The Tangible Results of Increased Employee Engagement

  • May 20, 2019,
  • By Jay Hinman

We’re all captives of the team-building buzzwords of our era. If you’ve ever worked for a major corporation, you’re likely familiar with leadership and employee engagement programs that use acronyms for staff engagement. You may have seen abbreviations that look something like the word “LEAP”:

Leadership

Engagement

Action

Performance

Every company puts their own spin on how to incorporate their employees into their culture. It goes without saying that this broad, low-touch approach to staff engagement rarely mirrors the employee’s true experience within the organization. Acronyms are quickly forgotten and buried by burdensome workloads.

Workplace malaise can be a killer of productivity. If your employees dread getting up to go to work in the morning, it’s probably fair to say that there are some serious issues at play. How do you build an authentic company culture that both encourages productivity and engages your employees?

What Constitutes a Good Work Culture?

To be clear, difficult tasks at work shouldn’t be the reason employees are anxious about their upcoming day. In fact, challenges at work can push employees out of their comfort zones and provide them with a heightened sense of confidence.

Deloitte describes company culture as “a system of values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape how actual work gets done—the way things work around here. In contrast, engagement is about employees’ level of commitment to the organization and their work—how people feel about the way things work around here.” They are intrinsically combined and critical to recruitment and business performance. Companies that have a highly engaged staff outperform their competition by 147 percent.

One of the biggest stress-enhancers in today’s workforce is outdated technology and processes. A recent study found that almost 40 percent of employees are frustrated by slow or outdated systems. Company guidelines, procedures, and sets of approvals make up a large portion of daily company culture, and as such, this culture needs to be designed to lessen the impacts of stress by creating efficient tools for employees to succeed.

Arming your employees with the instruments they need to drive to their targets gives them much greater autonomy. When all the correct systems are in place, staff are free to focus on their daily tasks and not the mindless minutia that can often characterize modern enterprise culture. This creates a sense of ownership of their targets, and helps eliminate the need for managers to micro-manage.

What Makes Employees Happy and Engaged?

A University of Warwick study revealed that workplace happiness leads to a 12 percent boost in productivity. The findings were summarized as such:

Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off. Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37 percent. The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”

To push toward these priorities, employers need to evaluate their organizational structures to ensure that employees are using their time efficiently, and aren’t facing unnecessary roadblocks to getting their work done.

By eliminating systemic inefficiencies, leaders can spend more time working on growing content employees. Yet understanding that streamlined workflows and more autonomy lead to more productive employees is far different from actually implementing streamlined workflows and more autonomy.

How the Wrong Tools Impact the Employee Experience

One of the most overlooked keys to employee satisfaction and an employee experience that is maximally productive is recognizing the role that tools and systems play in the employee workday. Forcing employees to use either too many tools, or tools that are too complicated, can drastically impact their ability to produce a job well done.

It’s not difficult to understand why. Tools that create friction or confuse the user mean more than lost time or lost productivity. They also mean frustration and aggravation.  Why frustrate team members when it should be so easy to recognize the issue and fix it?

Simply put, current tools and the status quo remain in place because of momentum. The money and time invested already in SAP or Oracle or Workday isn’t likely to be abandoned anytime soon for some abstract goal of making employees happy.  The good news is that a new set of tools, including our own ApproveSimple, are addressing this challenge by simplifying the employee experience through tools and applications that are easy to use, yet powerful enough to tap into all of the features and benefits of the underlying tools themselves.

Delivering the Employee Experience that Supercharges your Team

The answers are so clear as to almost seem obvious: happy employees remain engaged. Confident and invested employees help their companies grow, develop and evolve at rates significant enough to fully transform entire industries. Conversely, employees that aren’t respected or empowered lag behind, as do their employers.

Critical to delivering the former instead of the latter is removing obstacles and complications that keep team members from focusing on the real work at hand. Investing in systems that optimize the workday and give your workers the chance to make a real impact also shows you’re investing in the heart and soul of your business and its future.

To learn more about how ApproveSimple can contribute to a better employee experience, contact us here. Our team would love the chance to work with you on what it means to empower your team and drive your business into the future with smarter, simpler systems.

Jay Hinman

Jay Hinman is the VP of Marketing at Capriza, focused on helping organizations achieve greater business agility and faster decision cycles by accelerating approvals.

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