is holding an event for an internal audience without having specific goals in mind and the desired result. Those objectives should inform every single logistical decision made.
- Create a meaningful experience: Make your audience the center of attention. Employees may not be your customers, but they are your audience. Ensure every stage of the attendee journey makes your team members feel welcome, seen, heard and appreciated. The most meaningful components of an event for employees include:
- High-value, informative content
- Face time with key leadership or brand resources, where attendees can ask questions
- Opportunities to meet other team members, particularly colleagues that operate in different cities
- Drive engagement: Most internal events include a training/teamwork component, particularly to align everybody with the same mission and message. But the event also needs to be fun. Employees who laugh together, collaborate better. Fun and play also breaks attendees out of their comfort zone, warming them up to new ideas and fostering a connection with your brand and team members.
- Measure: Using metrics set ahead of time, analyze if your event accomplished your goals. Survey employees right after the event. Compare that to surveys they take before the event. Then survey them again to gauge their perception of your brand and alignment with company goals. Though it can be a complex and lengthy process, the rewards of investing in employee engagement can be tremendous.