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Employee Engagement Is Key To Improving Workplace Productivity

Organisational structure, employee engagement, trust and productivity are closely interconnected.

Employee Engagement Is Key To Improving Workplace Productivity

Published on:

5 Jun 2014

Making sure your employees feel appreciated, valued and able to share thoughts on company strategy, all make a difference to the health of your company’s bottom line. Employee engagement is key to business success.


Why employee engagement key to business success


Feelings of satisfaction at work encourage staff to engage with the business and lead to increased levels of productivity.


This is why internal social media tools are being adopted by firms, from big brands to small businesses. These platforms enable conversations to flow between management and staff as well as peer-to-peer engagement.


For example, Aviva recently employed this strategy, with great results. Chief executive David Barral posted a question on Aviva’s intranet about how to encourage people to think and plan for the future – and received more than 300 responses in only three hours.


Of course, it isn’t solely SMEs that benefit from these types of initiatives – which is why big brands like Aviva, Sainsbury’s and BBC are utilising such an approach.


Christy Stewart-Smith, group internal engagement director at Aviva said: “Contributing to strategy gets employees excited and increases their involvement in a business. This is a pretty efficient way of squeezing out their knowledge while making them feel involved and appreciated.”


He adds that internal communication influences the external brand and that a company with strong communication channels will likely be better received by consumers. This makes sense because dissatisfied employees pervades every aspect of a business, and customers can pick up on negative impressions through customer service experiences, for example.


Organisational structure and trust are closely interconnected and have a significant influence on each other. Trust within an organisation is a crucial factor for building strong relationships, fostering collaboration, and achieving shared goals. A well-designed structure that promotes open communication, empowerment, collaboration, and accountability can nurture trust within the organisation. Conversely, a structure that inhibits these factors may erode trust, negatively impacting the organisation’s performance, productivity, and ability to adapt.


The cost of poor employee engagement

The cost of poor employee engagement is multifaceted. Beyond the immediate impacts on productivity and morale, it extends to increased turnover rates, higher recruitment expenses, and a drain on company culture. Disengaged employees are less likely to innovate or collaborate effectively, stifling creativity and hindering progress.


Moreover, their dissatisfaction often translates to diminished customer satisfaction and loyalty, directly impacting revenue. Addressing employee engagement isn't just about morale; it's a strategic imperative for sustainable business success.


How are organisational structure and trust related?

Organisational structure and trust are closely interconnected and have a significant influence on each other. Trust within an organisation is a crucial factor for building strong relationships, fostering collaboration, and achieving shared goals.


A well-designed structure that promotes open communication, empowerment, collaboration, and accountability can nurture trust within the organisation. Conversely, a structure that inhibits these factors may erode trust, negatively impacting the organisation’s performance, productivity, and ability to adapt.


Here’s how organisational structure and trust are related:

Communication and Transparency: Trust is enhanced when there is open and transparent communication within an organisation. The organisational structure can facilitate or hinder effective communication channels. A hierarchical and rigid structure may limit information flow, eroding trust. Conversely, a flat or decentralized structure with open lines of communication can foster trust by promoting transparency and inclusivity.


Decision-Making and Autonomy: The level of trust within an organisation affects how decisions are made and the degree of autonomy employees have. A hierarchical structure with a lack of trust may result in centralised decision-making, stifling employee empowerment and ownership. In contrast, a structure that encourages trust empowers employees to make decisions, fostering a sense of autonomy and accountability.


Collaboration and Teamwork: Trust is essential for fostering collaboration and teamwork. An organisational structure that promotes cross-functional teams, collaborative projects, and shared objectives can enhance trust among employees. When individuals trust each other and believe in the competence and reliability of their colleagues, they are more likely to work together effectively, share knowledge, and support one another.


Accountability and Performance: Trust plays a vital role in promoting individual and collective accountability. A well-defined organisational structure that clearly outlines roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations can facilitate trust by ensuring that individuals are accountable for their actions. When employees trust that their colleagues will fulfill their commitments and deliver quality work, it strengthens the overall performance of the organisation.


Adaptability and Innovation: Trust is crucial for fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability. In a flexible and adaptable organisational structure, where employees are encouraged to take risks and experiment, trust enables them to feel safe in sharing ideas, challenging the status quo, and embracing change. Without trust, innovation and creativity can be stifled, hindering the organisation’s ability to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.


Engaged employees improve workplace productivity

Engaged employees drive improvements in workplace productivity which is the engine of business success.


Employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace, according to Gallup.


The more efficient, effective and engaged your employees are the more competitive your business will be. Motivated employees will be engaged employees. Most companies focus on quantitative measures to manage staff performance; units produced, sales made, reports filed, etc.


But it’s the qualitative measures that motivate employees beyond the basics of safety and security and reasonable pay, such as respect, recognition, praise, inclusion, connection, relationships and being part of a winning team, which then drives increased workplace productivity.


Engaged employees are happier, more productive, less distracted, better communicators, more innovative and a lot less likely to leave the company.


Sainsbury’s director of colleague engagement Jacki Connor said: “Customers can see benefits, even if it’s just a smile when they go to the checkout, or whether it’s clearer links, such as people being able to talk about provenance or how to cook something. If you do this well it has huge impact.”


Keeping communication open between management and the workforce makes a big difference, especially when the economic situation is tough and cutbacks are being made.


Connor commented: “We did some research last year asking what was important for colleagues. We found that what is happening at work and the level of trust they have in the business are very important issues for them. When things aren’t going well, staff need to hear what is happening as much as when things are going well because it’s about trust.

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