How to promote employee engagement in your company

Engaged employees are those willing to go the extra mile; they are driven by passion and a profound connection that drives them to seek success. They are the people who drive innovation and move your business forward. According to the Bayt.com Job Satisfaction in the MENA survey, April 2015, only 44% of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region enjoy coming to work every day, and only four in 10 are satisfied with their present job. Employee engagement is a hot topic in today’s workplace, and many employers are actively seeking out ways to measure, monitor and maximize the level of engagement among their teams.

 

In this article, the experts at Bayt.com describe five creative ways to encourage employee engagement:

 

1. Have smart and self-driven leaders

Leaders’ own attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors have powerful trickle-down effects in any organization. Leaders of great workplaces don’t just talk about what they want to see in the future; they model it and keep practicing to get better at it every day with their teams. By displaying a little vulnerability, sharing their story, and working on improving themselves, great leaders signal that such engagement is the only way to truly get ahead and achieve goals. In the MENA region, four in 10 managers always do a good job of sharing information, with only 25% rarely hitting that particular benchmark, as stated in the Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll, April 2014.

 

2. Hire the best HR people

Great HR people have a gift for influencing, teaching, and holding managers accountable. According to the Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll, 92% of MENA professionals believe that senior management across the board is held accountable for achieving goals, although 94% of them believe that employees are the ones who bear the weight of achieving goals. HR experts can teach managers to be storytellers and mentors; they can help managers lead and develop employees in accordance with their natural capabilities.

 

3. Have a clear-cut approach to performance management

Results from the Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll reveals that 86% of professionals in the MENA receive regular-to-frequent feedback to help improve their performance at work. Another 8 in 10 have regular-to-frequent career discussions with their manager. Companies with the highest engagement levels know how to use performance appraisals as a powerful incentive currency. Indeed, a hallmark of these great workplaces is that they conduct fair and action-driven appraisals on a regular basis. Great companies see recognition as a powerful means to develop and stretch employees to new levels of capability. They also see tolerance of mediocrity as the enemy. Any action or inaction that doesn’t produce appropriate consequences adds to workplace disillusionment and corrodes commitment.

 

4Build a people-focused culture

Companies that reap the benefits of an engaged workforce understand that people are their greatest asset. Find out the responsibilities of your employees and consider initiatives that enable them to balance work and life more easily. In the MENA, only 27% of respondents in the 2015 Bayt.com Job Satisfaction in the MENA survey believe that their company shows an interest in the wellbeing of its employees. Almost half of them (48%) feel that they have a good work-life balance, while 52% believe the opposite. A higher proportion of respondents from the UAE (32%) are less happy with their working hours. Employers who truly want to promote engagement in their workplace should encourage employees to balance hard work with socializing and fun. They should also promote the sharing of stories, ideas, and improvements. A work environment in which people feel valued and heard, and where a sense of camaraderie is prevailing, is critical to employee engagement.

 

5. Let employees’ work be meaningful

Engaged employees believe that the work they are doing is important and has value. They believe they are contributing to a higher purpose and take pride in the results of their efforts. As a manager, it is crucial to frequently reinforce the importance of your employees’ roles. Help them to see the direct connection between their activities and company success. Set goals and challenge your employees to meet them to promote a sense of purpose. Grant them the autonomy to improve the way things are done, and involve them in decisions to help them feel a sense of ownership over the direction of the company. In the MENA region, 9 in 10 professionals claim to have a good understanding of the mission and goals of their organization and 95% understand how their work directly contributes to the company’s overall success. The majority are involved in decisions that affect their work.

 

Our research into a sample of over 9,507 respondents for the Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll shows that a job has the potential to be at the heart of a great life, but only if its holder is engaged at work. Companies in the MENA do invest time, money and effort for a more engaged workforce – by making work more fun, less stressful, and even meaningful – but many of them still fail. The best companies will find that establishing emotional connections with their staff is the only way to have an empowered, engaged workforce. It is not easy, but if you focus on these five ways from our team of experts, you too can create a company where people love their work.

 

Moreover, because inspiring employees is part of engaging them, Bayt.com has just unveiled “What’s Your Story?” an online campaign targeted towards companies and employees to share their stories in order to motivate and inspire others to achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit: www.bayt.com/whatsyourstory.

 

About Lama Ataya:

Lama Ataya heads the marketing department at Bayt.com. Within that role, she is also responsible for communications, content, community experience, and social responsibility. 

 

 

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