4 tips to getting your own engagement committee started
As we know, and you know, employee engagement is good for business, with countless studies to prove the importance and ROI of employee engagement. But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to improve employee engagement in organizations. According to Gallup, globally in 2021 only 20% of employees were engaged at work while in the U.S. that number was only a little higher at 36%. Plus, in the U.S., a staggering 15% of employees were actively disengaged at work, reporting that bad management and poor working conditions were the reasons.
With this in mind, employers everywhere are exploring means for improving their employee engagement programs at their companies. And one great way companies have found that helps build on their company culture is by developing and implementing an employee engagement committee.
What is an employee engagement committee?
To understand what an employee engagement committee is, first it is important to comprehend employee engagement itself. When employees have an emotional commitment to the organization and its purpose, they have "buy-in" and are not just working for a paycheck. Employees are invested in the outcomes of their efforts.
In short, having an employee engagement committee can help you increase employee engagement.
To make employee engagement more effective, an engagement committee is the gathering of individuals, such as corporate leaders, operations supervisors, line managers or HR, and who meet on a regular basis with the set goal of enhancing employee engagement in their organization.
For example, an employee engagement committee could host quarterly employee surveys to gauge employee sentiment about a variety of topics including return to work policies, company culture initiatives or L&D opportunities.
How employee engagement committees do this:
|They address current problems – by being out on the floor or among their colleagues. Here, committee members can be the ears of the company by listening to employees and the concerns they have.|
|They collect information – by asking employees the right questions, so they can get a better idea of the environment of the company and the root causes of any issues they may have.|
|They develop solutions – by bringing what they learn from employees to their regular meetings. Once together, they brainstorm and come up with means to improve what they see and have heard are problems with the company culture.|
|They present results – by getting with key business leaders and policy developers, they deliver the results to their findings and the possible resolutions they came up with.|
Why it’s important to have an employee engagement committee
Understandably, employee engagement is good for business. According to Willis Towers Watson, companies with a high employee engagement are 2x more profitable than those with low employee engagement. Also, from findings by Gallup, engaged employees work safer and contribute to 64% fewer safety incidents.
Employee engagement also improves the following, which all lead to a profitable organization:
- Talent acquisition: helps you set your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
- Employee retention: helps fix issues within the organization
- Employee relations: makes fewer issues across the organization
- Employee productivity: helps people make better decisions
Here, having an employee engagement committee will give you a competitive edge on your engagement efforts, especially as organizations are working harder than ever before to stand out as an employer of choice. These committees give your employees an outlet to voice their concerns and a sense that the company cares about creating a more inclusive workplace.
Employers can also get ideas on how to solve problems from the individuals who would most be affected by any changes. Because when those changes are made, the employees who made the suggestions are more receptive and embrace them.
Tips for getting an employee engagement committee started
When you have different groups of stakeholders, it can be challenging to find internal alignment and set goals. But we’ve uncovered four tips to overcome challenges:
- Communicate the importance: Communicate with business leaders and employees why you are working to develop an employee engagement committee. When everyone in the company understands how the committee benefits the organization, you will have more support and volunteers willing to join.
- Get a diverse team: More individuals from a greater span of the company will bring in more unique ideas for solving problems so you can find solutions you may not have even thought about.
- Be consistent: Make it a priority and stay consistent with the meeting time and date, so you are less likely to have a committee being unproductive or worse - dissolved.
- Be strategic: Use data and tech to assist with information collecting and sharing. Give the members on the committee the freedom to bring up the insight they have from the data and the time to ponder issues and workable solutions.
How to own employee engagement
Every organization is different. And who takes full ownership of creating and driving employee engagement may be different as well. But in truth, employee engagement is everyone’s responsibility. No one person can drive this to success alone.
For the greatest outcome to your efforts, you should start early and get "buy-in" from all stakeholders. This way they comprehend the "why." Focus on the strategy and overall goal when communicating the need for improved employee engagement, and understand where they are coming from and their possible objections.
Some key stakeholders to get on board:
- CEO – who leads and supports what is being delivered and is the figurehead of the business vision.
- Leadership teams – who can assist and guide by offering their day-to-day insights of the business and by controlling the likelihood of the success of the program. This includes your HR team.
- Managers – who are the champions of change and run the initiative with their local teams, by helping share and shape the program being put into place while offering feedback from results.
- Employees – who are the ones that employee engagement programs most effect. Their feedback to what is working in the company and what is not is vital. If they do not speak up, positive change is harder to come by.
The first step towards improving employee engagement is getting everyone on board and willing to do their part to stand out as a top employer. Then an employee engagement committee will get you the results you are looking for.
If you haven’t taken the steps in creating an employee engagement committee, now is a great time to start. Employee engagement committees show your employees that you care and respect their input which ultimately is the best start to a successful employee engagement program.