Most of us have heard, “it’s not personal, it’s strictly business”, at some point in our lives. Well, this notion is outdated and quite frankly, complete nonsense.
“Business is one of the most personal things in the world. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. Business is always about people.” – Simon Sinek, The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk #348
Sinek is absolutely right. Times are changing, attitudes are shifting, and individuals are expecting more than just a paycheck from their employer. Smart organizations, realizing this, have implemented programs to help satisfy the needs and wants of a multi-generational workforce. To put it simply, brands are investing in employee engagement programs.
But before we dive right in, let’s take a trip down memory lane, looking at the history of engagement programs. Employee engagement programs have been around since the 90s and in much lesser forms in the 70s and 80s. The programs were simple and recognition came from the top down. Employees received plaques, pins, watches, etc. There was no emotional connection attached to the award. Brands had a short-term view of engagement. Sort of a ‘one-and-done’ attitude. This style of recognition fails to build on the engagement and culture of the brand.
Time for a Change
The digital age calls for a new kind of loyalty and employee engagement. Brands are increasingly focused on creating meaningful experiences and deeper relationships with employees to build a base of brand advocates. We’ve found that engagement is ultimately about loyalty. So, how do we link engagement to loyalty?
Well, start by connecting your employees to your brand. Employees must be emotionally loyal and trust your brand. They must have full faith in the brand to treat them with respect and authenticity. In order to achieve this, brands must be authentic and implement timely communications. Brands must also respect the employee and their privacy. Most importantly, brands must give employees the ability to give feedback.
At Boost Engagement, we look at employee engagement as a journey. A journey that starts well before an employee’s first day, and goes long past their last day – recognizing their legacy as a brand alumnus.
So, why should brands invest in employee engagement programs? Well, let’s take a look at what the numbers say.
- Overall, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive. – SMARP
- Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147%. – Gallup
- Highly engaged workplaces saw 41% lower absenteeism and highly engaged business units achieve 24% less turnover. – Gallup
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