Employee Engagement Handbook
2020 Edition

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What is Employee
Engagement?

Employee engagement is the level of commitment, passion and loyalty a worker has toward their work and company.

The most engaged an employee is, the more work they’ll put in.

Don't get confused between employee engagement and employee satisfaction. After all, a 'satisfied' employee may put in the hours but may not go the extra mile (and will probably get lured away by that headhunter).

When employees care - when they are engaged - they go the extra mile. They choose to use discretionary effort. The engaged computer programmer works late when needed, without being required to. The engaged retail clerk picks up the rubbish on the shop floor, even when the boss isn't watching.

Engaged employees make additional effort, learn more, and faster, and are more creative. In essence, they act as your company's ambassadors.

We can't be complacent. Employee engagement is a temporary psychological state of being, which employers consequently need to continuously review and develop.

In fact, there is often a fall-off in levels of employee engagement when staff have spent two years with one employer.

Why do you need to engage with your employees?

When staff are well-motivated and support the culture of the business, both sides usually benefit.

When people are engaged, they work faster, harder and longer because they're interested and committed to what they do. According to Gartner, that increase in productivity is around 17%.

Organisations with the most engaged employees reported 21% higher profitability when compared to those with the least.

These engaged staff take 41% fewer sick days, which means less strain put on the employees who have to cover for these absences.

Engaged employees are less likely to leave their job, improving employee retention. You avoid the costs associated with employee turnover, such as recruiting new replacement staff, churn impacting your organization, and the time lag before you find good replacements.

An engaged team can help boost a company’s reputation; a disengaged one might badmouth your company (just browse Glassdoor).

When your employees are engaged and happy in what they do, this can only help increase customer satisfaction.

It's obvious that encouraging employee engagement now will boost customer satisfaction, personnel retention, productivity and profitability down the line.

Recruiting Top Talent

Hiring the best person for the job often comes down to the law of attraction. In 2020, you’ll want to make sure your company is attractive to job candidates through your public reputation, your benefits package, a user-friendly website and your social media presence. Don’t panic. You don’t need to tackle them all, choose one or two platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram to give potential candidates an insight into your company culture.

It’s not what you know but who you know. Sometimes the best candidates are found through word of mouth through your current team. If an employee is fully engaged, they’ll confidently share vacancies at the company and recommend people in their network. Often these will be people they know and trust which pre-screens candidates without you having to spend a cent.

The key element in the attraction phase is your company image. A passionate workforce exudes their company culture when they’re outside of work, in interviews, on social media and at networking events. When people get an essence of your positive company culture they are more likely to apply for the job.

Once people are attracted you’ll want to secure them in the interview phase.

A passionate employee who cares about the company expresses that passion when they interview potential candidates.

Retain Talents, Reduce Turnover Cost

Disengaged employees are four times more likely to leave their jobs.

The average cost of employee turnover, based on the average UK salary, is around £11,000 per person.

For specialist roles, the turnover cost can be significantly higher due to the amount of time and money that you need to spend to train them.

As an example, let's take employees in customer service during the month of January. Due to a seasonal slump in engagement and motivation, a survey found that 39% were actively looking for a new role.

The financial impact of this employee churn is considerable. Based on the average customer service worker’s annual salary of £21,000, each departure costs businesses at least £6,300 due to recruitment expenses and reduced productivity.

Interestingly, financial incentives alone wouldn't be a solution, with 47% of those surveyed saying that money wouldn’t affect their decision as to whether to stay or leave their company in January.

actors that would encourage them to stay? Regular and timely feedback, non-financial rewards, healthcare, flexitime, and goal-based objectives.

Viral: Good Reputation, Good PR

Engaged employees are more present and productive; they are more attuned to the needs of customers; and they are more observant of processes, standards and systems.

When taken together, the behaviours of highly engaged business teams result in 21% greater profitability.

Disengaged employees are four times more likely to leave their jobs.

Why are engaged teams more profitable? Those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realise a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover.

Engaged employees are more likely to take pride in the organisation they work for and act as brand ambassadors.

In today’s online world, prospective employees and customers can quickly find information and opinions about an organisation, including employee reviews on social media and sites such as Glassdoor.

People are a lot more empowered and informed about organisations than they used to be. Jobseekers can easily search and see what news has come out about the organisation they are interviewing for.

Being viewed as a good place to work is a key component in building a strong corporate reputation.

As an employer, sharing information about your desirable benefits package and workplace ethos not only boosts corporate reputation, but also recruitment, retention, productivity, and morale.

