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Job Engagement - How to Improve?

All-in-one guide to improving employees' job engagement

Job Engagement - How to Improve?

All-in-one guide to improving employees' job engagement

Employees are the most important asset of the company because they are vital for the success of an organization. In the United States, the cost of employee disengagement is roughly $450 to $550 billion USD, while companies with engaged employees generally show better financial results, with roughly 21% increased profitability. Engaged employees play a significant role in boosting revenue and cost savings. In particular, engaged employees tend to be more motivated and satisfied with their jobs, which leads to higher productivity, better retention, less absenteeism, and decreased stress levels among employees.

This article briefly describes different ways to foster job engagement among employees, in terms of talent management, empowerment, workplace belongingness, work culture, and learning and development.

Effective Talent Management

One of the keys to cultivating job engagement is effective talent management. This involves increasing job-person fit, in which the company has to first identify the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for each role, and match them with employees’ abilities. When employees experience good job-person fit, they are able to utilize their strengths and interests in their work, leading to increased motivation, job satisfaction, and commitment. This, in turn, can drive increased productivity, reduced stress and absenteeism, and a positive work environment.

Indeed, it is impossible for everyone in the company to be completely satisfied with all the tasks involved in their work. As such, several job arrangements can be done for better talent management and boost job engagement.

  • Job enlargement – Add more and different tasks that employees are interested in, on top of their existing tasks in the job.
  • Job rotation – Move employees between tasks to distribute group responsibilities of tasks that most employees are less interested in.
  • Job enrichment – Provide employees with more responsibility, accountability, and independence in learning new tasks that employees considered interesting, within the scope of current tasks.

Empowerment

Empowerment is a key determinant in improving job engagement. In accordance with self-determination theory, empowering employees endeavours to satisfy the human fundamental psychological need for autonomy. Meanwhile, employee empowerment is built upon psychological safety in a trusting environment, which provides employees with psychological comfort in self-expression and self-management. With suitable empowerment, it can encourage creativity and innovation, confront groupthink bias, and improve workplace communication, resulting in higher job engagement. Below are some possible ways to empower employees:

  • Flexible working environment – Provide employees with the autonomy to manage their work schedule and routines
  • Foster open communication – Provide employees with the opportunity to provide feedback and express opinions freely
  • Encourage learning and acceptance – Accept mistakes while emphasizing the takeaways from them, and be open to different feedback and perspectives, regardless of the position.

Workplace Belongingness

Given that humans are social animals, we possess the basic instinct and fundamental psychological needs of interpersonal relatedness. Workplace belongingness helps employees to feel valued, included, and accepted, as well as improves workplace communication and collaboration, resulting in higher job satisfaction, lower level of work stress, and higher job engagement. Therefore, cultivating workplace belongingness among employees is central to job engagement, and below have listed several ways to build workplace belongingness:

  • Inclusiveness and diversity – Make sure everyone is valued and personally accountable, in which a team has included people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives
  • Create common grounds – Provide more platforms, spaces, and opportunities for more employees to interact with each other and network
  • Create a collaborative environment – recognize and reward teamwork, and encourage shared responsibility
  • Perceived organizational support – Perceived technical, informational, and emotional support received from the organization, supervisors, and colleagues.
  • Team Building – Organize team building activities, informal gatherings, and create team rituals

Fair and transparent work culture

A fair and transparent work culture emphasizes everyone in a workplace is treated equally and has equal opportunities. Such fairness and justice in the workplace is also a form of respect offered to all employees’ efforts, ideas, and values. With an egalitarian system, employees’ morale can be boosted because they understand that everyone has upward mobility and the opportunity to climb up the career ladder within the organization. An egalitarian system makes sure employees will not fall into a vicious cycle of learned hopelessness, which creates goals for employees and fosters job engagement. Below are ways to build a fair and transparent work culture:

  • Provide equal opportunities: Ensure that all employees have access to the same resources and opportunities for growth and advancement.
  • Promote fairness and transparency: Implement fair and transparent policies, such as making the career ladder and promotion criteria clear and transparent.
  • Ensure fair compensation: Ensure that all employees are compensated fairly based on their performance, skills, and experience.

Training and Development

More than ever, employees are concerning the room for self-improvement and personal growth, instead of merely climbing up the career ladder with a higher salary. This is especially the case for Gen Z employees. Training and development are then here to equip employees with the sense of competency and capacity to experience growth, which is intrinsically satisfying in nature. Offering training and development programs can also make employees feel valued and considered as more than a tool of the company, thereby promoting a sense of organizational citizenship and improving job engagement. Below are directions for training and development programs to foster employee job engagement:

  • On-job training – Equip employees with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to handle different types of tasks in the organization.
  • Non-job-related training – Provide employees with exposure to a wide range of non-job-related activities, such as trying out new sports, arts, and languages.
  • Freedom in learning – Encourage and subsidize employees to learn different work-related or non-work-related skills, inside or outside the organization.

Conclusion

In conclusion, increasing job engagement is essential for the success of an organization, and managers play a critical role in fostering engagement and supporting employee growth and development. This can be achieved through effective talent management, empowering employees, cultivating workplace belongingness, developing a fair and transparent work culture, and training and development programs. By creating a transparent and supportive workplace, managers can help ensure that employees are motivated, committed,

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