Engagement is the secret sauce to a productive and high-performing team. It is also a major motivator for retaining employees. Employee engagement, at its core, is about valuing and nurturing the relationships between employees and their employers. However, ensuring employee engagement is more complex than it seems.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to engagement. Building a culture that values employee relationships and rewards them accordingly takes time and effort. The best way to foster engagement is to focus on the few strategies mentioned in this guide.
Importance of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is an emotional and spiritual experience. It is an attitude of mind that results in a positive loop. Employees perceive that their bosses cherish, honor, and recognize them. This leads to increased employee loyalty and commitment to the organization.
Eventually, they’ll contribute to better business results. However, employers do not realize the importance of employee engagement. They are not making it a priority and are not investing in it.
According to a study by Gallup, just 20% of employees globally are enthusiastic about their job. Such a high level of employee disengagement is unacceptable as it costs businesses worldwide trillions.
Of course, you don’t want your business to suffer such consequences. Therefore, you must get on your toes and start implementing the following employee engagement strategies:
Improve Communication With Your Employees
Communication is a common cause of employee disengagement. The cost of poor communication is 62.4 million USD annually for businesses worldwide. Employees who feel their opinions and ideas do not matter are less likely to stay with your company longer or perform at higher levels. Hence, communication is the magic wand to improve employee engagement, and here are a few ways to make it effective.
- Be an Active Listener – The more you can understand where people are coming from and their issues, the more effectively you can respond with a solution that works for everyone involved.
- Ask the Right Questions – There’s no better way to get someone talking than by asking questions. The more precise your questions, the more relevant the responses. You might ask, “How would you handle this situation if it were your decision?” The more information you get from people, the better you understand their needs and how best to address them.
- Seek Feedback – Seeking feedback allows you to see things from another perspective and get a clearer picture of what’s happening. You can ask for feedback from people at all levels of the organization, from your direct reports up through senior management or even customers if applicable.
- Be Transparent – Being transparent means being honest and open with your employees about what’s happening in their department and how they fit into the bigger picture. When people know where they stand and what’s expected of them, they feel more invested in their jobs and more likely to perform well.
- Be Clear About Your Goals – Your goals should be clear and concise. How can your people help you accomplish them if they need to know the goals and targets? When setting goals, ensure they are measurable to track progress over time.
Encourage Happy Hours
Happy hours are an excellent way to boost employee engagement. Employees might work long hours at the office but still need time away from their desks to blow off steam and relax with friends or coworkers. Happy hours can be scheduled once weekly or regularly if it’s more convenient for your business.
They don’t have to be elaborate. Just arranging some fun activities or having meals together is enough to show appreciation for employees’ hard work. The most effective happy hour ideas include:
- A casual lunch at a nearby restaurant
- A picnic in the office courtyard
- Board games and other activities
- A team-building activity such as bowling or laser tag
- A professional development workshop
- An end-of-year party
- A company outing or picnic
Happy hours help boost employee engagement by creating a fun environment where employees can relax, bond with coworkers, and learn more about one another’s interests. They even enable you to connect with your coworkers outside the office.
Create Empowering Workspaces
The corporate world has evolved tremendously in recent years and will continue to change. The world of work is no longer a place where people show up, do their job and go home. In this setting, employees are expected to be more dynamic and imaginative than ever. One in which companies compete for talent by offering perks like an on-site gym or free lunch every day.
Employers who want their employees engaged must create workplaces to stay competitive. It will encourage employee engagement and empower them with the freedom and autonomy they need to succeed at their jobs. However, not all bosses are created equal. While some bosses believe in micro-managing, others trust their employees enough to allow them freedom within specific parameters.
An excellent way for your company, whether small or large, is to create empowering workspaces. A setting where everybody feels a greater sense of purpose. This will not only jack up spirit but also performance. When everyone knows each other’s roles within an organization, it makes getting things done easier for everyone involved.
Here’s how to create an empowering workspace that fosters employee engagement:
- Encourage them to take ownership -It’s no secret that employees who feel they have a stake in their company are more likely to be engaged and productive. Permit your staff to take actions that immediately influence their line of work to foster this sense of responsibility. A great way to do this is by having regular check-ins where you will enable them to pitch ideas on how they can improve specific processes or projects.
- Give them autonomy – If you want your employees to feel like they’re part of a team, consider giving them more autonomy over their tasks and responsibilities. By allowing employees to make decisions on their own, you’ll be able to see if they have what it takes to succeed in a leadership role.
- Create a culture of collaboration – Employees are more willing to be interested in their job when they believe they are collaborating for a common objective. One way to foster this feeling is by encouraging your employees to collaborate on projects and develop creative solutions for problems.
Similarly, there are more ways to create an empowering workspace, from creating a positive work culture to giving employees opportunities to grow.
Recognize Successes and Achievements
When you recognize the achievements of your employees, it sends a message that they are valued. The more often you do this, the more likely your team will feel engaged and motivated to continue working hard. And according to a recent survey, 37% of employees say they feel like engaging in their jobs more if superiors recognize their work.
Include recognition in your regular communication with them during meetings or emails. For example, suppose one employee has been working on a project for several weeks without complaining or being difficult about deadlines. In that case, they should be praised publicly by their boss as you or the manager.
Recognition should not be a simple thank you or good job. You should explain how their work ethic and dedication help the company prosper. And just see how their productivity shoots up.
In conclusion, we have found that employee engagement is a complex topic. However, there are strategies for that. One approach is making them feel like they are essential to the company and its goal.
Another way is to ensure you don’t overwork your employees or treat them as replaceable parts in your business machine. You can boost employee engagement if you keep these things in mind when engaging with your employees.