All of which we have seen are crucial for business success.

How to Engage With Your Employees in 2020

Today’s employees want to feel valued and challenged in their job roles. A sense of purpose and flexible working conditions are high on their list of priorities.

A staff benefits package including discounts, gym memberships, and free healthcare offer a way for staff to feel engaged financially. However, implementing and being consistent with a recognition programme can be equally as valuable. Recent surveys show that staff who are recognised for their hard work and contributions in their role are happier than those who receive financial benefits and a good salary alone.

In fact, one ResearchGate study found that non-monetary compensation was a better motivator for long-term engagement than monetary rewards. They showed that money, while effective, only motivated “for a short period of time.”

Remote working is on the rise and productivity levels and financial savings are just two of the reasons for this. Those who work remotely report better states of mental health after making the switch from a traditional office-based role. If you haven’t yet investigated the possibilities of remote working, you should in 2020.

A good work life balance is no longer a desire, it is a necessity for many. However making the switch and simply trusting your employees blindly isn’t a helpful solution. Instead, set up the right processes that enable a cohesive workflow when staff work remotely. At Staff Treats we’ve found that using the right live chat tool has helped our team to communicate no matter what their time zone or location. Tools like Slack and Monday help communication and project management by setting up clear goals in advance. Depending on the needs of your business, time tracking and reporting tools might help to manage future projects by having an estimate of how long they’ll take to complete and therefore how resource heavy they might be.

Engaging with employees and ensuring they feel valued should be central to any employer. Engaged employees are more productive, happier, work better in teams, and add more value to a business.

Remember, many employees are happy to return the praise for companies that treat them well!

Company Culture

Company culture refers to the personality and environment of a company. It is the company’s shared ethos - their vision, values, mission and goals.

Some companies value a team-based culture whilst for others it may look more traditional. Whichever way your company culture looks and feels, it is important that you are clear on what it is. Have a focused idea of what your values are, and how you will make them a priority in your business.

Why is company culture important?

Having a great company culture is no longer just an option. Today’s workers consider it as much as they consider salary and benefits. For company culture to play its role, it is critical that an employee fits well within it. When a company and an employee are a good fit, the employee will enjoy their time spent in the workplace. Enjoyment, happiness and feeling valued are all key elements which are central to the longevity and loyalty of an employee. When these needs are met, the employee is more likely to enjoy their time spent at work and be more productive.

Company culture, and how it is conveyed, is important during the recruitment phase. A company with values that are perceived to be in line with a potential employee's will be more attractive than one offering a competitive salary alone.

The takeaway is that a company with a positive culture will attract the type of talent that is willing to make their next workplace a home, rather than just a stepping-stone.

Training Programmes

Training and development programmes are vital in every workplace. Often companies go to great lengths to attract highly trained talent. Once they have the employee in place, often any further training stops. A consistent training programme boosts morale and enhances the company’s reputation, which can in turn assist in attracting potential employees.

The implementation of a training programme can help address weaknesses in individual employees and assist with bringing everyone’s skills to a similar level. It ensures no one feels left behind whilst boosting skill and confidence. An increased proficiency level will enhance overall productivity and success levels within the business.

Investment in training creates an atmosphere where employees feel supported and valued. Employees who are supported in their career progression will go above and beyond and tend to stay in their role for longer.

The cost of training and development programmes makes them a contentious issue. However, recruiting, employing and training new staff often costs more than developing the skills of current employees. The overall benefits of a training and development programme far outweigh the financial costs.

Employers Show They Care

Treating employees as something other than people who produce profit can actually increase profit, whilst reducing staff turnover. Empathy in the workplace has often been undervalued, however good communication and promoting a sense of sharing and understanding can increase positivity levels.

The importance of feeling valued and productive in the workplace is now paramount. Employees no longer go to work for the financial reward alone.

Reward and recognition programmes are one of the most common ways of showing care in the workplace. Those who feel valued and appreciated by their employer are likely to go above and beyond in their role.

Health and well-being in the workplace should also be top of the agenda. Recent surveys show that workers blame their jobs before other factors as something that affects their health in a negative way. The link between sitting at a desk all day and mental health has been highlighted, and acknowledgement alone is no longer enough.

Data suggests that businesses centered around empathy, compassion, collaboration, and authenticity have higher employee retention, stronger employee engagement, and even greater profits over time.

Empathy needs to be shown at all levels in the company. By nurturing and encouraging all staff to be kind and empathetic in the workplace there will be an overall company positivity which will bring value to the business.

