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Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction: Are Companies Missing the Point?

What if you could increase your team's sales productivity by 20 percent, or your overall profitability by 21 percent? Seem unlikely? Not according to a recent meta-analysis conducted by Gallup.

Employee engagement consistently affects key performance outcomes, regardless of the organization's industry or company. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore the fact that from an organizational point of view, engagement is optimal.

As an organization looking to attract high-level performers, what are the keys that employees of all generations- Millennial, Gen X, and Boomers- are looking for, across the board? Here are some ideas your company can implement to increase employee engagement.

“Employees want to feel valued, and the best way to express that value is through investment in the individual.”

1. Invest in the individual

Provide the training and resources for personal development. Competitive compensation is a helpful factor, but not the most important. Employees who feel valued will choose to remain in a caring environment, even if it pays less. To help employees fill knowledge gaps as they transition to new roles, continuing education courses provided by employers demonstrate that satisfaction is important to the organization. Supporting professional development is one way companies can attract and retain valued employees.

One study revealed 84 percent of employees don’t feel that their employers provide career-planning resources. And 70 percent said their employers don’t guide professional growth within their organization.

2. Develop leadership skills before they’re needed

Often when people are dissatisfied with leaders at work, they communicate with their feet-- by leaving your organization. By establishing ongoing leadership training, employees will transition into senior positions with more ease, and they’ll be equipped to provide peer-to-peer coaching on their way up.

3. Embrace employee mobility

Not only does this practice foster engagement, but it provides opportunity for an understanding of how a business works across functions and departments. Providing the space for employees today to make lateral career moves fulfills a need across the generation spectrum to find satisfaction in the workplace.

4. Be willing to say goodbye

Ironically, being willing to let valued members of your team go to pursue other-- perhaps better -- opportunities, speaks volumes to your employees. Professional, mature management seeking the highest good of it’s employees fosters loyalty, and ultimately comes full circle for the company, in the form of a reputation that pulls more people to it.

5. Keep your eyes on the real reason for engagement

Tempting as it may be to look at the traditional ‘bottom line’, companies that are in the know realize that the real bottom line is the culture and satisfaction of their employees. Today’s superior ability to analyze available market data can be misleading: supporting employees and taking care of their needs in the workplace will produce the results your company is striving for.

6. Communicate to employees that you value work/life balance

Are you able to allow employees to set their own schedule or work remotely? If you are able to shift to an outcomes-based model of performance rather than a traditional put-in-the-hours-plus-overtime, and yes-you-are-on-call-after-hours, your employees’ loyalty to your company might just skyrocket.

55% of employees reported that companies expect some people to be on call after hours and on weekends. Nearly a third (29%) of employees in the study said they resigned due to feeling burned out from being overworked or lacking a healthy work-life balance.

Whether your organization wants to attract new talent, increase employee retention rates, or improve ROI, raising employee engagement and satisfaction can improve them all. Don't miss the point of this powerful tool for your company.

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