There are many definitions of employee engagement, but in general, it is the view that an organisation’s capability to deliver value is based on everyone being competent, empowered and engaged. No matter the level of an employee, from new recruits through to board members – everyone should feel they have the authority and knowledge to contribute to an organisation’s objectives.
By engaging employees in the goals of the business, you are establishing an alignment of purpose, reinforced by the influence of leaders. Such individuals should be leading from the front, directing employees and aligning business strategies, policies, processes and resources to achieve objectives.
It has benefits for your employees too, bringing a sense of personal fulfilment and increasing job satisfaction.
Although it can be applied to all Management System Standards, the engagement of people within your organisation is so important that it is one of ISO 9001’s eight defining principles.
“a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.” David McLeod, 2009 report to UK government on employee engagement.
Here are some of the key ingredients that will ensure your team is engaged and motivated:
- Motivated Leaders – the attitude, beliefs and behaviours of your leaders will influence your team. So make sure your management team are curious, involved and driven to improve.
- Setting expectations – by making everyone aware of what is expected from them, you can avoid confusion and unnecessary overlap between departments. Once employees understand what is expected of them and they believe they are supported by their leaders, they are more likely to commit to new goals.
- Involvement – employees are known to show greater motivation when they feel trusted and are able to contribute to solving problems. After all, it is usually the case that the people most knowledgeable in a particular area are the people on the front line.
- Recognition – everyone wants to know that their work is valued and their efforts are appreciated. Ensure that you recognise the contributions of your employees and you’ll raise not only their engagement but their job satisfaction and productivity too.
- Collaboration – allowing teams to work with you and each other, in order to overcome basic challenges, shows that you respect their knowledge and experience. Collaboration can also facilitate continual improvement – another area that ISO 9001 counts as a defining principle.
- Support – a lack of engagement can sometimes come from employees believing they don’t have the tools or training to do their job. Support your teams with training and make sure they have everything they need to perform well.
- Feedback – two-way communication is invaluable for engagement and open discussion and debate should be encouraged – no one should fear bringing their ideas to the table. Don’t disregard complaints either, there are often underlying issues behind these negative experiences that, if corrected, show that you are listening and help employees and customers alike.
- Progression – clear career progression both within your business and outside of it can help with employee engagement in that it gives people something to work towards and inspiration to improve their skills. Find out from your employees what their goals are in this regard and if you can’t offer exactly what they want, help them get there themselves by assigning new tasks or responsibilities that align with their aspirations.
- A great HR team – the best HR teams can influence and teach your leaders, helping them to develop employees in accordance with their own natural capabilities.
If you are interested in ISO 9001 certification, or would like to find out how to implement an ISO 9001 Management System, you can contact one of our experienced Certification Development Consultants by calling 0333 344 3646 or by emailing [email protected].