Boost employee engagement with the right tools

Employee engagement depends on a variety of factors - the right tools can help

By Sathee Brent,

Employee engagement is an urgent priority to 78 percent of business leaders, according to Deloitte. This is not hard to understand - engaged employees do better work for their companies, and are more likely to stay. In fact, according to Fast Company, engaged employees can improve all key performance indicators for a business.

Companies have tried countless solutions to improve employee engagement, from catered lunches to nap pods, but these attempts will often have a short-lived impact, or will not make an appreciable difference. This may be especially true in stressful professions like sales, where the employees might not have enough consistent downtime at work to use special amenities in the first place.

Treating people as individuals
It's widely acknowledged in daily life that different people are motivated by different things - and this is equally true in the business world. Compensation is certainly important to workers, but feeling that it's distributed with reasonable criteria is also vital, according to data from Towers Watson. Having performance-based pay can catapult a sales team's performance, but if the reasons some people achieve bonuses aren't clear, or the individual's path to higher pay is murky, it may not make much of a difference.

A manager's role
The best managers also know all about their own roles in employee engagement and retention. A well-paying job is wonderful, but a great manager can lift his or her team with other strategies. From encouraging personal development to creating clear expectations, a manager has a lot of responsibility to create a work environment that fosters engagement. Using big data can help managers get a handle on what their teams need as people and as a unit.

Individual goals for each worker
Workers also have various levels of performance, areas for improvement and personal bests in sales numbers. Using incentive compensation software that takes this into account can bring engagement to a human level, which is necessary if it is expected to work. Software that treats people as individuals can target the most valued forms of compensation for everyone, whether that's more money, more days off or simply public shows of appreciation. It can also adapt to fit different needs, from the top performer who delights in topping his or her former records to the employee who needs a lot of motivation to get over a slump.

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Sathee Brent