The return on your investment is large and worth it.

Individual Growth & Improvement

Effective and personalised employee training could be the employer's super-power of 2020

A recent theladders.com survey tells us that 61% of employees prioritise career growth over pay.

In 2019, Kellogg invested in online learning to create an aspirational learning culture in their organisation. These e-learning strategies help their 10000+employees learn what they need, when they need it and meanwhile, grow in their careers.

In an ever-changing work environment, constant personal development and upskilling is what will give your employees and organisation an edge.

This development could include lifelong learning, certification, seminars, passion projects, and sabbaticals.

There's little doubt that investing in personal development can cause the employee engagement needle to move considerably.

The employer benefits through higher productivity, improved performance, reduced labour turnover costs, and lower absenteeism as well as boosted job satisfaction and employee wellbeing.

Having a great company culture is no longer just an option.

Employees themselves are a valuable and costly business asset, so organisations need to invest in looking after their personal and business development.

Employee Engagement Trends for 2020

The 2020s is set to become a “culture-first” decade, during which leaders will make employee engagement a core business focus. Perhaps 2020 could be the start of an Employee Experience Renaissance.

1 - Non-momentary benefits and perks

There's a shift from employee management to employee 'tending'. Tending to employees includes everything from improving wellness programs, providing daycare for parents and placing a premium on performance recognition. Flexible work hours, telecommuting, paternity leave, and wellness services (once exotic!) are now becoming more commonplace.

2 - Organisational culture is king

Organisational culture has a tremendous impact on employee engagement levels. Employees are looking for more transparency and accountability from their employer, moving away from a complex hierarchy to flatter organisations and more inclusive decision-making processes.

3 - Diversity and inclusion

According to a Glassdoor survey, “two-thirds of job seekers (67%) believe a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.” In 2020, more and more mid-sized companies will follow the path of their enterprise counterparts and start investing in diversity.

4 - Work-life harmony

Embracing flexibility will become a highlight in the employee engagement space in 2020. 75% of workers said they experience greater productivity at home. They encounter fewer distractions (74%), less stress from commuting (71%) and fewer office politics (65%).

5 - AI and machine learning

We live in an era of big data and instant insight. With People analytics, we can easily analyse employee engagement, predict behaviours and create a regular and open dialogue with employees.

Employee Benefits Subscription

Staff recognition and reward is integral towards growing and maintaining employee engagement and satisfaction. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

At Staff Treats we offer an employee perks platform that has one of the widest selections of treats, discounts and perks for your staff to enjoy, from as little as £4 per member per month.

We have harnessed our large purchasing power to negotiate exclusive discounts with companies across the UK. These include thousands of retailers offering discount vouchers and cash-back rewards, as well as huge savings on all your tech gear, holidays and entertainment. We even help you cover your cell-phone bill.

Your subscription also offers discounted gym memberships and Employee Assistance Programmes to encourage ongoing employee wellness.

And don’t forget our very useful Concierge Service to assist you with your holiday bookings, restaurant reservations or concert tickets.

Saving your employees time and allow them to focus on the job at hand whilst looking forward to a well-deserved treat at the end.

Reward your employees and they will reward you. Speak to one of our employee engagement specialists to request a demo.

Reward and Recognition

Why should you as a company reward and recognise staff achievement - after all, they are getting paid to do the job they do so isn’t that reward enough?

The simple answer is no. Your staff don’t want to feel like another cog in the corporate machine. People want to feel valued and that what they are doing is making a difference so you need to be the one initiating the recognition of employees and encouraging others within the organisation to do the same.

Research shows that companies that regularly recognise and reward their employees far outperform those that don’t. After all, happy staff equates to happy customers.

There is however a subtle difference between recognition and reward, although they should be used hand in hand.

Rewards are economical and conditional and driven by a fixed outcome rather than behaviours - for example receiving a cash bonus for bringing in a certain amount of clients by month end - input equals output.

Recognition is something less tangible than reward - it is more focused on an unconditional and emotional experience - a “great job on the presentation” or “we appreciate how you handled that” rather than something handed over.

Having a great company culture is no longer just an option.

Used together, however, both reward and recognition go a long way towards attracting and retaining good employees. People want to not only feel valued by their peers for extra effort, team work, and how they conduct themselves, but also that there is a fixed goal that they can work towards, with a reward at the end.

