What Exactly is “Employee Engagement”
Gallup defines employee engagement as the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.
Employee engagement helps you measure and manage employees' perspectives on the crucial elements of your workplace culture.
Why it’s Important to Measure
Based on decades of employee engagement research, it is conclusive that engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees - regardless of industry, company size, nationality, and the health of the economy. Shockingly, a mere 23% of employees worldwide fall into the "engaged" category, which points to the critical importance of measuring employee wellbeing. By regularly assessing and improving the wellbeing of your team, you can boost engagement and, in turn, fuel better business outcomes.
In Gallup’s current meta-analysis report, when comparing employee engagement levels, they found the following differences in business outcomes:
Understanding the State of Flow: Michaly Csikszentmihalyi's Secret to Happiness
Before we dive into the intricacies of employee engagement, it's worth delving into the concept of "flow" as presented by psychologist Michaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is the state of being fully absorbed in an activity, to the point where time seems to disappear, and you are at your most creative and productive. This is engagement in its purest form and this state of flow is the secret to happiness for many individuals.
In your startup, fostering an environment where employees can frequently experience flow is a fundamental aspect of maintaining their engagement. When individuals are in the flow, they're not only happy, but they're highly productive and motivated. Find a place with each individual where skill is met with the appropriate level of challenge.
Ten Ways to Manage Engagement in Your Startup Teams
It All Starts with the Managers:
70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager. This means employee engagement should be a manager’s primary role responsibility.
Clarify the Vision:
Start with a compelling vision. Ensure that your team knows the 'why' of your startup. When they understand the purpose, they're more likely to stay engaged.
“People want purpose and meaning from their work. They want to be known for what they’re good at.”
Maintain open and honest communication channels. Keep your team informed about company updates, challenges, and successes.
Provide your team with autonomy over their work. Empower them to make decisions and take ownership of their projects.
Recognition and Rewards:
Acknowledge and reward good work. This can be as simple as verbal praise or more structured recognition programs.
Opportunities for Growth:
Offer training and development opportunities. When your team sees a path for personal and professional growth, they are more likely to stay engaged.
Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Overworked and stressed employees are unlikely to be engaged.
Establish a feedback culture where team members can voice their concerns and ideas. This gives them a sense of ownership in the company's success.
Clear Goals and Metrics:
Set clear, achievable goals and provide regular updates on progress. When your team sees their contributions making a difference, their engagement soars.
Inclusive Work Environment:
Foster diversity and inclusion. When employees feel valued and included, they're more likely to be engaged and loyal. The easiest way to do this is to ask: "How can I / the company best support you and set you up to feel your best at work?". Check out our blog about How to Support Neurodiversity in the Workplace.
Don't forget to celebrate achievements. Whether it's a big milestone or a small victory, acknowledging success motivates your team to strive for more.
The Flow of Employee Engagement
In the context of startup teams, the state of flow aligns closely with high levels of employee engagement. When employees feel a sense of purpose, autonomy, and growth, they are more likely to experience flow in their work. Back that up with a caring & compassionate manager, ongoing meaningful conversations and a focus on their strengths; they become fully immersed, passionate, and productive, contributing to your startup's success.
In conclusion, employee engagement in startups is not an elusive concept but a tangible factor that can drive your business forward. By understanding the principles of engagement and integrating them into your startup's culture, you'll be well on your way to creating an environment where your team experiences the state of flow, driving happiness and success in tandem. Remember, it's not just about building a startup; it's about nurturing the passionate individuals who will turn your vision into reality.
The Vyou platform provides invaluable insights into your employees' sentiments within various aspects of their work. Through a self-reflective journey, each employee gains profound insights into the areas that require the most attention. This data is not only instrumental in setting goals and enhancing employee self-awareness but is also shared with you (anonymously of course). This gives you a holistic perspective on your team's genuine sentiments at work, highlighting the significant gaps that might hinder them from feeling their best and subsequently doing their best.
Get in touch with us to find out what other features the Vyou platform offers.