Fostering Employee Engagment Focusing On What Matters

Fostering Employee Engagement: Focusing on What Matters

David Bakker | December 5, 2014

The term Organizational Effectiveness has become a trend in businesses lately. It refers to how well companies are able to achieve the goals and outcomes that they’ve laid out. High organizational effectiveness requires creating work environments that engage employees and enable them to do their best. As we already talked about in Making Social Learning a Habit in the Workplace, setting up the right environment for employees to excel in is key.

But employee engagement isn’t something you can just set and forget. It needs to be constantly monitored and reinforced. If leaders remove themselves from that process and just assume employees are engaged, it’s a safe bet those previously high levels will start to erode.    

What employees want most

At Arraya, we’ve identified four key drivers which we feel have a tremendous influence over just how engaged our workforce is with our company. These elements are where we’ve concentrated the majority of our engagement efforts.

The four main areas that we target are:

1) Priorities. Employees need to have a strong grasp on what tasks or projects of theirs are most important to the success of the company. Not having that rudder can lead to frustration and costly delays. Transparency has always been a part of Arraya’s core structure. Supervisors are in regular contact with their team, either in person, over the phone, or even through instant messages. This way they can discuss a project’s status and its overall priority to Arraya. Also, supervisors can find out if employees are falling behind and need a helping hand on a project. This straightforward direction allows employees to focus on the deliverables they know will impact the business and add the most value.

2) Process. Avoiding routines has also been significant in maintaining engagement. If a process needs to be updated, it is evaluated and adjusted to accommodate for changing work demands. We don’t want to hold a process as sacred – if employees think something isn’t working, or could be working better, we look into how we can change it. In addition to empowering our employees and making them more likely to stick around long-term, this also keeps our processes from getting stale.

3) Collaboration. Arraya employees are encouraged to take action. Knowing this eliminates fears of overstepping traditional department or project boundaries so people are more willing to collaborate to find new solutions. They aren’t hindered by having to wait for managers to bring teams together in a formal meeting. Instead, employees can post ideas or suggestions to discussion boards and initiate conversations with their peers through mediums beyond simple email. That way, when they do sit down with a manager or supervisor, the idea has typically already been fleshed out and picked apart.

4) Learning. Arraya provides employees with training in dynamic areas, apart from their own specialties, just by setting up social learning tools. Employees can utilize platforms like SharePoint to expand their skills and share their own expertise. We want to retain the skills our employees come onboard with by developing and reinforcing them constantly, so they don’t quickly become underutilized, or even forgotten. Everyone’s talents are vital to the development of the company, and we’re focused on retaining them. This strategy has also set us up for continued success as we know our employees will always have the latest and greatest skills they need to do their jobs.

Arraya encourages a company-wide mentality to focus on what matters. We provide transparency with corporate goals, avoid routines, encourage collaboration, and provide ample opportunities to learn. Doing so has allowed us to focus on the most critical facets of the company, while keeping employees engaged and involved.

The results have been great since we started concentrating on these factors. Just consider our corporate turnover rate, which tends to be very low. In fact, most people who do leave Arraya, do so for things like geographic reasons and not because of a problem they had with the company.