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Leveraging Individual and Company Purpose For Better Employee Engagement

We often hear the phrase, "Take care of your people, and they'll take care of the mission."

Employee engagement means how willing and emotionally dedicated workers are to put their best effort into their jobs and the company's goals. HR experts emphasize that it goes beyond a simple transactional relationship between employees and the company. For true engagement, employees need to be emotionally connected to the organization, driven by a sense of purpose, and fulfilled by their work.

However, a social capital study by McKinsey reveals that a whopping 80% of frontline employees feel their company provides limited opportunities for professional connections. When asked about their networking frequency, almost two-thirds (66%) admit they haven't done any since the start of 2022.

Despite this lack of involvement, frontline staff regularly interact with their immediate supervisors and colleagues, but it's mainly for work-related matters. For work-related information, 57% of frontline employees say they consult their immediate manager or boss, and 83% turn to their team members at least once each week.

Employee engagement is a process that demands effort and should be a strategic priority. According to a Gallup meta-analysis, it can boost profitability by up to 23%. Engaged employees have a sense of purpose and belonging within the organization. They understand their role in the company and how their efforts impact its success. Engaged employees are passionately committed to the company's growth and aligned with its broader objectives. By enhancing employee engagement, business leaders can connect people, strategy, and results.

Strategic alignment is crucial; employees need to be aware of the organization's goals, priorities, and their own contribution to achieving those objectives to feel a sense of purpose. Strategically aligned employees can better grasp their potential within the company, set aspirational goals that advance their careers, and contribute to the organization's goals.

Employee engagement primarily hinges on aspirational goals and a sense of purpose. But pursuing personal ambitions alone can be draining. To keep employees motivated, it's essential to have metrics that demonstrate progress toward these goals. Using an OKR framework, employees can set aspirational goals and track their performance and advancement, leading to increased engagement and enthusiasm when they achieve small victories.

Therefore, it's vital to harness people's passion to drive corporate objectives; without this alignment, organizations won't sustain long-term success. Employee motivation driven by passion is essential for advancing the company's goals; without this alignment, long-term success is uncertain.

To enhance networks and boost engagement among frontline employees, leaders can take three actions:

  1. Analyse the current channels and initiatives used to engage frontline employees. Leaders should evaluate existing methods and strategies for engaging frontline personnel before taking action. This may involve assessing the attendance at town hall meetings, professional events, or the effectiveness of company-wide communications.

  2. Gather feedback on preferences from frontline employees. Obtaining feedback from frontline workers, whether formally or informally, is a great way to increase their engagement and improve their networks.

  3. Invest in peer networks and frontline management. Despite interacting frequently with their supervisors and colleagues, most frontline workers claim to seek career guidance and engage in social activities with their co-workers less than once a month. Empowering frontline managers and peers to build connections and expand networks is crucial. This can be achieved through capacity-building, support for local initiatives and activities, and financial incentives for volunteers.

Leaders who provide the right support will see a significant improvement in their ability to recruit, organize, and retain top frontline personnel.

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