Inevitably, the New Year brings a multitude of industry think-pieces speculating on which trends will be taking the business world by storm in the coming months, some practical, some outlandish – and that’s before we even begin to think about Brexit, which, if truth be told, makes our brain itch. Employee engagement, however, is well and truly to the forefront of business focus and looks set to gain further momentum as the year progresses.
We’ve already stated the case for why your company needs employee engagement, the necessity for an organisation to create an environment where each employee is focused and productive, thriving in conditions that encourage creativity and effort – thereby having a positive effect on the bottom line. The goal is to create a climate that encourages flow – a state where employees are out of their comfort zone so they are energised, but not so challenged they become stressed and anxious.
Flow – the key to employee engagement Why bother whether your employees are in flow? Although understood for thousands of years by many religions, flow was defined in 1975 by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi as the “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best” – commonly known as being ‘in the zone’. Author Steve Kotler, who is also the co-founder and director of the Flow Genome Project, references a 10-year McKinsey study where top executives reported being five times more productive when in flow, arguing that this means, “if you can spend Monday in flow, you’ll get as much done as your steady-state peers do in a week. In fact, according to these same McKinsey researchers, if we could increase the time we spend in flow by 15-20%, overall workplace productivity would almost double“. Now do we have your attention?!
How to encourage flow Flow cannot be achieved without a sound understanding of your employees strengths and weaknesses. The old modus operandi of annual appraisals and scant interest in employee feelings is, thankfully, becoming less prevalent with the realisation that employee information-gathering needs to be lighter on its feet and adapt to the changing workforce. Employers are recognising the need for real-time check-ins whereby employees can express their attitude to work – stressed, anxious, actively negative or merely apathetic. Pulse-taking exercises can spot potential issues and give management the chance to turn the situation around before it becomes a serious morale problem or worse – invaluable feedback given the high costs of replacing employees. This nurturing environment whereby employees feel comfortable in their ability to express opinions, both positive and negative, must come from the top down, with management demonstrating that not only are they gathering employee feedback, they are also acting on it.
Get your employees in full flow with ENGAGE How can ENGAGE help your employees get in flow? Real time forms and surveys provide the feedback you need to gauge how far to challenge your staff without pushing them over the edge or leaving them bored stiff. Sophisticated, easy-to-assimilate analytics help you get to know your employees strengths and weaknesses through their responses and enable managers to provide a stimulating environment that encourages focus and engagement, while an interactive calendar feature ensures that management and staff are on the same page with projects. Reminders when deadlines are to be hit ensure processes are transparent and everyone is aware of their input – nasty surprises are the enemy of flow.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your employees in the flow with ENGAGE – click on the button below for a quick demo!