Alliance Resources

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Four Strategies for Keeping Your Team Engaged

From the talent shortage to remote work to the return to work, less than one-third of the workforce may feel engaged in their work, as we reported in May. To help improve company culture and employee satisfaction, retention and engagement should continue to be top priorities in your talent strategy. This is especially true in Finance and Accounting, where the competition for talent remains extraordinarily high.

According to Harvard Business Review, employee engagement enhances performance, lessens burnout and leads to longer employee tenure. All of these can boost productivity while creating a future-focused environment.

Consider the effects on your overall workforce — which are demonstrably positive when employees feel engaged. A recent Gallup Employee Engagement Survey found that highly engaged workforces can increase:

  • Productivity by 14%
  • Customer ratings by 10%
  • Sales by 18%
  • Profitability by 23%
  • Organizational participation by 13%

On the flip side, consider the type of employee you want interacting with your customers, whether directly or indirectly. A disengaged worker is disaffected at best and disgruntled at worst.

Here are four strategies for raising employee engagement.

Top-down execution

One of the best engagement strategies focuses on top-down execution, with the C-suite being ready to endow managers with the training, expectation level and education they need in order to take the lead on employee engagement with their teams. It’s a vital commitment. As Gallup has discovered: “The manager or team leader … accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement.”

Develop skills and celebrate wins

Another approach involves a concentrated focus on boosting employees’ skills and applauding their wins. As we reported in the ARG Financial Salary Guide for 2023, professional development opportunities and employee recognition are mainstays for increased engagement.

Focus professional development on the career aspirations of each employee, tying recognition to the person’s team and department to strengthen a connection with the organization. And seek out meaningful promotions you can offer when opportunities present themselves.

Deepen the connection

When it comes to improving culture, every organization benefits from having a higher purpose — the benefit rather than the features.

Harvard Business Review advises: “Employees have to see a connection between their day-to-day work and the organization’s greater purpose.” Especially since a sense of purpose is as desirable as a good paycheck for many employees. Demonstrating this connection can take a two-tiered approach.

First, encourage employees to engage in job crafting, where they themselves define this purpose. And second, retool job descriptions to underscore this connection.

Cross-departmental collaboration

Cross-departmental connections present another retention strategy. These might be called networks or employee resource groups (ERGs). They are also de facto builders of diversity and inclusion, as they bring together employees with common interests or values, regardless of where they fall on the organization chart.

These new avenues of camaraderie offer rewarding ways for employees to become invested in the success of their peers, and for this investment to be reciprocated. That’s a win for your organization.

As we enter Q4, make sure employee engagement is part of your ongoing strategic plan. For new hires you want to attract in 2024, being able to show a high degree of employee engagement will be a powerful drawing card. And, as with the past few years, 2024 may deliver a fresh batch of uncertainties — all the more reason to have a strong workforce ready.

Alliance Resource Group is your partner in seeking top talent.