How to Build Employees That Will Drive Company Growth

Engaged employees will go the extra mile to resolve a client's problem or close a sale, they contribute to a culture that consistently delivers great service and they drive company growth. Here's why.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT is defined as an active state related to productivity and innovation. Engaged employees can be described as being fully immersed in and enthusiastic about their work. This emotional attachment means that employees will go above and beyond the call of duty.

Bigstock

Employee engagement differs from employee satisfaction. Satisfaction can be described as being happy at work. Engagement takes employees to another level. 

Engaged employees will go the extra mile to resolve a client’s problem or close a sale, they contribute to a culture that consistently delivers great service. Engaged employees take ownership, deliver on their commitments in and outside the organisation and are passionate about satisfying the customer because they own the result of their work. 

Simply put, engaged employees are a prerequisite for building high performance teams within an organisation.

 

UNLEASH POTENTIAL

A recent Gallup survey on the State of the Global Workplace shows that a way to significantly increase productivity is to unleash employees’ potential by allowing individuals to identify, develop and use their natural talents so they become strengths. Employees who use their strengths on the job are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, and teams who know each other’s strengths relate more effectively to each other, boosting group cohesion. 

The survey also shows that making better use of employees’ strengths requires businesses to grant workers greater autonomy to use their strengths, which requires a profound management shift in which more personalised relationships and positioning team members for maximum impact occurs. 

The resulting sense of empowerment, however, benefits both the employees and the organisation. Higher levels of autonomy also promote the development and implementation of new ideas, as employees feel empowered to pursue entrepreneurial goals that benefit the organisation — that is, to be ‘intrapreneurs’. 

In addition, talented managers are critical players in implementing a performance- orientated, engagement-based and strength-focused culture and aligning the leadership and employee values. This individualised approach helps great managers account for generational differences in employee expectations, in particular Millennial employees that prefer a higher level of flexibility. 

Amongst the top performing companies, in any survey, 60% to 70% of employees are engaged at work. This is a clear financial incentive for leaders to take employee engagement and empowerment seriously.

Engaged employees are more innovative and take the success of the company personally.

FOCUSING ON ENGAGEMENT

There are a number of additional activities to help leaders succeed in employee engagement. These include: Strong visible values in the organisation, understanding and addressing employee expectations, career pathing with tailored development programmes to help employees achieve their goals, great communication tools and internal social collaboration for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration, knowledge transfer and helping the company expand the use of best practices, along with a great reward and recognition programme. 

The African continent, in particular, offers companies and employees more opportunities to be involved in community improvement projects and company-wide CSI programmes, which also increases the feel-good factor in the organisation and ultimately contributes towards an increase in employee engagement. 



Sources: 

1. Gallup, State of the Global Workplace

2. Aon Hewitt, 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement

3. HR Review Special Edition, Employee Engagement 2017



 

Sandra Burmeister

Written By

Sandra Burmeister serves as Regional President of a N2Growth Africa" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">N2Growth Africa, a black South African owned global professional services firm and a founder of the Employee Engagement Awards Africa.