The importance of knowing your why to employee engagement

What’s your why?

People often talk about employee engagement and will say to me that they need to “improve their employee engagement” but they don’t really understand what employee engagement is or why it’s important!

Let’s start with what it’s not first! Employee engagement isn’t employee happiness! Employee engagement is defined by Kevin Kruse as “the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.”

Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity, two way commitment and communication between a business and its employees. It’s an approach that increases the chances of you having a successful business and your employees willingly contributing to the organisation’s success and their own individual performance. Engagement improves productivity and creates a great working culture of well-being. It can be measured, and it varies from poor to great! The good thing is – it can be nurtured and dramatically increased; but it can also be easily lost and thrown away by poor leadership and people practices.

Many businesses will now have employees working from home, working on reduced hours or being furloughed for periods of time, so keeping your employees engaged with your business either now or when things get back to normal, has never been more important.

So what does high levels of employee engagement look like?

The good businesses we work with have employees who get up for work and say, “Great, I’m going to work. I know what I’m going to do today. I’ve got some great ideas about how I can do my work really well. I’m looking forward to seeing the team and helping them work well today”.

An engaged employee understands their role in the business and where it fits in the business purpose and objectives.

Employee engagement is about having a clear understanding of how an organisation is fulfilling its purpose and objectives and where employees are given a voice to offer their ideas and express views that are taken account of as business decisions are made.

Employee engagement is about being included fully as a member of the team, focussed on clear goals, trusted and empowered, receiving regular and constructive feedback, supported in developing new skills, thanked and recognised for achievements.

Engaged organisations have strong and authentic values, with clear evidence of trust and fairness based on mutual respect, where two-way promises and commitments – between employers and employees – are understood and fulfilled. 

Ok great – sounds simple enough, but how do we get the emotional commitment from our employees then? This is actually the hard part! It’s taken us over 20 years of working in senior HR roles alongside great Business Leaders and Owners, and if we are totally honest, some not so great Business Leaders and Owners to figure out what works, and what helps create that emotional commitment between employee and employer and its really understanding your why, and clearly stating your values that link to your why!

It may sound like we are teaching granny to suck eggs here, but I’m absolutely sure that if you are a business owner or leader, you know what it is you do and you know how you do it. But do you know your why? Why do you do what you do, why is it important and what’s the purpose of your business? What values are important to you and your business and how do these values translate to your employees?

We can work with you remotely to understand your What, How and Why and help you to work on this with your employees so that you can translate this into a meaningful business purpose and values that engages your employees now when they may be working remotely or when they are back to work in a few months’ time.

If you’d like to book a quick call to discuss how we can work with you to understand your why. http://bit.ly/CallMerakiHR or drop me a line at; emma@merakihr.com.

Or come along to our 2 hour virtual workshop which will help you to create your vision, your why and your values on May 7th from 10am -12 noon, and you can book your seat on this workshop here;  Virtual Training -Why you need to create a vision, purpose and values for your business