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It takes happy to make happy: why employee engagement is critical to driving growth and innovation in your business

People don’t do business, people are business. From the people who design the product to the people who make it, market it, mend it and buy it, ‘people’ and ‘business’ are inseparable - without a supportive environment, people can’t effectively ‘business together’.

But with over 42% of HR leaders only having partial view of their workforce and over 50% admitting to not fully understanding their employees, according to research conducted by Sage, it’s clear that meeting the needs of a diverse, multi-generational workforce isn’t always a simple task.

Here are a few reasons why employee engagement is critical to a growing and successful business – and why meeting the needs of a multi-generational workforce is critical to driving business growth and innovation.
 

Your people grow – your business grows, too

Employee retention matters. With experience comes expertise, and with expertise comes excellence and innovation. Employees are more likely to be attracted to a workplace that ensures their working needs are fulfilled, taking with them decades of experience, knowledge, solutions – and, more critically, innovations.

In other words: if your business takes care of its employees, your employees take care of your business. When your people grow, your business grows, too.

And with experience comes optimisation. Better people do better things in less time. A receptive workplace environment can help safeguard your business’s most productive assets – its people – from competitors looking to capitalise on your historic investment in your employees.

It makes sense, then, that an engaged, experienced workforce is the bedrock for a better bottom line.

Multiple generations, multiple needs

With five generations working in tandem for the first time, HR managers are tasked with meeting the differing and distinct needs of a wide range of employees - from the first-week graduate to the 40-year veteran.

And a workforce spanning multiple generations brings with it multiple disciplines, skills and perspectives - but with this comes multiple challenges. Specifically, establishing an environment adapted to the needs of everyone.

Realistically, though, a business can’t create HR processes uniquely adapted to the requirements of each and every individual. They can, however, implement HR processes that are receptive, adaptive and intuitive for employees of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to ensure accessibility for everyone.
 

From intern to advocate – happy employees promote your business

Social media makes opinion ubiquitous. In a well-managed environment, happy, supported – and, of course, productive – employees are promoters of your business to hundreds or thousands of potential customers.

Businesses can thrive on word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from one customer to the next, a strategy so fundamental that customer testimonials are the cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy.

In short, then: an engaged and happy workforce is a natural extension of your marketing activity for both prospective customers and prospective employees alike.

An employee turned advocate is likely to shout about their positive working through social media platforms, friends or workplace review websites. In turn, they attract talent and tell customers that your company is likely to take care of them, too.
 

Better the basics and everything else will follow

Change management, leadership development, organisational effectiveness, employee retention – people management is a mission-critical responsibility if your business wants to retain talent and drive growth.

A manager working to implement basic workplace necessities isn’t a manager tending to the operational needs of his employees. Similarly, an employee struggling to ensure their basic workplace wants are met isn’t attending to the needs of their customers.

Getting the HR ‘backend’ basics right, then, can empower a good business to become great, as key operators can focus on providing the best customer-facing experience in the confidence that their employees are engaged, happy and productive.

Harmonise your HR with Sage and Datel

Synergise people and processes with Sage People, an all-in-one management software solution designed to harmonise HR in a multi-generational workplace.

From an expedient hiring process and extensive analytic capabilities to leave management and performance assessments, Sage People is a comprehensive HR system designed to help you build a better business, powered by people.