An integral part of an organization’s employee relations will start and end with employee engagement. Putting the policies and creating the right environment to foster employee engagement means happier and more satisfied employees. And when employees are happy, they work better and are more productive. Communication is perhaps the single most important aspect to improving employee engagement when employees feel like they are in the know, that management respects and trusts them enough to share information, and that there is no unilateral decision making, they feel more secure and thus have more buy in. This includes management communicating policy changes or implementation, any changes to facilities or the available perks and services, and making sure employees are aware of all company employee relations policies, upfront, and in writing. Email communication, as well as posting signs and posters in public and common areas of the office, like cafeterias, elevators, and meeting rooms, is one way to make sure all employees are reached and that the communication has been widely propagated.
Employee recognition is another vital aspect of employee engagement, and plays an important part in improving employee engagement. It is human nature for people to want to feel appreciated and valued for their contributions and efforts. In a workplace setting, this means creating a culture where employees share their projects and work with one another, and where colleagues and management laud and recognize individual contributions as well as team efforts. One must also go beyond the mindset of a job for a salary and foster learning and development in order to increase employee engagement. Having training sessions on subjects employees will be interested in, or have expressed as lacking, offering rewards and incentives for learning initiatives that employees can complete on the official intranet or via a third party learning system or online program, and creating opportunities for career growth and personal development are all good ways to increase employee engagement.
Having a rewards and recognition policy that recognizes and rewards employees for performance and when they have gone above and beyond, is another great way to increase employee satisfaction and thereby their engagement with the organization and their jobs. It can be as simple as giving out certificates of appreciation to a team or individual for a job well done, to a team outing or lunch, bonuses and gifts for special occasions or when milestones have been achieved, including company anniversary, employment anniversary, or the successful completion of a project.