Employee Engagement Starts with Understanding Who Your Employees Are
Jun 24, 2021
The Case for Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the foundation upon which the success of your business is built. Your employees are the most vital asset in your organization, and your ability to meet your strategic goals, both short-term and long-term, is in their hands. You need motivated, inspired, and engaged employees to get where you want to go.
Organizations that excel in engaging, motivating, and empowering their employees will outcompete, out-recruit, and outmaneuver their competition. Why? Engaged employees are happier, more productive workers who directly contribute to increased growth and stronger bottom lines. As importantly, retention rates among these employees will be higher which makes them even more valuable to the business over the long-term. Keep in mind, however, that the reverse is also true of employees who do not feel valued by their employer.
Yet, employee engagement does not just happen on its own. Said differently, successfully engaging employees is not a passive endeavor for businesses. It is strategic. It is purposeful. It is part of the corporate culture.
Let Your Employees Tell Their Story
Successful engagement starts with listening to your employees. Companies that create opportunities, provide the tools, and open the channels of communication that empower employees to tell their stories are the organizations that develop highly engaged workforces. This is how companies learn about what is important to their employees as individuals including their needs, goals, and aspirations and is the key to engaging them more effectively.
This data—the narrative of your employees, individually and collectively—is invaluable to your organization. Think about it. How else can you identify benefits that are relevant to the needs of your employees if you don’t ask? How can you offer programs or start initiatives to help your employees if you don’t know what they need?
The benefits of listening to your employees are significant:
• Employees feel valued and invested in
• Employees have access to resources to meet their well-defined needs
• Employers are able to better understand and meet the needs of their employees, helping remove distractions and improve their relationship with their employees
Bottom line, you have to engage to engage.
Engaging to Engage : A LifeCents Case Study
While this may seem like “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” the reality is that employers can invest a lot of time, money, and resources into efforts intended to engage their employees that wind up missing the mark because they haven’t first taken the time to listen. Instead, employers should prioritize those initiatives designed to help them understand who their employees are, what makes them tick, and what keeps them up at night.
Case in point, a large non-profit health system was debating the need to provide a financial wellness program to its employees because they assumed that their employees were financially healthy and secure. They argued that because most employees had advanced [college] degrees, were well paid, and had generous employee benefits, like a 401k with an employer match, their employees were doing fine.
In spite of the initial reluctance, the company agreed to implement LifeCents for its nearly 20,000 employees to assess their financial health. LifeCents delivered the data and insights that shed light on the reality of their financial health and debunked initial assumptions. Some of the more compelling and actionable insights from this implementation of LifeCents included:
• Discovering that roughly 9 out of 10 employees were stressed about finances
• Nearly 1 in 4 said they were living paycheck-to-paycheck
• Learning that employees were not taking full advantage of the benefits available to them such as the 401k match because they were “swimming” in debt, particularly student loans
This invaluable information about the employees’ needs, interests, and goals were unearthed for the first time. The data was precisely what was needed to help company provide benefits that better aligned with their employees’ needs. Using LifeCents, the employer was able to address the specific needs of the employees thereby increasing participation in the right benefits while reducing the stressors that were eroding employee productivity, moral, and happiness.
No longer did the employer assume that it “knew” what its employees needed. Instead, it had information—data—which it could use to drive engagement by responding to the employees’ needs in a meaningful way, helping to remove distractions and instill confidence in the employees that they were being heard.
What’s Your Story?
We would love to learn more about what your financial wellness goals are for your organization. You can reach us here or schedule a demo. In the meantime, you can learn more and view the entire case study here.