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The importance of employee engagement for workplace security

Employee engagement should be an important consideration for business owners and managers, for the simple reason that a company is more likely to succeed if it has an engaged, happy workforce.

This issue can impact various aspects of a firm's operations, from day-to-day concerns like workforce morale and quality of communication between employees, to larger priorities such as productivity and profit margins.

It can also have significant repercussions for workplace security. If employees feel engaged in their work and are ready to do everything they can to help their employer, they are much more likely to be vigilant about potential security risks or lapses.

So with this in mind, is your business doing enough to monitor and improve employee engagement?

Research shows leaders could be doing more

A recent survey of over 500 internal communications professionals found that chief executives and managing directors are largely failing when it comes to advocating employee engagement within their organisations.

VMA Group, a recruitment firm specialising in corporate and marketing communications, said many business leaders are "paying lip service" to this issue but failing to deliver the investment required to back up their words.

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of the survey respondents thought senior teams generally recognised the importance of internal communications, but a similar proportion (74 per cent) said their CEO or MD dedicated less than half a day per week to this function.

Furthermore, 81 per cent of professionals had seen financial investment in employee communications and engagement stay the same or decrease in the past 12 months.

Just one in five (20 per cent) predicted an increase in spending in this area in the coming year.

Discussing the wider importance of employee engagement, Mairi Doyle, director of internal communications at Bupa and a respondent to the survey, said building internal pride and brand advocacy is a "fundamental contributor to a positive external reputation".

She added: "Organisations who overlook this fact are missing a huge opportunity."

Andrew Harvey, director of VMA Group's international communications practice, said: "Without an engaged workforce, businesses risk falling behind the competition. And without investment from the top and a strategy in place, internal comms teams will struggle to achieve their full potential."

How to get staff engaged with security

There are a number of methods managers and executives can use to improve levels of employee engagement regarding workplace security and other key business issues.

•    Set a good example by ensuring that all team leaders and senior members of staff adhere to the security standards and protocols in place throughout the business.
•    Use positive reinforcement - offering praise and recognition when something is done right will do wonders for employee engagement.
•    In cases where there is a lack of understanding or security standards are not being upheld, offer training and one-to-one support to ensure all employees know what is expected of them.
•    Promote honesty and transparency by trusting staff with information about the company.
•    Arrange social events and team-building exercises to help workers feel comfortable with one another and to encourage a sense of cooperation.
•    Promote openness and communication at all times, so employees feel that they can approach their managers with issues affecting them or the organisation as a whole.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

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