Is Employee Engagement One of Your New Year Resolutions?

An engaged workforce is critical to an organization’s success, no matter what products or services you’re selling.

Engaged employees display high levels of energy, enthusiasm and motivation, which result in higher levels of creativity, productivity and job performance. Yet, according to Gallup, 87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged. What gives, and what can we do about it?

Most organizations today offer competitive benefits, generous raises and bonuses, and employee recognition programs. But, in most instances, that’s not enough.

As we look to 2019 and beyond, here are three ways companies can help promote a more engaged, productive workforce.

1. Ensure a diverse workforce.

Diversity is a key driver of a company’s success. In fact, McKinsey research highlights that gender, ethnic and cultural diversity continue to be correlated to financial performance across multiple countries worldwide.

Diverse workplaces clearly bring the best results by way of greater creativity, innovation and perspective. Research has also found that employee diversity goes hand-in-hand with improved employee engagement. For example, Gallup has also found that engaged employees are more likely to say their company values diverse ideas.

Diversity is highly valued at HEINEKEN. Our company has individuals from 64 different nationalities among its 840 senior managers. Yet, we want to go further. That’s why HEINEKEN USA recently formed an Inclusion and Diversity Council, and is currently piloting an Inclusive Leadership training program.

HEINEKEN USA is also extending its reach to underrepresented groups through a partnership with The Consortium, as part of a diverse candidate-attraction strategy. The Consortium works with its member schools and 85 corporate partners to increase the ranks of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in US business schools and corporate leadership positions.

2. Bring your (true) self to work.

Diversity is more than hitting quotas of employees with certain demographic characteristics. Diversity reaches beyond gender, race, and ethnicity to include diversity of thought. But there’s another piece of the puzzle that addresses diversity from a personal standpoint — inclusion.

Employees need an environment where they can bring their true selves to work. After all, we’re all equally human. At HEINEKEN USA, we hosted an inaugural Inclusion and Diversity Forum called 100% Human — inspired by the human rights movement, that aims to increase tolerance and acceptance with that simple reminder: that we’re all equally human.

At one point or another, we’ve all covered up part of our identity; however, we need to be true to ourselves and stop self-editing our traits and qualities to find greater engagement and satisfaction at work.

3. Be (more) compassionate.

People don’t quit their jobs — they quit their bosses. Inspiring and compassionate managers can help foster individuals’ purpose and create more team engagement.

Compassion is a quality that become increasingly highlighted and recognized as a foundational aspect of leadership. Organizations with more compassionate leaders have better collaboration and lower turnover; and employees who are more trusting, more connected to each other, and more committed to the company. 

According to a Harvard Business Review article, 91 percent of leaders surveyed said compassion is very important for their leadership and 80 percent said they would like to enhance their compassion but do not know how.

With more compassion, less self-editing and more diversity, we’re bound to improve every aspect of our lives, both within and outside the workplace.

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