What is employee engagement in business? This is a difficult question, as the notion has become overused. This is why this article invites you to ask yourself what commitment is and what meaning it can have in each organisation. This is a good starting point to present you with some levers to stimulate this famous employee commitment in companies, but also to measure it.
What is employee engagement in business?
Traditional definition of employee engagement in business
First of all, employee commitment is not exactly the same as motivation at work. Indeed, an individual may feel motivated by his work, his missions, his environment, but not feel committed to his organisation. Thus, employee commitment can be defined as: the level of investment of the employee in the organisation for which he or she works, beyond the sole scope of his or her position.
This definition is admittedly a little vague. But it is difficult to give a more precise definition, because each company, depending on its context and objectives, will produce its own definition of commitment.
Defining commitment by qualifying it
To define employee engagement in companies, we turned to Human Resources professionals. Very quickly, our discussions came up against a question: Commitment yes, but commitment to what exactly? Because the notion ofcommitment is not sufficient in itself. It is essential to move away from the search forcommitment at all costs and ask ourselves what the company's objectives are and what it expects from its employees.
In the following video, Marie de Beauregard, HR Director at HOPSCOTCH Group, discusses the need to define global objectives before measuring any commitment:
"The notion of commitment depends completely on the context in which we find ourselves. It becomes interesting from the moment we define the expectations well.
We invite you to ask yourself about the context in which your company operates. What investment do you expect from your employees? What form should this commitment take?
As you will have understood, it is essential to specify one or more concrete objectives in order to define what you expect from the commitment of your employees, and therefore what action plan to put in place.
How to develop employee commitment in companies?
Listen to employees
Whatever your goals, it is always best tolisten to your employees to keep them engaged. By listening to them, you show them that their opinion counts. In this way you encourage their commitment.
For example, use your internal tools to generate surveys, polls, and create appointments! For example, the survey of the week, every Monday. One question can be enough: are you satisfied with this new feature, what did you like best about this event, what would you like to see in the way of new content? Polls and surveys are a way of regularly taking the "temperature" of the company and understanding the needs of your employees.
Listening to your employees can also involve listening to their ideas. Digital idea boxes or platforms atcollaborative innovation will enable you to create ideation spaces. In other words, spaces where they can propose ideas to improve products, processes, quality of life at work, etc. It all depends on the objectives you have set yourself!
Finally, you should know that these ideation spaces can be made event-driven by a challenge logic. On your digital platform, organise idea challenges on important themes for the company. For example, QWL in January, performance in February, CSR in March, etc.
Do what you say, say what you do
If you ask your staff for their opinions or ideas, it is essential to show that you have taken their suggestions into account. In some way or other. You can do this in different ways:
- By thanking people for taking the time to give feedback or ideas, you show your interest in them. For example: " Thank you for your participation! 60% of you think that we could optimise waste reduction.«
- Or you can simply take their advice, and say so! For example: " As you requested, the next webinar will be on waste management".
In fact, communication is essential! If you do not communicate, your employees will feel that they have given their opinion for nothing. So always remember to publish a newsletter, an article, a publication, to keep them informed. You can explain how their ideas have been taken into account. You can also keep them informed about a decision-making process, for example.
Rely on playful springs
Gamification is also a very effective lever for developing employee commitment in companies. Firstly, because it encourages employees to participate. But also, because it allows those who are involved to be rewarded, thus creating a virtuous circle that stimulates commitment even more! This gamification can, for example, take the form of competitions, challenges or commitment rankings.
To engage your employees around a given theme, imagine for them devices inspired by BtoC competitions! Burger King, for example, is the king of engaging operations on digital and social networks. For example, to generate endless comments, publications with record numbers of likes, etc.
More collaborative than competitions, challenges consist of the employee carrying out an action and then challenging his colleagues to do the same. You can take inspiration from famous challenges such as the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Another example: if one of the pillars of your company culture is solidarity, take a photo of yourself doing something in solidarity, share it and challenge one of your colleagues to do the same. Once again, think of a challenge in line with the objectives you have set yourself. But virality is guaranteed!
Points and rankings
Depending on the digital tools you use, points and ranking systems can be good engagement drivers. On Beeshake, for example, your employees' engagement (likes, comments, writing posts or articles, etc.) earns them points. This boosts individual and team participation! In addition, the employees who are the most engaged in sharing ideas and circulating intelligence become easier to identify and reward.
How to measure employee engagement?
Measuring is steering. Measuring employee engagement in a company is essential to check whether your objectives are being met. The indicators you define to measure engagement obviously depend on the objectives you have set. Nevertheless, here are some KPIs that you can probably use. They will help you to measure the level of engagement of your employees:
- Level of knowledge of employees about the company's objectives and challenges
- Participation rates in polls and surveys
- Number of reactions to your content
- Quality of these reactions
- Number of proactive contributions on identified priority themes
- Number of ideas or innovations proposed by employees
- Participation rate in the events you organise on the priority themes identified
Not all your actions will generate the same rate of engagement. Report regularly, and note the most effective actions so that you can adapt and replicate them.