How to boost employee engagement in the workplace

Employee engagement has both collective and individual characteristics: how can it be improved on both fronts?
How can we enhance employee engagement in the workplace?
Adopt best practices for each process
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Whether you look at it from an international or a purely French perspective, the statistics on employee engagement are alarming. Here is a breakdown of the figures:

  • According to a survey by Gallup, 25% of employees in France are actively disengaged in the workplace.
  • 70% of this attitude is mainly in response to the leadership style.
  • Research shows that 68% of employees are likely to leave their job if they have unsupportive managers. Therefore, recognition from managers is essential to improving employee involvement.

We conducted a study with LabRH to investigate the issue of employee participation, particularly on how to boost employee engagement.

What are the key drivers of employee engagement?

The contours of this notion are still rather vague... So vague, in fact, that they partly explain the alarming surveys of French employees. When the Malakoff Médéric Group's annual surveys consistently find that 15% to 20% of French employees say they are "only present", it's clear that the issue has its origins in factors other than management.

In light of these conditions, it is clear that a company's productivity directly depends on its employees' continued commitment. This concept is becoming a concern for many HR departments today. According to the APICIL Group and Cabinet Mozart, disengagement costs €14310 per employee per year.

What are the components of commitment?

Commitment is the product of 3 components:

  1. Sociability: Refers to the quality of interpersonal connections with colleagues. Teamwork fosters a strong sense of involvement, particularly for new hires.
  2. The heart of the job : do the tasks provide pleasure as well as interest?
  3. The company's mission : according to the motivational levers, is the company providing a service or achieving something rare, something positive for others?

How can companies boost employee engagement?

Our discussions with 80 HR managers highlighted the following levers of commitment:

  • The symmetry of attention: This concept focuses on the quality of relationships between a company, its customers, and employees.
  • Transparency: Open communication can help an organization improve employee commitment in the workplace, even in difficult times.
  • Personal growth: Encouraging employees to take charge of their development can boost workforce motivation and increase efficiency.
  • Teamwork: In-person interactions enable employees to connect with their coworkers deeply, enhancing corporate culture.
  • Leadership: A supportive managerial team seeks employee input and takes action based on feedback. It may also provide professional development opportunities through training.
The 6 levers of engagement
The 6 levers of engagement

Bringing all these components together will create synergies between commitment and performance.

Corporate culture and commitment

Many managers focus on listening to employees and having an inclusive culture in their organization. The McKinsey 2021 report on organizational performance reveals three sources of disengagement that may affect corporate culture. They include:

  1. The value of work by the organization
  2. Genuine recognition from the manager
  3. The value of work by the organization

These cultural components contribute to the creation and implementation of employee-centric HR policies. The policies promote high employee satisfaction, motivating them to meet the bottom line.

Quality of work life aims to improve working conditions while maintaining or elevating corporate performance. Most QWL initiatives focus on aspects such as innovation, autonomy, and work values. The end goal is to realize and implement organizational or technical objectives like:

  • Achieving long-term sustainability
  • Mobilizing objective information
  • Improving stakeholder reputation
  • Maximizing collaboration
  • Employing data-driven innovation

Over the past five years, engagement assessment barometers have been used to evaluate the relationship between employee engagement and business performance. Organizations then use the results to help inform decisions that drive strategic action plans.

It allows firms to implement changes in the work environment that may boost employee morale and productivity.

Corporate social responsibility as a factor of commitment

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) requires companies to uphold the principle of sustainable development. Entities can be viable economically while also impacting the society and environment positively.The concept became popular in the United States during the 1950s after Howard Ben published the book "The social responsibility of the Businessman" in 1953. The idea was that companies would benefit from not only focusing on their profits but also on their impact on society.

By the end of the 20th century, there was rapid growth in globalization, and with it came rising concerns about its impact on social, economic, and environmental factors. Since then, companies worldwide had to bear some responsibility for their role in these factors. Firms can align business strategies with ethical values by participating in corporate social responsibility. It can be a lever to enhance organizational culture and encourage employee commitment, both collectively and individually. 

Improving employee engagement through "Happiness Management"

Happiness management is a human resource concept gaining ground rapidly in the workplace. It involves instilling happiness in employees to help improve their quality of life, commitment, and overall productivity.Numerous firms have created the Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) position to oversee various team building and extracurricular activities, for example, Thursday night after-work parties, ping pong games during work breaks, or quarterly camping and hiking trips. These activities contribute immensely to improving workplace relationships and boosting commitment. The horizon is getting clearer with a first time engagement increase to 23%, the best score since Gallup measures this critical Kpi.

Overall, we realize that the high engagement of employees at work depends greatly on creating a pleasant work environment and enriching corporate ethics policies.<br>Happiness management can be an efficient approach to achieving continuous dialogue between employees and managers. Experts may also use it to supplement employee appraisals and evaluate performance from a collective and individual perspective. It can also assist in the real-time detection of unseen insights and risks.