Four Management Practices that Foster Employee Engagement




In the current market, having a high level of employee engagement can lead to numerous benefits for your business.  Studies have shown that engaged workers display higher levels of creativity, productivity and willingness to go above and beyond for their employers.  They show passion for their work and feel more connected to the company.

However, research indicates that only 32% of employees are considered as ‘engaged’ in their current roles.  Therefore, not only are businesses losing the benefits of an engaged workforce, but may even suffer from the potential harm of disengaged employees.  

Disengaged workers can lead to losses of tens of thousands of dollars in lost work productivity and have a negative influence on workplace culture.  Disengaged employees can also affect a business’ reputation through their disregard of organisational values.

To maximise work place productivity and positivity, here are four management practices that allow you to continue to keep your employees engaged with their work:

1    Develop employee skills

Opportunities for both personal and professional development have been consistently linked to employee engagement.  It is important to set challenging, but at the same time realistic standards for your employees so that they feel stimulated in their work.  Research has shown that job demands such as large workloads, time pressures, and responsibility in the working environment are positively associated with engagement when employees believe that these demands provide opportunities for growth.  Thus, regularly providing your employees with encouragement through challenges can help to maintain engagement and reduce the negative impacts of mundane jobs.  Improvement of employee skills through training workshops is just one such way.

Allowing career mobility within your company is another way to enhance job resources and workplace engagement.  In fact, companies who incorporate career mobility into their workplace strategies were found to have a stunning 42% increase in employee engagement, productivity, and teamwork on average.

2    Foster a values-based, supportive work environment

Establishing a workplace culture where organisational values are strongly adhered to will provide employees with clear boundaries to work within, whilst allowing them freedom to shape the work they’re doing.  This fosters effective communication between employees and promotes engagement through the process of making decisions based on organisational values.

Studies have found that social support and a positive organisational environment are related to work engagement.  Ensuring that your business has a friendly atmosphere whereby employees feel comfortable and share a positive relationship with fellow employees will reinforce the efficiency of the team.  Setting a zero tolerance approach towards negative employee behaviours such as discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying further helps to foster a supportive work environment.
  
3    Monitor and reward positive employee behaviours

There is a positive relationship between the amount of rewards and recognition directed to employees and work engagement.  It can be as simple as chatting with staff once weekly to see how they have been doing and providing appropriate feedback.  Employees will be much less likely to equivocate when they are aware that their work is valued, discussed and even linked to strategic outcomes.   Additionally, employees are less likely to experience the effects of burnout, exhaustion, cynicism and ineffectiveness, when they feel that their behaviour is being rewarded and appreciated  

4    Prevention is better than a cure: Improve hiring decisions

A good work role fit has also been identified as a contributor towards employee engagement.  When you invest extra time and effort into reviewing your hiring processes, aided by appropriate tools, you are more likely to find employees with an appropriate organisational fit.  Improving hiring practices with engagement in mind helps you identify in candidates the desirable attributes that are well suited to your business’s ethics and values.

Utilising psychometric assessments during the recruitment screening process is a great way to identify those who fit well into the organisations standards and values, as set by you. Ensuring that employees recruited will be genuinely interested and passionate about their work will not only reduce the likelihood of hiring disengaged people, but will also reduce turnover rates and the considerable amount of associated costs.  Long-term, objective, qualitative recruitment assessments provide the statistical data needed to evaluate which attributes make a difference within the organisation.

With a range of short and long-term benefits, having an engaged workforce proves to be beneficial for organisations.   It provides a good indication of the organisations’ internal management, and aids in achievement of organisational goals.  
When engaged employees feel valued by their organisation, this recognition can contribute to increased levels of self-regard, a vital personality attribute that all employees should possess.  This relationship is reciprocal. Hiring employees who have high levels of self-regard are likely to engage with work and the required organisational outcomes more easily.      

The Business Personality Reflections® is one personality questionnaire that measures business-related competencies like Self-Regard to assist in selection and personal development decisions.  Developed by Psych Press, this assessment contains 70 personality scales that can be tailored to any organisation’s needs.  Below is more researched based information about the Business Personality Reflections® Self-Regard scale. 

Self-Regard

Self-regard measures an individual's attitude toward and confidence in their own abilities.  Self-regard encompasses a freedom from doubt in one’s beliefs and confidence in expressing these beliefs in front of peers and managers.  It is the extent to which individuals perceive themselves as important, effective and meaningful.  This scale also assesses an individual’s ability to receive feedback and criticism and how they manage and respond to others' views of them.
Self-regard has been understood as both a driver and result of higher levels of engagement in the workplace (Bakker, 2011).  Employees with high levels of self-regard have been shown to cope better with stress (Oginska-Bulik, 2005) as they have the sufficient self-assurance to believe they can solve most problems.  Self-regard also reduces turnover, as employees with confidence in their work are more likely to continue at an organisation (Arshadi & Damiri, 2013).  Self-regard is even a strong predictor of counterproductive work behaviours. Acts such as theft, abuse, lying and unwillingness to co-operate are much less likely in confident employees (Arya & Khandelwal, 2013).

A sample item that might be seen on the Self-Regard scale is “I have a concern about my abilities to achieve things in life”

You might consider using self-regard scales in your recruiting and development processes if your employees:

  • ·         Work in a stressful environment
  • ·         Present signs of counterproductive work behaviours
  • ·         Demonstrate low organisational commitment
  • ·         Display signs of burnout

Organisations that prioritise self-regard in their employees are reaping the benefits of confident, engaged, and effective workers.  By placing an emphasis on self-regard in your recruitment and development processes you enable your organisation to potentially outperform competitors.


If you were interested in learning more about the Self-Regard scale, or the Business Personality Reflections® personality questionnaire please simply enquire now for a free trial.