As Harmony Healthcare’s Senior Director of Administration, you could say I wear a lot of different hats. I oversee the company’s Operations, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, and Travel departments. A typical day for me includes onboarding new hires, ensuring they have the necessary access and training, answering questions related to health insurance coverage and PTO, providing IT support, and so much more.

On a more strategic level, I evaluate how our business operates. From managing the implementation of guidelines and strategies to ensuring day to day operations run smoothly, I get to help create the most conducive working environment and processes for our team. Supporting employee engagement can have a significant impact to maintaining that environment.

Engagement is more than connection 

Employee engagement is more than your team’s commitment and connection to your organization. It’s also emerged as a critical driver of business success in today’s competitive marketplace. High levels of engagement within a company culture promote retention of talent, foster customer loyalty, and improve organizational performance as well as stakeholder value among other impactful benefits.

employees engaged at work

To improve employee engagement, leader and managers must consider factors such as:

  • workplace culture
  • organizational communication channels and styles
  • managerial styles
  • trust and respect
  • leadership and company reputation

In combination and individually, managers and HR professionals play crucial roles in ensuring the success of the organization’s employee engagement initiatives. Leaders have opportunities to increase engagement when they can motivate and provide direction to employees:

Formal opportunities

  • recruitment
  • onboarding
  • performance reviews
  • goal setting
  • training
  • communication by senior leadership
  • employee surveys

Informal opportunities 

  • coaching
  • mentoring
  • career development
  • ongoing performance feedback
  • recognition programs
  • company social/team building events

Collaboration is key to engagement

Being engaged at work isn’t just about managers creating fun for the office. Happy hours, team building activities, and office fitness challenges can only go so far. Employees today are also looking for support of a healthy work/life balance. Long term job satisfaction is undeniably linked to employees having the flexibility to tend to personal needs while still meeting their goals.

work life balance

But leaders are looking to human resources professionals to help manage the bend in that flexibility. Sure, it’s essential to create and sustain an office culture that reaches those who are actively disengaged and that generates higher levels of engagement all around. But HR teams are also being tasked with “focusing on managing workforce costs, ensuring compliance, and continually driving operational efficiency and productivity.”

Walking that line between what employees are looking for and what leaders are looking for means thinking about outcomes and ROI.

  • What actions show employee engagement?
  • What types of events and initiatives will support employee engagement?
  • What are the best ways to entice employees to share ideas for events?
  • What actions prove efficiency and productivity to leadership?

Asking these questions is powerful: it can help create a conversation where everyone feels heard. It gives employees a seat at the table and allows them to see they have a strong influence. It also gives leaders the opportunity to take a more collaborative approach, an important step in sustaining a positive environment.

Keep the momentum going

Once engagement sparks in your office, consider how to further nurture both the office environment and the partnership between employees and leaders. This could mean:

  • reaching out to others around the water cooler for their event ideas
  • including employees in organizational decisions
  • asking for feedback on a variety of office issues via consistent employee engagement surveys
  • providing opportunities to give back to the community as a team
  • creating fun ways to recognize employees in each department for their hard work

Generating employee engagement requires an ongoing effort; it’s not something a once a year costume contest or a spirit day can create.

What is one way you can spur that effort today?

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