Do you want to decrease employee turnover? Would you like to see greater teamwork and collaboration among your employees?
There’s no magic answer for making employees more productive. But, the simple truth is that happy employees are typically more productive. The more engaged an employee is, the more invested he or she is likely to be in the vision and mission of the company.
Engaged employees are not just satisfied with their jobs; they are enthusiastic, motivated, and emotionally invested in their work. They contribute positively to the organization’s culture and performance.
Unfortunately, 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace. Low employee engagement can have a negative impact on businesses. But, the good news is that this can be changed. An Employee Engagement Committee (EEC) can be the catalyst to boost and sustain high engagement levels. In this article, we’ll outline the steps for forming an employee engagement committee for your organization.
What is an Employee Engagement Committee?
An Employee Engagement Committee (EEC) is a group within an organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing employee involvement, satisfaction, and motivation. This committee creates strategies and initiatives to foster a positive work environment and strengthen employee commitment. Their efforts aim to boost productivity, reduce turnover, and enhance overall organizational performance.
An Employee Engagement Committee isn’t just a meeting. It can often be an opportunity for employees to build relationships with others, and potentially even advance their careers through networking.
The opportunity to build relationships, in many cases, can make the difference between a job and a career. And these relationships can make people feel invested in their jobs and in the companies where they work.
This is a committee that typically has a set purpose. Employee Engagement Committees are formed because employers recognize that it’s important for employees and their employers to have good connections with each other.
Reasons to Form an Employee Engagement Committee
Your company recently surveyed to see how employees are feeling, and the survey says… employees aren’t engaged. Or, you haven’t done a survey, but you can tell that morale is low.
Sure, you could pretend like nothing’s wrong, and you could sweep this problem under the rug. However, that approach can backfire, putting employees off, and sending a message that they’re not valued.
A better approach is to take action. Creating an Employee Engagement Committee says to employees that they matter. This is just one way that you can invest in employee happiness, which can pay off in a significant way in multiple areas. You might even find that after creating this committee, employee referrals to work at your company might increase.
How to Form an Employee Engagement Committee
It is recommended that the committee contain not just individuals of high ranks in your organization, but those who are at entry level. The committee should contain a variety of people from various job levels, so various perspectives can be brought to the committee. Ensure that the committee isn’t only filled with people who have been with the company for years; welcome people who haven’t been with the company as long.
People from different areas of the company will bring different ideas to the group. And, people with different levels of experience will have different ideas whether the focus of your group is social events, volunteerism, or career development. Newer hires, for example, might bring fresh perspectives for ideas that they’ve seen at other companies. Experienced employees might recall things done a long time ago that were a hit and should be brought back again.
Know the Goals for An Employee Engagement Committee
As you start your Employee Engagement Committee, it’s important to set goals for what the group will accomplish. Be specific so the group will feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose each time they meet. This committee shouldn’t feel like just another meeting that employees have to go to.
So, what will the committee do?
In some cases, the committee will be like an ambassador or liaison between the employer and other employees. They might listen to employee concerns on certain issues, bringing these general concerns to the group. In committee meetings, they might try to find ways to solve these problems.
Or, the Employee Engagement Committees might have one set purpose. They might have a specific mission such as:
- Celebrate every employee’s birthday or work anniversary
- Creating social events for employees
- Increasing the amount of employee recognition
- Promoting employee volunteer activities
- Providing career development opportunities
Either way, it’s important to decide in the beginning what the committee will do, so that no one is confused or wondering “Why are we here?”
Select the Right Members
The composition of the EEC is critical. It should be a representative mix of individuals from different departments, job levels, and backgrounds. Diversity ensures that various perspectives and needs are considered.
It’s also crucial to select individuals who are genuinely interested in enhancing engagement. You never want to force someone to participate if they have no desire to be a part of the group. Reluctant participants may actually lower your employee engagement overall.
Avoid having a committee that’s too large. A huge committee may not be able to get much done because of the time needed to complete the decision-making process. A good size is between 5 to 10 members, depending on the size of your organization.
Consider the unique skills and strengths each member brings. One might excel at communication, while another has a knack for organizing events. Leveraging these diverse skills makes the committee more self-reliant and efficient. Be sure to choose individuals known for their integrity and fairness. If you want to increase engagement, the committee needs to be filled with trustworthy people.
