Studies have shown that when employees are engaged at their workplaces, they are more productive, loyal and feel more fulfilled. This helps advance the mission of the company and of management by creating a positive work environment.
So what does an engaged employee look like? These are those workers who are interested in the success and operations of the company. They offer suggestions to help things run better and can even convince others on the team to work harder and be more productive. In short, an engaged employee is an ideal employee from the perspective of management.
Research has found that 36 percent of companies indicated the employee engagement is a challenge, yet companies still struggle to find ways to improve the connection workers have to the business. In fact, employees who are disengaged from their workplace can cost up to $550 million each year. A large portion of this is in sick or stress leave as well as a loss in productivity.
These numbers are staggering and can seriously damage a company considering 70 percent of workers are not engaged, according to statistics.
Yet, researchers have discovered that organizations with higher employee engagement often see over 200 percent more productivity in their workplaces. If higher productivity is what most companies are looking for it seems reasonable to begin by utilizing some solid employee engagement strategies.
Given that employee engagement is an important element of success, here are some of the best ways to improve the engagement that your workers have.
Refine your hiring process. A comprehensive process will help weed out potential employees who are not the right fit for your workplace. Screening, thorough interviews, and take-home assignments can help filter out applicants that are sincerely interested in working for the company from those who are not. The benefits of a comprehensive hiring process will help you find employees who are committed, interested and well-suited to their positions within the company.
Show some appreciation. Employees who feel their work is valued will be more likely to actively engage with the company. Acknowledging a job well done can not only build up loyalty but also lead to higher productivity rates. Research has shown that 92 percent of employees feel more engaged if they receive empathy at work. Companies can offer a variety of rewards and incentives to signal out employees for recognition. These can range from public praise, monetary rewards or significant incentives such as a prized parking spot for a month. Some companies have even put up an achievement board in a common area. Notifications and recognitions can regularly get posted in an effort to let employees know how valuable their contributions are. In addition, this can be an opportunity to simply acknowledge a special event or celebration in their life, such as a birthday or anniversary. Seeking out ways to let your employees know you value them can go a long way to creating an engaged workforce.
Companies that offer extra training and skill development are often high on the list for employee engagement. Allowing workers an opportunity to enhance their skill set and aptitudes will improve their commitment to the company. Career growth opportunities are among the most valued offerings that employees are looking for from a company.
Give employees a break. Traditionally management has felt that every minute of an individual’s time at work needs to be focused on productive work. However, pushing employees too much can backfire and lead to absenteeism and health issues for staff. Despite the counterintuitive idea, leadership can actually improve employee engagement and dedication by allowing some off-time during work hours. Whether it is extra coffee breaks, time to walk or stretch or just a few minutes to stop focusing on work so much. Psychological research has shown that tiny breaks can even improve productivity by allowing the brain to refresh itself.
Create a committee. Give employees the opportunity to offer feedback and suggestions in the workplace. This can help them feel more a part of what is going on with the company. It shows them their input is valued. When putting a committee together, ensure that every department or area of your company is represented and has the chance to contribute. Set aside space in the office for the committee to meet regularly. This can also give management an opportunity to approach employee representatives to solicit specific feedback on ideas or new concepts.
Plan a bonding event
Activities for employees to engage outside of office hours is another key way to cultivate engagement. This can simply be a night out every month, a holiday party or a scheduled event that gives everyone a chance to participate in a new activity. Helping employees get to know each other can create more of a team atmosphere in the office and can also help them feel more connected to the company, all of which will lead to employees being more productive and engaged in the workplace.
As technology continues to become more and more engaging the idea of gamification in the workplace has grown. This is the idea that everyone gets involved in an online game that requires interaction. There are rewards and incentives that can be offered out to draw in players.
Nothing helps drive employee engagement like a mentorship program. Through a company mentorship, new employees will be better able to understand the corporate culture and what is expected of them. The connection they make with a mentor will also enhance their feeling of belonging to the company and reinforce that they are valuable. On the flipside, more experienced employees are given the opportunity to give back to the company. This helps engage them more in the organization by letting them know that they still matter to management.
Regardless of the industry you work in, employee disengagement is something that can disrupt the workplace. With over half of the workforce reporting they are not fully engaged and committed to their employers, having a solid engagement strategy is key to creating a more positive workforce. Many times it costs little to start to cultivate engagement among workers and it can pay big dividends in the end.