It’s as simple as this; successfully engaging your employees means a happier, healthier, more enthusiastic and more productive workforce. But what about the more subtle, perhaps more surprising outcomes? Here are five ways that a more engaged workforce will in turn become an even greater asset to a company.
1. Volunteering for out-of-hours jobs, mucking in and going above and beyond.
Imagine you've sent an @Allstaff email out on Friday morning, asking if anyone can stay late that night to move some equipment. What’s the reaction? 70 percent of staff signing up, or only one or two people, who upon realising they’re the only ones to turn up, massively regret their offer and don’t repeat the mistake again?
If a workforce don’t feel like they owe their company a second of their time past 5pm, ad-hoc requests for support will be greeted with a chorus of ‘I have to go and pick my grandma’s cousin up from the cat shop’ style excuses. If staff are already apathetic towards tasks required by their contract, additional favours can’t be expected too.
That being said, if staff know that hard work is acknowledged, appreciated and rewarded at their company, you’re left with a far more willing team of people, who aren’t just there to help their colleagues, but to help their company too.
2. Walking-talking job boards.
Even the most fantastic HR team in the world can’t reach as many potential employees as a whole team of current employees who are happy to share positive experiences. We all know how essential a tool word-of-mouth is, especially when it comes to speaking about a company in a complimentary, optimistic way.
A happy workforce will willingly and proactively share job postings on their LinkedIn and other social media accounts, meaning that for each job that pops up, a cobweb of mentions and links is created, rather than just a few strands here there.
3. More participation in charitable events.
We’ve all had that warm fuzzy feeling upon helping a little old lady onto a bus, or taking a teary toddler to the lost and found post at a funfair. Fundraising events, bake sales and sponsored cycles are fantastic things for workplaces to get involved in and support.
At RG we are constantly getting involved in charitable events and volunteering. This is some of our employees helping out at Trees for Cities, and (above) taking part in the Colour Run to raise money for Percy Hedley Foundation.
However, if staff are run-down from handling more than their fair share of the workload, or working 14 hour days because their manager insinuates that they must, no amount of potential fuzzy feeling is going to convince them that an hour baking a carrot cake is a good use of their evenings.
I previously worked for a company that took part in a sponsored sleep-out to raise awareness and understanding of homelessness. The CEO granted permission for everyone who’d taken part to have a lie-in the next morning, and get to work a couple of hours later than usual.
People came back to work showered, refreshed and with a few hours’ sleep in them. Productivity for the day shot up, even despite the lost hours in the morning. Not to mention that money had been raised for a worthy cause, and staff members new and old had bonded with each other outside the office environment. This is a fantastic example of a company looking out for their staff, understanding what they need and then saying thank you in a meaningful way.
4. Pride in company announcements, achievements and awards.
As with job vacancies, a big win at an industry awards ceremony will reach a far wider audience if staff will share the news of their own accord, and with a sense of pride.
We all want to work for people we admire, and for a company doing great things, and we want others to know about it too.
5. Leaving positive reviews if they do chose to move on.
Not everyone checks employee review sites like Glassdoor before either applying for a job, or approaching a company to discuss business, but many do.
A company can say what it likes in its press releases and on its website, but if a review site is littered with one star reviews and comments about bullies or poor pay-scales, it’s damaging.
Once they’ve left a company, ex-employees can say what they want, inside legal parameters of course. The chance of being slated is reduced significantly, however, by ensuring that staff are as happy, and as engaged as they can be, while still employed by the company.
Are your staff giving back to the company in an unexpected way? Share your experiences in the comments below.