“There is much said about employee engagement - providers, industry commentators and intellectuals all use the word with scary frequency. Rarely do they mean the same thing. Rarely is it used in the same context. It is important to be clear about what employee engagement means for your organisation and most importantly how you are going to measure it every day.

The indicators that show you it’s working will vary depending on what you’re looking to achieve, the demographics of your staff and your culture. Every organisation is different and that needs to be reflected in everything that you seek to do around employee engagement.” Matt Macri-Waller, Founder and CEO, Benefex

What exactly is employee engagement?

The merits of employee engagement include unlocking extra effort from your employees, making sure they’re buying in to what you’re doing as an organisation and building loyalty.

“Engagement is about creating opportunities for employees to connect with their colleagues, managers and wider organisation. It is also about creating an environment where employees are motivated to want to connect with their work and really care about doing a good job… It is a concept that places flexibility, change and continuous improvement at the heart of what it means to be an employee and an employer in a twenty-first century workplace.” Professor Katie Truss

The Engagement Movement Foundation states that the four enablers of engagement are:

  • Leadership 
    Do your employees buy into the leaders of your organisation? Do they believe what they’re saying? Is it clear to them where the company is heading, and do they believe this is the right direction?
  • Management
    Do your employees feel that what they do is valued? Are they getting the feedback that they need to improve? And the recognition that they deserve? Is their progression and development outlined and do they understand the opportunity for the next step in their career path?
  • Involvement
    Do all employees have a voice within the organisation? Are they included in decision making processes? And is something being done as a result of their input?
  • Integrity
    Does your organisation do what it says it’s going to do? Do you follow all your policies through? If you say you’re going to be environmentally friendly, are you?

How do flexible benefits contribute to engagement?

Research shows that at any one point, an average of 2/3 of the people working at your organisation don’t want to be there. At Benefex we know that reward and benefits can change that. But how?

Employee engagement relies on a level of communication between you and your employees. Reward and benefit schemes provide an opportunity not only for this positive interaction, but also for positive enforcements that are above and beyond employee expectations.

Having employees interact with the scheme, take responsibility and see a reward for their action supports this positive reinforcement for their behaviour and increases the likelihood of a positive behaviour towards your organisation.

The benefits themselves also create an emotional response that is sometimes overlooked by employees when they are considering other things such as their salary or any training offered to them. But if they save 50% at a restaurant because of a card their employer has given them, they will share the experience, form positive memories and ultimately bond with your brand.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” Simon Sinek

To find out more about engaging your employees, get in touch or take a look at how Nexen and Incisive Media are using employee benefits to drive engagement.