Employee satisfaction and engagement are topics that have been, and will continue to be, reoccurring in today’s workforce and well into the future. While there may be some out there who feel that continuing to talk about this topic may be redundant and unimportant, please note: you’re wrong. While millennials should be credited (and yes it’s a credit, not a criticism) for bringing these topics to the forefront, it’s important to note that these initiatives should be seen as a benefit to employers not a drawback. We all know, regardless of firm size, that employee turnover is costly. You spend time and money training new employees and integrating them into your firm, only to start that process all over again when they leave due to dissatisfaction or disengagement. Not only does turnover hurt your bottom line but it also affects morale, which in turn can negatively impact your firm culture. This toxicity can spread like wildfire and you run the risk of losing even your most loyal of employees. In addition to supporting all employees in professional and educational development (a topic which I have previously covered), employers should consider implementing a wellness program into your firm to combat the slippery slope of employee disengagement and exodus. While these types of initiatives are commonplace at large corporations, in today’s market, all employers should be supporting employee well-being.
First, however, before you begin to create a wellness program, you should really understand what employee engagement is. Natalie Loeb, founder and lead consultant of Loeb Leadership Development Group, recently defined employee engagement as “an intentional decision made by the leaders of a firm to foster the right culture establishing a workplace where all employees can give their best each day, remain committed to their firm’s goals and values, and stay inspired to contribute to firm success, while building and sustaining an enhanced sense of self-confidence and well-being.” Loeb, who has over 20 years of experience in employee relations including previously working in human resources at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom went on to say that engagement is “based on trust, integrity, two-way feedback and collaborative teamwork among the firm’s team members. Heightened employee engagement increases the chances of business success, contributing to firm and individual performance, productivity and well-being. Engagement can be measured. It varies from low to high. It can be built, cultivated and dramatically increased.” Instituting haphazard programs just for the sake of checking a box is not only ineffective but is wasteful of your time and employee’s time. Therefore, it’s important from the beginning that management and other decision makers at the firm devote time and energy to creating useful programs that have a direct impact on employee engagement.
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