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8 elements of employee engagement needed to build a top workplace

by Sara Hill, Chief Human Resources Office at Ceridian.

If you want your organization to truly max out its potential for employee retention and productivity, you have to do more than simply make sure people show up to work each day and complete their regular tasks. You have to build a workforce that is highly engaged and eager to reach the next level.

Engagement is never easy to achieve, or to quantify. But in HR, you know it when you see it. Your goal is to have staff members who are happy to show up each day, willing to work hard and passionate about collaborating to achieve a common goal.

Achieving high levels of engagement is not easy, but some organizations are able to pull it off. Fortunately, Ceridian is one of them – our company was just recognized as one of the top employers in North America by the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™.

This distinction is given annually to the employers across the continent that display leadership and innovation when it comes to engaging with the workplace. Engagement, defined as how each individual employee connects with the company and its customers, is a key value for any business. Employees who are truly engaged can become not only fully involved in their work, but enthusiastic about it as well. Engaged employees, according to Achievers 50, are committed, passionate and inspired, and they motivate others to lead by example.

A distinction from Achievers 50 is the hallmark of a top-notch employer. Are you wondering what you can do to bring your organization to this level? In that case, read on. The “Most Engaged Workplaces” award is a direct reflection on eight distinct elements of employee engagement. Moving forward, see if your company can do its part to improve in these eight key areas:

Strong leadership
The strength of a workforce always begins with the leadership behind it. In order to achieve at a high level, your staff needs to have good people in charge – and that doesn’t just mean leaders who are capable at their jobs. You also need leaders who drive active engagement by being accessible, approachable and willing to help people improve.

Active communication
Communication around the workplace is a regular occurrence, and it should be both formal and informal. On a more formal basis, every productive office has large meetings and comprehensive memos that detail important work matters for the masses, but aside from that, active communication also means employees talking amongst themselves on a daily basis and learning healthy collaboration skills. As a global company, effective communication is vital to our organization; we’ve had to adapt to rely on a variety of communication methods to keep employees engaged, aware, and informed.  Our leaders strive to ensure employees receive timely, transparent communications, and that they feel empowered to ask questions.

A vibrant culture
A culture is more than just a group of people who sit together and work together around the office. It also entails developing strong values that will guide the way your organization does work. You should have ethical standards for how people will treat one another, not to mention a strong commitment to openness, diversity and work-life balance. All of these elements are necessary. Ceridian takes pride in fostering our unique culture where we work hard, play hard and have [email protected] FIT is important – we look for Fun, Intelligent, Team-oriented individuals that hold our same beliefs and will sustain our culture.

Rewards and recognition
Even the most talented and capable employees sometimes have difficulty finding the motivation to do their jobs at a high level. Luckily, organizational leadership can help in this area by offering rewards and recognition for people who do their jobs particularly well. Top management should get involved in this process, rewarding high-performing people and urging everyone to take part in a culture of excellence. It’s also important that rewards and recognition programs are tied to the organization’s corporate values.

Professional and personal growth
No one wants to stagnate in their jobs – they want to continue rising to tackle bigger and better challenges. That’s why the most engaged workplaces are often those who work actively with their employees to develop their personal and professional skills. They should have management training sessions and employee programs in place to ensure that on a regular basis, people are working to better themselves. At Ceridian, our Top Talent Program offers an opportunity for high potential employees to work on a cross-functional team, tackling actual business issues within our organization.

Accountability and performance
If your staff truly is engaged with its work and achieving at a high level, you should be able to prove it. The best workplaces strive for operational excellence at all times, and they’re able to measure their progress in that area and hold people accountable for all new developments, both positive and negative. Everyone should be personally invested in seeing the organization succeed.

Vision and values
In the long run, what is the goal of your organization? Beyond simply the work tasks you’re looking to complete each day, what’s the major objective you’re working toward? Individual employee goals should be tied to functional and overall organization goals, so that every individual understands how they can contribute to organizational success. Not only should you have a strong vision in mind, but you should communicate it well to the entire workforce and motivate everyone to help you achieve it.

Corporate social responsibility
The best organizations are those who demonstrate responsibility not just to themselves, but to the world around them. Corporate social responsibility is an obligation to make a difference with everyone, inside your walls and out. For its part, Ceridian works on CSR by focusing in three key areas – commitment to employees, activism in the community and environmental stewardship. With improvement in all of the above, Ceridian can make the office and the world a better place.

This post originally appeared on the Ceridian HCM Blog.

Sara HillSara Hill is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Ceridian. Sara has responsibility for enhancing the employee experience, increasing employee engagement, and developing people and talent management strategies to bring Ceridian to the next level. Follow her on Twitter @SaraHillHR. 

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