Sources: https://cuttingedgepr.com/free-articles/employee-recognition-important

Successful Case Studies

Sources: https://www.stafftreats.com/our-clients/sopwell-house.php

Conclusion

Research shows that highly engaged employees are more likely to exceed performance expectations, while their employers benefit from 2.5 x more revenue growth and 40% less churn.

One study in the US estimated that disengaged employees cost businesses somewhere between $450 and $550 billion a year.

We can't afford to overlook employee engagement, particularly when 23% of UK workers intend to leave their current employer with the year.

Top drivers of employee engagement tend to include confidence in senior leadership, recognition for good work, opportunities for learning and development, and helpful and responsive managers.

While there isn't a "silver bullet" to employee engagement, every company, no matter its size, could start with a few simple steps:

  • Establish a clear mission
  • Set up a staff recognition and rewards platform
  • Communicate clearly and frequently with employees
  • Ensure that employees can develop, grow, and progress in a job
  • Leverage technology to make employees feel more connected
  • While the way we work might be changing, the goals are not. For a modern business, the route to loyalty, productivity, and success starts with employee engagement.

    Employee Engagement Handbook 2020

    Mental health, often a daunting topic, and it can be difficult to know where to begin with a strategy for an organisation. This episode we meet George Bell from Sanctus to tackle...

    Ready to take your employee engagement to the next level?

    Book some time with our team of engagement specialist to help you improve your company engagement level with what we offer at Staff Treats

    Case Studies & Testimonials



    • “To help us achieve our goals we must be able to recognise, reward and celebrate our colleagues’ success.  We have been really happy with the results so far and the way our teams across the UK have embraced it. It has not only enabled us to demonstrate that we really appreciate all our employees’ hard work but it has made each and every member of the team, across the UK feel part of our special community.”

      Robin Takoor, Reward Specialist

    • “We were looking for a high quality, easy to use website to give employees access to a wide range of exclusive offers and discounts. The programme offered precisely that and in partnership we launched the Sytner Employee Benefit Website in February. Uptake has been good, with a large number of employees using the service and employee feedback has been really positive. It is really great to be able to offer our employees such a comprehensive range of products.”

      Mel Roger
      Director of Human Resources

    • “The Staff Treats platform has been a fantastic tool at creating interest in our membership offering, and a great talking point for the members that are using it.  I personally have used the portal for 10’s of things in a very short space of time, and am now in the habit of looking on Staff Treats before buying anything online in case there is a discount available for the supplier I am buying from. I would 100% recommend it as tool to help engage members into an organisation.”

      Katherine Baines, Director

    • “I have recently launched Staff Treats as a new employee benefit at KidZania London and it has been received by employees very well. Within just one month, the majority of employees have registered online and the feedback has been very positive. As an employee, I have also been very active on Staff Treats and enjoyed many discounts and special offers already. As a business, we are really pleased with this additional benefit now available to all employees.”

      Martin Green - Kidzania

    • "Napier Partnership Ltd recently signed up to Staff Treats, having looked at alternative providers. Maria has been very supportive answering all our questions from the first demo, to launching the scheme, and the occasional random query since.Some of my colleagues sat in on an introduction webinar with me, which they found helpful in understanding the best way to navigate the site and therefore get the best possible deals. At our regular team meetings, I encourage employees to share their experiences of using Staff Treats, what they have bought and how much they have saved. This has started to show an increase in the use of the site. I particularly like the Shopping cards and have acquired 3 favourites, which I regularly top up ahead of a big purchase. As a small business, we are delighted with this new employee benefit."

      Debbie McIntosh, PA / HR Manager

    • "We've been working with Staff Treats for over a year and are extremely pleased with the results so far. With over 78% engagement from our team using the portal, we've seen improvement in productivity, team culture and dedication. The exclusive perks on the portal are fabulous and there's something for everyone all year round. The easy-to-use interface makes purchasing on the go easy and accessible for our whole team."

      Louise Abraham, Human Resource Manager

    • As an HR Manager, employee engagement is always at the top of my list. Staff Treats have surpassed my expectations in what they provide. I first signed up with Staff Treats when I was doing a contract in one company and I made sure that where ever I go in my next role, I will bring Staff Treats with me. I couldn't have done it without the amazing team there, particularly Sivan who is amazing and great person to work with. That's why I came back to Staff Treats and our employees here at LHA are loving it, they cant believe the amazing discounts available for them.
      Great timing, with Christmas on the way. Best Christmas present ever for your staff....
      Thank you guys for coming up with such a great concept of staff benefits!!

      Lindani Sibanda

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