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The Simple Basics of Workforce Engagement

It was my first day of employment, and I was nervous! The first day at any new job is very stressful.

As I entered the elevator, I took a deep breath and pushed the button for floor two. After what felt like an eternity, the doors opened. What happened next was pretty special.

“Hi, Robert! Welcome! I am here to show you to your desk,” said a cheery person.

From there, my guide walked me through the halls to my workstation. Upon arrival, I found the scene to be very inviting.

My cubicle was decorated. Streamers and balloons were laid out, and a cup overflowing with candy sat upon the desk next to branded materials such as a mouse pad, pens, sticky notes, note pads, and other useful items. What really caught my eye were the dozen or so notecards scattered about. Before I could reach for them, my guide explained that I should get settled and my manager would be by shortly to officially welcome me.

“Wow. This is a good start.” I thought.

As I put down my bag and took a seat, I noticed that I had a working phone, and my login credentials were conveniently taped to my computer tower. “Oh, the simple things.”

Once settled, I reached for one of the note cards and opened it. It was a hand-written note from one of my new colleagues welcoming me to the organization and wishing me the best of luck on my first day. Each card had a similar message as I read through all of them, and many included direct extensions offered by the person in the event I “needed anything at all.”

So, why all the fuss? What was my employer trying to achieve? Well, in a word…Engagement. Now, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and that positive first impression made me immediately think - this is going to be a great place to work. And it was simply one of many throughout my first day and my career with that organization.

Why should you care about employee engagement? Let me drop some stats on you.

Benefits of high engagement levels include:

  • 18% increase in sales

  • 23% greater profitability

  • 18-43% lower turnover

  • 81% lower absenteeism

Those are some strong numbers.

At Butler Street, we break down our workforce engagement strategy into four levels of focus. Today, we are going to talk about the first level. Basics. And the rest of this blog should leave you with some straightforward ideas on how to begin the process of achieving higher engagement levels.

At the Basics level of our workforce engagement model, employees feel they have the items fundamental to their success, such as understanding expectations and having tools and training to perform their work. They also feel welcomed and appreciated.

However, actions speak louder than words, so over the next week, consider the five items listed below and identify some steps you can take to accomplish each.

  • I have clearly communicated to everyone on my team how their performance will be measured.

  • I’ve ensured that everyone has or knows how to access the tools and training they need to do great work.

  • I have shared how the strengths of each individual are aligned to his/her role.

  • I have actively coached everyone on my team and am committed to providing clear feedback.

  • I make everyone feel welcome, whether on the first day or the 365th day and whether they are virtual, in the office, or hybrid.

If you focus on your employee’s most basic needs at work, you are well on your way to achieving exceptional workforce engagement.

But…it doesn’t stop there. Next, you need to focus on Backing, Belonging, and Becoming – the other 3 levels of our engagement model.

To take a deeper dive and begin the journey of improving workforce engagement levels at your company, contact us.


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