While you may think it is just the latest HR buzzword, studies have shown that there are a number of benefits to having engaged employees — ones who are committed to your company and its goals.

Those benefits include:

  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer retention
  • Increased profits

Employee engagement is more than employees who are happy; engaged employees give their best effort every day and go above-and-beyond, taking initiative to solve problems for your customers.

In order to have engaged employees, you must clearly articulate your corporate goals (something other than just “making money”) and your employees must understand how their duties help the company achieve its goals. In simple terms, employees need to feel that what they do matters.

Most importantly, employers need to provide an environment where employees feel comfortable offering suggestions about how to make the company better with the knowledge that those suggestions will be given serious consideration.

Employee engagement requires management to practice transparency and share important and sensitive information with people throughout the organization. Ultimately you will want to strive for a team approach and not siloes of employees who have us-versus-them attitudes. When everyone is working with the same information, your organization is likely to become better at problem solving.

Engaged employees are also looking for opportunities for professional and personal development. When you help employees hone existing skills or add new ones, you are demonstrating to them that they are an important and valuable part of your organization. You are showing them that you see a future for them within your organization.

It is also important to thank employees for their efforts on behalf of your company and to recognize employee contributions in a public manner. Consider taking a minute during a company meeting to acknowledge achievement rather than calling an employee into your office to laud him or her. When you use a more public forum to tell employees that your appreciate what they are doing in advancing your corporate values, it not only reinforces your values but encourages – and motivates -- other employees to do better.

There is no magic formula for improving employee engagement. Whatever steps you take to connect employees to your organization must be authentic and sincere.

In a recent survey, Gallup Research found that a high percentage of employees were not engaged, and worse, were disengaged at work.

There is a lot of work to be done here and given the industry shortage of both qualified drivers and technicians, you might start looking at ways to improve employee engagement at your fleet. Surveys consistently show that engaged employees often state that they have no interest in leaving their current positions. The fact that you will also increase productivity, have happier customers and see an improvement in your bottom line will just be the frosting on the cake!