When employees are engaged in their work, everyone benefits. The employees themselves benefit from a sense of accomplishment and of having contributed to something greater than themselves, while customers benefit from an elevated experience. And companies benefit too, to the tune of a 21% increase in productivity and a 22% increase in profitability.
Employee engagement isn’t the same thing as employees just being happy. They might be happy because their team made the playoffs, yet not be engaged in their work. It’s not “employee satisfaction,” either. Satisfied employees are content that they are being compensated a certain amount for their time and efforts, and they can be satisfied while being largely unengaged in what they’re doing. Employee engagement is about feeling like it’s worthwhile to give that extra effort, because they know it matters to themselves, the customers, and the business as a whole.
Poor Workflow Design Can Torpedo Employee Engagement
Rare is the workplace in which employees can do their thing without some regulations and constraints. Productivity goals, safety regulations, and company culture are necessary, after all. But when workflow design is lacking, the result can be poor employee engagement. You can tell this is happening when employees make statements like these:
- “This process is too time-consuming for what it accomplishes.”
- “I can’t move forward until I get the feedback I asked for.”
- “I wasn’t sure exactly what I was supposed to do.”
- “Administrative tasks mean I don’t have time to do my best on the work that counts.”
Sometimes leaders must take a hard look at workflows and determine what works and what doesn’t, what is necessary and what isn’t necessary. Workflows evolve whether we want them to or not, and without direction, they can evolve into unwieldy, inefficient processes that sap employee engagement.
Good Automated Workflows Can Improve Employee Engagement
By the same token, automated workflows that are well-designed can improve employee engagement levels. Sometimes the solution is as simple as upgrading technology, and sometimes it is as complex as helping veteran employees overcome resistance to change. But when automated workflows are designed to make sense for the end goals, the workforce, and the company culture, they are investments that pay off handsomely.
Employees who are freed up from doing menial, repetitive tasks because of online forms and automated workflows have more time and mental energy to devote to their core responsibilities. And well-designed workflows break down processes into strategic, discrete tasks, while giving each person in the process a sense of their role in the overall process. Building good communication capabilities into workflows helps keep processes on track and prevent small problems from becoming larger ones.
Online Forms and Workflows Can Also Measure Employee Engagement
You can’t improve employee engagement levels if you don’t make a baseline measurement and define what “improvement” looks like. Fortunately, you can use smart workflow design to gauge employee engagement in many different ways. Periodically adding a “survey” step for each participant in a workflow can alert managers to bottlenecks and suggestions for improvement. Adding an employee engagement component to employee evaluation processes can keep management informed of the employee engagement zeitgeist, so any necessary changes can be made in a timely manner.
Employers are more concerned with employee engagement than they used to be, and that’s a good thing. Finding, hiring, and retaining top talent are challenging tasks, and it’s your non-engaged workers who are at greatest risk of going where pastures are greener. PerfectApps is online form and workflow software that allows for customized workflow design, for your team and your goals. Because no programming is involved, the people involved in workflow design can use input from the people who will actually use the workflows every day.
Creating online forms and automated workflows is as easy as dragging and dropping elements into place, and the result is the creation of work processes that make sense for employees, the company as a whole, and ultimately for the customers. We invite you to read through some of the many PerfectApps case studies to see for yourself how the right automated workflows and online forms can take performance and employee engagement from good to outstanding.