Hi there it's mike here from Better Happy and what i'm going to talk to you about today is employee engagement and in particular how you can create award-winning levels of employee engagement within your organisation, regardless of whether you're a small or a big organisation.
So if you feel like you don't really know what the levels of engagement are within your organisation or how to track them, you feel like they're not particularly high or not consistently high and maybe even feel like it's difficult to have high levels of engagement within your particular niche or industry and you want to shift to knowing exactly what's going on having consistently high levels and knowing exactly what to do to keep those levels high this is going to be some really useful information for you.
First of all what do we actually mean by employee engagement? If we're a smaller organisation we might feel like we don't actually know what that term means and that it's a bit of a buzzword that bigger organisations use.
Employee engagement is vital whether you whether there's two of you within your organisation or whether there's two thousand of you. The levels of engagement throughout the organisation will have a massive impact on how well the engagement on how well the organisation performs and also on how enjoyable it is for the people within it, especially the owner or the leadership team.
We can categorise employee engagement levels into three different categories. At the bottom we've got disengaged. This is a person who not only doesn't really positively contribute towards the organisation they actively, negatively contribute. They don't want to be there, they've got a negative impact on the people around them and they make leadership or owners lives a bit of a misery. in general as an average this accounts for about 20%, so quite a significant number of people within organisations. If you've ever had one yourself or you've got one now you know just how bad that is, how toxic it is and how much of a negative impact it has.
Then we've got partly engaged so. To summarise this you can kind of imagine people that like to watch the scenery. This is people within your organisation who don't not want to be there but don't particularly want to be there. They're just doing it because it's a job. They tick the boxes they do what's required of them they don't really cause you any headaches but they also don't have a massive positive contribution. They don't come up with good ideas, they don't have a high level of energy around them. They just do what's required of them. In general this is about 50% of employees in the UK. A substantial number. Employee engagement is a big problem in the United Kingdom as well as the wider world.
Then we've got our highly engaged people. These are the people you want. These are people that want to be there. They really love being a part of the organisation they love their job and the and the role that they have within the organisation. They've got a positive impact on the people around them, they bring energy and they're really good to have underneath you because they make you feel good. You feel like whatever tasks you give them just just get done they're not stressed. They give you good ideas they've got a positive impact on the clients they're just a dream. That accounts for in general about 30% of all employees. Now obviously these numbers change with the size of organisations but this is averages across the country. You can see from the numbers there it's a big problem that actually 70% of all employees are either kind of just getting going along with emotions
or actively don't want to be there.
So how do we go about improving employee engagement?
There's obviously lots of different factors that contribute towards it and lots of different approaches we can take but today let's start with the most important basics. Previously I have talked about a pyramid and how the stuff that's at the bottom takes the least effort and has the biggest impact. So that's what we want to make sure we focus on before we focus on stuff at the top of the pyramid let's focus on what the basics are to create a good level of employee engagement. So what we're going to do is talk about the identity of your business, your organisation, and how that has a significant impact on how engaged our employees are.
Consider for a moment that your employees aren't solely motivated by money. For many of them that's not even going to be one of their motivators. All of us need money but not all of us are highly motivated by it which is probably why our engagement levels throughout the country are quite poor, because a lot of people are doing a job because they need to not because they want to. All humans are goal driven and we like to feel like we are contributing towards something and working towards something meaningful. So for a moment try not to think about your organisation as a thing that pays people and think about your organisation as a living person. Every person that comes to work for you or already does work for you is doing so because they want to be friends with that person and assist that person in achieving their goals. Sounds a bit strange but this is really how it works and how we can understand the psychology of our people.
There's three different things that we need to know that we need to define about our organisation which is a person for this exercise and that we need to communicate to our people:
Our who is what what defines us. It's our personality. It's our characteristics. It's our traits of the organisation and this is what we would call our core values. Imagine that you are making friends with somebody or your employees are trying to make friends with your organisation. They want to know what makes you unique, what makes you you, how you go about things. So you need to have your core values.
The next thing they want to know is your why and that's your story. We know that now with millennials, which are going to be the main workers in the next few years, that they are very lowly motivated by money and very highly motivated by stories and why's. So a millennial in many cases would rather sit at home and not work as opposed to work with an organisation that they don't like the why or don't understand the story. So it's really important now more so than ever that we create the story around our organisation and then we communicate that.
