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Work is a major part of our lives. We spend up to 30 percent of our lives at our jobs. This is about the same percentage as we spend sleeping. Naturally, we’re going to talk about work. We gossip, we complain, we tell funny stories. And, if we’re fortunate enough to work someplace we like, we’ll brag.

When it comes to talent acquisition, that’s what employers want – employees who brag. Candidates listen to the opinions of employees much more closely than they do recruiters and other HR people. When employees say that a company is a good employer, it makes a real impact. Any company can offer more money, a flexible schedule, or other perks, but not many can offer a satisfying, positive work environment. So how does a company improve its employee experience?

Two words – employee engagement.

Employee Engagement 
Employee engagement means that your employees see themselves on the same side as their company and their co-workers. The relationship between employer and employee doesn’t have to be adversarial. When it’s positive, and employees feel empowered and appreciated – they will work harder. When employees are engaged, everyone wins, but the reality is that most employees don’t feel engaged.

Developing a Culture of Engagement 
Building a culture of engagement is key to keeping and developing employees, and a big part of that is employee appreciation. Showing your employees that they are noticed and valued is a concrete way of demonstrating your investment in your people.

One of the best ways for your employees to feel engaged is to make them feel appreciated. Annual bonuses are a great start, but that’s something most companies already do. When it comes to appreciation, little things mean a lot. Acknowledge social landmarks like birthdays, marriages and anniversaries as well as work accomplishments such as promotions and cost-saving ideas. Things like treating your HR team to a catered lunch after open enrollment is completed or giving your IT team gift cards after a major systems upgrade will put people in a much better mood than they might have been if all they got was their regular paycheck.

Employee appreciation shouldn’t be limited to management. Often, your employees will have a clearer view of the challenges their co-workers face, and the work they put into solving them. Your employees should have the opportunity to acknowledge and express their appreciation for their co-workers. Recognition from other employees can be very meaningful and helps build a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

When you invest in your employees, they will respond. You’ll see employee productivity go up, costs go down and turnover decrease. Employee engagement can also provide a big boost to talent acquisition.

Ways Employee Engagement Helps works with Talent Acquisition 
Not only does employee engagement make your company a more attractive place to work, but the act of engaging your employees in talent acquisition helps strengthen a culture of engagement. So where do you start?

  • Make your hiring as transparent as possible. Everyone in your company should know when you have a hiring need. Tools like Slack have made it easy to keep people in the loop. You can also use email and the good old corkboard to let people know when you have a hiring need. Keeping your employees informed is essential to employee engagement. 
  • Encourage people to network. Ask any recruiter you come across and they’ll tell you the best recruits are the people who aren’t actively looking for a new job, and the best place to find new people are the people they know. Don’t forget to reward employees for successful referrals! 
  • Involve your employees in the hiring process. Have your employees participate in resume screening and interviews. This will give the candidate a better sense of your company and will help your employees feel invested in the process. 
Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement 
When you show your appreciation for your employees, you are making an investment in your team that will be returned many times over. Recognizing the work of your employees reinforces their commitment to your company and helps to build a culture of engagement. Talent acquisition is a natural part of your company and can work hand in hand with employee engagement to create, develop and strengthen a culture of engagement.

Assembly is dedicated to helping companies build and sustain employee appreciation, freeing you up to focus on building your company and your team. Assembly provides the tools and platform to scale your company’s culture.


About the Author:
Jodi Mai, SPHR, has over fifteen years of experience in Human Resources. She began her career as a technical recruiter and moved into corporate talent acquisition, then HR administration and ultimately, HR management. Most recently, she has concentrated on working with start-ups and small companies looking to create and develop their talent management programs.