Boosting employee engagement begins with the search for ways in which you are able to show your team you care for them and appreciate their work and effort.
The best way to have your employees tapping into their creativity and productivity spheres is by creating the perfect inclusive environment where they will have a great work experience, be engaged at the office and happy to work for a company that aims to make a change in the world.
The sad truth is that, nowadays, around 71 percent of all US employees cannot say that they are fully engaged at their workplace. And if that wasn’t bad enough, here’s something that will blow your mind: enterprises with engaged employees outperform those without by more than 200 percent.
Bottom line, how are entrepreneurs and business owners able to see if their employees are engaged? You can easily tell when an employee goes out of his/her way to turn the goals of the company into reality, giving it his/her all to register the best results that person is able to provide. If you see that your employees are head over heels with their jobs and are with the company for more than a couple of years, the company culture and the workplace are one of your greatest achievements.
So, here are 5 great strategies that will help you boost both the culture and the engagement of your team members:
1. Appreciate your employees and do it often. Praising the work of a person and showing appreciation is something every human needs whether it’s from family members, friends, bosses or work colleagues. The moment a person feels appreciated, dopamine will be released in that person’s brain, thus creating feelings of pleasure and pride. On the other hand, if a person lacks appreciation, he or she will try to find it somewhere else. According to a study conducted by Gallup, the main reason why the vast majority of Americans leave their current jobs is because they feel a lack of appreciation. By recognizing the merits of your employees, they will feel that their efforts and their overall work is respected, appreciated and even considered invaluable. By consistently giving praise to your employees you will see a boost in their confidence and productivity levels. In turn, this will provide them that extra-motivation to continue on the great path they are on for which they are appreciated. Also, remember that recognition for great work can be offered in many forms and shapes.
2. Make a habit out of consistently investing in the development of your employees. If you are committed to see your employees from a personal and professional point of view, do everything within your powers to make this happen. Magic things will soon follow. As we touched upon earlier, this is another great way of letting your team members know that they are valuable assets to the organization and that their work makes a difference. Some companies try to do this, but their efforts are just shy. They fear that after providing their employees with too many skills, they will pack their bags and leave. As a matter of fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are able to offer your team members room to grow and the ability to expand their knowledge base, they will be able to produce more and stay longer with the company. In my opinion, every business owner should encourage personal development within their companies even if this means paying for personal and professional development seminars or courses.
3. Another great strategy that will definitely help you improve employee engagement is to create a flexible and inclusive work environment. For the life of me I will never understand why so many business owners prefer to focus on the time employees spend at the office instead of focusing on the bottom line. Provide your team members with the freedom they require to register the desired results without trying to micromanage every little thing or every second spent at the office. Although some may argue that it’s so much easier to measure time, some people (myself included) believe that it is far more important to focus on developing the metrics and finding what behaviors will lead to success. If you choose the latter, you will have to measure the metrics and keep an eye on the behaviors. Remember to let your team members know that if they are able to reach their goals, it doesn’t really matter the amount of time they spend at the office. For example, if one of your employees asks you whether he can go and run a personal errand in the middle of the day, you shouldn’t hesitate, but rather provide him with the flexibility to solve his or her problem.
4. One clear sign that lets you know that your team members are not engaged is when they often watch the clock, counting down the minutes and seconds before they are able to go home. So how can you turn this in your favor and improve employee engagement? One great way of doing this is by connecting everything you do to a higher purpose, regardless of the industry sector in which your company activates. The core values of your company are not just some unattainable goals that you’ve come up with and put on paper just because everybody else does it. You need to know your company’s core values, understand them, believe in them, talk about them as often as possible and even hire your team based on them.
5. Last but not least, offer perks to your employees that will help them improve their health. This doesn’t mean you are just giving away free coupons, vouchers, or any other things, it’s so much more than that. Your main mission should be to create a work environment where employees love coming to work each morning, a place where they feel appreciated and even rewarded for contributing to the success of your company. When we’re talking about perks at the office, some of big names come to mind: Google, Facebook and Yahoo!. For example, Google provides its employees with $12K in tuition reimbursement, free meals and many more bonuses. And these bonuses pay off big time. Employees will become far more productive, innovative and satisfied. And although you may not be able to provide tuition reimbursement, looking after your employees’ well-being is a must. A healthy and motivated team is a hard-working team.
By implementing these 5 strategies, you are far more likely to attract and retain key employees who believe in the mission of the company. Nowadays it seems that companies who avoid investing in employee engagement are doomed to fail, especially if you consider that millennials are starting to dominate the workforce.
What other employee engagement strategies have you implemented? Did they work? Let us know in the comments section below.