What does recruiting and employee engagement have in common?
When brands talk about employee engagement, they often do so with the bottom line and productivity in mind. By bolstering engagement, they may be able to create a more optimistic and efficient workplace.
Although a lift in productivity is a key benefit of effective employee engagement efforts, it is only one of many. Companies need to keep in mind the fact that employee engagement is not solely for lifting production, and it can be used to address several other challenges.
“Every employed worker is a job seeker”
For example, take a look at today’s highly competitive job market. Ever since the economy began improving, many employees have been questioning whether they could find a better job elsewhere.
For example, one study from Manpower found 84 percent of respondents plan on searching for a new job. Another survey from Jobvite found the same thing, with 69 percent of employed respondents actively seeking a new job, or at least open to the idea of doing so.
“Inside every employed worker is a job seeker,” Dan Finnigan, president and chief executive of Jobvite, told Forbes. “Because of pent-up demand now that the economy is growing, those workers are looking for the next step in their career.”
So, how does a company reach these potential job seekers and ensure they are the first place these people are looking for their next pay checks?
There are numerous options: They could publish job listings on industry websites, hold hiring events and work with recruiting agencies to fill these gaps. However, one of the most effective and least expensive ways of going about this is simply by leveraging their own employees for referrals.
The correlation between engagement and recruiting
If executives have ever talked to people who did not like or were not engaged by their jobs, they know how those conversations tend to go. Suffice to say, these people probably would not recommend others apply at their companies.
Now, look at engaged employees. These individuals are likely enthusiastic about what they do. Sure, there are times when they might complain or vent about a specific task, but at the end of the day, engaged employees feel like a meaningful piece of the firms they work for.
This is good because employers look for highly motivated, highly talented prospects, so it is only natural these people would associate with other like-minded individuals who would similarly bring a lot to the table as an employee.
In essence, engaged employees are often the biggest marketers organizations have. Firms are already paying their workers to do their jobs, but if they go the extra mile to ensure members of staff are happy, motivated and engaged, businesses can yield even greater results in the form of eager applicants who also want to work with the company.
“If yours is like most organizations, you overlook your greatest marketing asset – your employees,” added Channel Partners Online contributor Cara Sievers. “You’re already paying them, they spend most of their lives with you and (hopefully) they are your biggest champions. By engaging your employees, you can grow your marketing ‘team’ exponentially without additional cost.”
Here are two ways to bolster engagement and make employees a brand’s greatest ambassador:
1. Make sure no one is left behind
At large companies — and sometimes even in smaller ones — it is easy for employees to get lost in their roles and how they affect the broader business. This leads to that unengaged, “cog in the machine” mentality that de-motivates people.
Companies should always strive to keep people abreast of what is happening and how it affects employees. This means sharing objective goals, progress reports and other news. It also means getting employees involved as well by recognizing the accomplishments of key employees and opening the floor to feedback.
If people feel like replaceable assets, they are not going to feel engaged. By keeping the lines of communication open, companies make their workers feel like members of the team and an important asset.
2. Provide employees with valuable experiences
People are always looking for new experiences that will help them advance professionally.
One way employers can do this is through cross-training. As Sievers noted, this can help deal with the “that’s not my job” mentality that often serves as a roadblock to engagement while also giving employees experience that may not normally fall within their wheelhouse, which can lead to more promotion opportunities.
Cross-training helps reminds people that there is more to a company than just their team or department and reinforces the notion that everyone is vital to the overall success of the company.
When it comes to recruiting new prospective talent, current employees set a solid first impression. This will not happen if workers are not engaged, however, so firms need to do what they can to get people involved.
Read more from David Bator on his blog: Beyond the Employee Survey.