[LTR] One common topic in employee relations training is how to increase employee engagement. If your company values employee engagement, the human resources department must work to create an engagement strategy using the resources available. With the right skills, developing and maintaining high employee engagement can be done even with limited resources. A comprehensive human resource training program should cover the development of an engagement strategy as well as cover the tools needed to assess the current engagement climate.

There are a variety of drivers of engagement. One might argue that the largest driver of engagement has to do with the leaders of the company and how they interact and build relationships with coworkers. Employees that leave a company cite that a main reason of dissatisfaction is that they had a bad relationship with one of their leaders. Maybe the leader didn't provide a good vision or direction, maybe the employee did not get meaningful feedback on their contributions, or maybe the leader was simply unapproachable and cold. Motivational and inspiring leaders are probably the most important driver of employee engagement. Employee relations training can give human resources the tools they need to help their leaders encourage engagement.

Another driver of employee engagement is more directly related to the human resources department, which is where a good human resource training program comes into play. This next driver relates to a solid rewards program - financial rewards, bonuses, raises - these all make employees feel more secure and are great incentives for employees to engage. Employees that have financial difficulties are much less likely to feel attached to their work, even if they enjoy it. Financial stress does not drive employee engagement. A company must provide a good rewards system to foster more engagement.

The third driver is the general sense of involvement and the quality of communication in an employee's daily work. An employee should know how the company is doing and what the future might hold. Communication is key to making an employee feel like he or she is a valuable part of a company. If an employee knows that he or she is worth something within a company, he feels more attached and is more likely to engage. A company should ask employees for participation and ask them to get involved. Creating an emotional attachment to work improves engagement.

There are several ways for a company to evaluate its current level of engagement. Surveys may be helpful, as are focus groups and one-on-one discussions. The HR department can go out and interview people throughout the company to get valuable insights. Gathering data to understand current performance is key to learning what a company needs to do to improve. A human resource training program can introduce some of the tools needed to conduct interviews, and employee relations training can also be beneficial for an overall understanding of engagement and what employees need to get more involved. A comprehensive engagement strategy should first evaluate the current situation and then develop a plan to improve employee engagement through several channels.

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