At number three we've got our what. This is our vision, or our mission. Remember the people that want to work for you want they want to be friends with your organisation. They want to help achieve something. If they don't know what that something is, if that's not clearly communicated to them they're not going to feel engaged, they're not going to feel like they're working towards goals. Remember all humans are goal driven and we feel at our best and most fulfilled when we know that we're moving towards something meaningful, towards a meaningful goal. So if your employees don't know what it is that your organisation's trying to achieve and how they can play a role within that their engagement levels will start to drop.
Values, mission, core values and story.
This stuff's been talked about in the corporate world for a very long time because it's got a lot of benefits but. Maybe for a lot of organisations we think again it's just something that's a bit of a buzzword and that big organisations do. It's got lots of benefits but maybe we don't consider just how significant the impact is on engagement. Of course it's got benefits for marketing, for value proposition, for knowing who we are, for being able to communicate ourselves for advertising, but what people don't consider is how important it is to our employee engagement.
Once we've got our core values (and they don't need to be perfect) and we've got our story and we've got our vision and our mission we need to make sure that we're acting on them. We need to make sure that we're establishing what they are.
Not only do we need to establish them but we need to communicate them to our people.
And then what's most important is that we actually demonstrate them.
So we actually live by them, we're true to our story, we live by our core values we're moving towards our goal.
When we establish them we can we communicate them and we demonstrate them and that's done well within our organisation, you're going to start to see that levels of employee engagement go up. You're going to find that it's easier for you to recruit the right people and attract the right talent... and that engagement levels are more consistent.
If you're a smaller organisation, or you're newer and you think that your story isn't exciting.. you're wrong. You need to tell your story often we put ourselves down and we do ourselves a disservice when it comes to discussing our own story and being proud of that.
Regardless of what your story is even if it's just that you've started your organisation with a with a spade or in your office or on your own that's a part of your story and you need to communicate that to people, because people like a story and they like to be part of something that's meaningful.
So to provide an example of this and just how powerful it is I stuck into google the top greatest places to work within the uk and at the very top for 2020 was a company called salesforce. So then i decided to have a look and to see if they're talking about their story and their core values and their why. Click on and it's all there and it's great. They've got something called their Ohana which is Hawaiian for family and they basically got this really strong culture around having a family ethos for their customers for their employees for their stakeholders and for the owners. They've got this really powerful story these really powerful core values. They've got everything listed on there i'll put the link below so you can go and read about it. That's created one of the greatest places to work in the UK.
The south identity and self-awareness piece is so vital to an organisation thriving, for the owner having a good quality of life and to the employees having a good quality of life that it forms the basis of our nine-step program. Self-identity is that entire bottom piece what do we. First of all we establish our core values, the strengths of our people, the uniques of the business. Then we look into motivation so this is the motivations of your people. What actually motivates them and how do we keep those levels of motivation high and then we go into our vision and our mission. We then look at how that ties down into actually what we're doing on a daily and weekly basis - coming from that compelling long-term vision.
Without that in place it doesn't matter what your organisation is, you will struggle to get traction you will struggle to find balance. You will struggle to make it A enjoyable place for you to work and for your people to work.
After that we put the well-being strategy in place to make sure that us and our people can thrive in the new climate in which we live. And then we put all the systems in place to make sure that our organisation and its people thrive whether the owner's there or not.
The key point here is that that bottom piece, that self identity that self-awareness is essential. Not only for employee engagement but for the growth of our organisation as a whole. If you haven't established your why, your story, if you haven't got your core values and you haven't got your vision and your mission statement it's something that you need to get started on now.
It doesn't need to be perfect it just needs to be there. A draft needs to be there.
If you've already got a team you can actually work with your team and get them together to help you create these things in a more meaningful way that isn't all on your shoulders. If this is something you'd like to do with more help and more support and more structure please don't hesitate to get in contact with us. If it's something you'd like to try on your own please go ahead and let us know how you do and how much of an impact that has on your organisation.
Author - Mike Jones
Mike served 5 years in the British Military then backpacked for 3 living in monasteries and studying cultures before starting his first business in 2016. His passion is helping individuals and organisations unlock their potential.
2018 - co-founded Better Happy.
2016 - Opened Metta Box Functional Training Facility
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