Set a Clear Structure and Roles
Each member of the committee should have a clear and defined role. Defining specific roles within the EEC creates accountability and clarity. For example, one role could be a chairperson to lead meetings. Another could be a vice-chairperson to step in during the chair’s absence. You may also want a secretary to maintain records and minutes. This way everyone is updated on meetings even if they do not attend in-person or virtually. You may also want to have a treasurer to manage any allocated funds. These roles not only distribute responsibilities but also ensure that every committee action is documented and transparent.
Also, consider setting term limits for each role. This way, one person isn’t confined to one role. There should be a rotation every so often to allow for each person to contribute to the committee in different ways. It also encourages fresh perspectives and allows more members to take on leadership roles over time.
Establish clear guidelines on voting procedures and how decisions will be finalized. This can prevent potential stalemates or conflicts. It can also ensure that the committee remains action-oriented.
Select the Right Times for the Committee to Meet
To get the most from your committee, a time to meet should be set. It may be the same time and date every month or week. However, the time can also be flexible depending on member availability and business needs. The timing can significantly influence the effectiveness of discussions and the overall success of the committee’s endeavors. Here are some possible times for the meeting to happen.
A mid-morning slot, say around 10:00 a.m., can be an ideal time. By this time, most employees have settled into their workday. They’ve also already dealt with pressing emails. This means they’re more likely to be more focused. It’s after the initial rush of the morning before the lull that sometimes accompanies the period just before lunch.
Scheduling meetings for around 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m., just after the lunch break, can also be effective. Employees are likely to be back from their break. Hopefully, they’re refreshed and ready to engage. However, be cautious of the afternoon slump that some people might experience.
Late Afternoon Wrap-ups
A 4:00 p.m. slot can serve as a wrap-up session for the day. Employees might appreciate the opportunity to discuss and reflect on engagement initiatives as they wind down their primary tasks. This timing can also lead to more relaxed and open discussions, as the pressure of rushing back to work is reduced.
It’s beneficial to occasionally alternate meeting times. This flexibility can accommodate members with varying schedules and commitments. For instance, some might find early morning meetings more productive, while others might prefer late afternoons.
While some might argue for the quiet of early mornings or the calm of late evenings, these extreme timings can be challenging. They might conflict with personal commitments or result in lower energy levels, affecting participation and focus.
Developing and Implementing Initiatives
A pivotal aspect of the EEC is the development and execution of initiatives. Before diving into initiative creation, the EEC should first analyze feedback and data from employees. This is so everyone is clear on the areas of concern or potential improvement. This data-driven approach ensures the committee addresses genuine needs rather than ones people “feel like” addressing.
Once the committee knows the focus, they can start brainstorming potential initiatives. Initiatives can be anything that helps boost employee engagement. The initiatives should align with the organization’s broader goals and values. Before rolling out any initiative, it’s best to test it on a smaller scale. This allows for real-time feedback and adjustments.
Employee Engagement Ideas
So, now that you’ve decided to form your committee, and you’ve gathered a group of interested committee members, what now?
Here are some ideas to get started on improving employee engagement. You can brainstorm your own ideas, and determine which will fit into the goals of your committee.
- Create a newsletter and send it to employees. Let them know what your Employee Engagement Committee is doing.
- Create a birthday newsletter. Celebrate employee birthdays with a monthly email recognizing all employee birthdays for your department. Allow employees to opt out if they do not celebrate birthdays or if they do not want their names to be included in the birthday newsletter.
- Have a company-sponsored lunch in December.
- Notify employees of opportunities to volunteer during work hours. If your company supports charities or is open to new partnerships, this is a great way to boost morale and help a good cause.
- Offer recognition for a job well done. The committee should work with the employer to find out how this can be company-sponsored.
- Recognize work anniversaries with a department email blast.
We have an article with some more ways to improve employee engagement that is worth taking a look at.
Boosting employee engagement isn’t a destination – it’s a marathon. This is an ongoing goal that’s worth the effort. Creating an Employee Engagement Committee is a proven way to increase morale and employee happiness.