How to achieve employee engagement

Wouldn't it be great if employers could generate the same level of dedication in their staff that we see in the loyalty of sports fans to their team? How do you create the same passion and emotional buy-in for your employer brand?

Employee engagement is the emotional, cognitive and physical investment of an employee to perform. A common challenge employer’s face, is to get employees to buy into the brand’s philosophy, energy and culture. How we communicate within a company and how we engage with employees is critical to brand success. How can companies achieve a high level of connection with their employees? How do we inspire our team? 

1) Align individual values to the organisation’s ethos
Employees can no longer be manipulated by a ‘better the devil you know’ ethos that downplays the competition. Employers must identify and harness the attributes that will inspire employees’ loyalty to ensure that their values and motivation are aligned to the organisation’s ethos. Clearly define how you will engage your employees - it doesn't happen by process of osmosis.

2) Make your team superior
An engaged employee would proudly talk about their organisation as a collective ‘we’ and be keen to show why their ‘team’ is superior to others. An organisation must determine their unique characteristics that can be easily communicated and, more importantly, boasted about to others. Spend time on communicating the vision and ethos to your team.

3) Become the employer of choice
The undisputed global employer of choice, Google, has characteristics that all companies could strive for - a good reputation, innovative products, a dynamic work environment and challenging work. These are attributes that all companies can strive for to make their company the employees’ preferred choice.

4) Know that employee engagement determines customer loyalty 
Service delivery is central to the success of a business, however transactional efficiency is no longer sufficient to satisfy customers. Empathy, emotional connection and relationships have become an important part of the equation.
Service delivery needs to provide an emotional experience to satisfy customers. 

5) Emotional interaction leads to loyalty
Research by Ask Afrika* has shown that when employees have a positive appraisal of their work environment, it produces specific emotions which result in a certain level of service quality. Customers interpret this interaction positively, which in turn produces an emotion in the customer that could lead to loyal support and word of mouth promotion.

Traditionally, exclusively cognitive measures have been used to explain customer satisfaction. Now it seems obvious that emotions play an important role in explaining employee and customer satisfaction. 

While we all find engagement in our own individual ways, there’s no denying the value of identity and the attraction of being part of a bigger story and a winning team. 

* The Ask Afrika Orange Index provides customer service trends, insights and thought leadership based on 13 years of data, across 32 industries and 155 companies. A research survey called the Behaviour Sciences Package was included in the Index, designed specifically to measure emotional encounters between employees and customers.