When employees turn over quickly, it drains the bottom line. New hires can take up to eight months to be fully productive in their roles. And with teams constantly changing, it’s hard for businesses to fully optimize the combination of skills, team members, and talent that take them to the next level of growth. That’s where employee engagement comes in. 

In 2021, many workforces have gone remote and markets are constantly evolving. Surprisingly, many companies saw increased employee engagement in 2020. But leaders shouldn’t rest on their laurels. It’s hard to know how long the trend towards increased engagement will last, or what other hurdles the pandemic will present as the year unfolds. 

Continuous education—which enables employees and organizations to adapt to the unknown—has become central to employee engagement.

What is employee engagement and why is it important?

Employee engagement at its core is the emotional connection employees have for their work, their team, and their organization. It builds trust, drives action, manages constant change, and helps leadership influence workflow and culture in a way that benefits employees and the company’s bottom line. 

Engagement is closely tied to a sense of purpose. When employees feel like their job duties are connected to a greater purpose, they’re more engaged with their work and the organization. Building a sense of purpose throughout the workforce also allows employees to connect with each other more effectively. 

Companies that invest in employee engagement see real benefits. According to Gallup, engaged employees are 21% more profitable. Business units with highly engaged employees see a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.

To capture these positive effects, companies must seek out ways to engage employees despite remote working arrangements. By understanding the golden rules of employee engagement, organizations can implement forward-thinking initiatives that keep employees connected to their work and the company’s broader purpose.

Golden Rule #1: Provide continuous education.

When you compare companies that lose employees at the two-year mark to companies that hold on to employees longer, one key differentiator is the opportunity for advancement and learning new skills. According to the Work Institute, one-fifth of employees say a lack of career development was the driving factor for quitting their jobs. Organizations that proactively address learning and development issues give employees a reason to stay engaged with their work and loyal to the company. 

However, enforcing learning on overworked employees can backfire. Sensei On Demand certifications allow employees to upskill and certify at their own pace with microlessons, one-on-one coaching, and a 24/7 community for learners and mentors alike.

Golden Rule #2: Know when to upskill your leaders.

Seventy percent of a work team’s engagement comes down to management. As organizations scale, it’s important to get better at training not only new employees, but new managers as well. Managers who receive leadership training are 63% more likely to feel ready and prepared to lead a team than those who received no training.

That feeling of preparedness permeates into their day-to-day leadership activities, and makes them better at coaching, leading, and engaging employees. The key is to provide training that’s both effective and efficient. Managers should be able to complete training programs without it interfering with their regular duties. 

Lean Six Sigma certification is the industry-leading set of tools and techniques designed to streamline processes, remove waste, and guarantee operational quality. Sensei On Demand provides this training in one, easy-to-use platform.

Golden Rule #3: Give your employees community

Community engagement leads to happier employees, and people who are passionate about what they do and where they work make the workplace more attractive to prospective employees. Community engagement can manifest in a number of ways: aligning employee goals with a common mission, volunteering in the local community, or helping employees build networks with their peers. 

Developing long-term peer-to-peer relationships can be challenging for remote workers. McKinsey advises that companies remember, “Many of the best ideas will be bottom up… so leaders often need only to create the space and resources for employee creativity to take hold.” That means employees need opportunities to collaborate and share insights internally and externally. 

With Sensei On Demand, we give learners cross-platform access to a network with not only peers, but experts and Master Black Belts. With a community of learners, employees will be able to benefit from an extended network of learners just like them, get help, and stay engaged. 

Employees want to feel prepared for the future and feel valued by their employer. They need tangible benefits that demonstrate your commitment to their personal fulfillment and job satisfaction. That’s why continued education is at the heart of employee engagement in 2021. Work with Sensei On Demand to craft a program that will upskill your workforce and deliver valuable results