Why should you care about staff engagement?
Engaged employees voluntarily invest extra time, effort and initiative to contribute to business success. They feel a sense of purpose within their role, and bring enthusiasm, passion and energy to the work they do, hence they are typically higher performers who produce better results.
Boost your employee engagement with these 6 techniques:
1. Make sure you’ve got inspiring leadership
Competent, passionate and hands-on leadership is critical to employee engagement. Express a genuine interest in your employees and invest time to understand their needs and aspirations. This helps show them that their contributions are valued, and allows you to find out how their workplace experience can be improved. This can be done informally through casual conversation, or via more formal employee surveys and feedback avenues. Make a point of finding out how your employees define success so you can create a rewarding environment in which they can thrive.
2. Provide opportunities for growth
Engaged employees are those who are given the opportunity to adequately use their skills and are encouraged to stretch those skills in order to progress.
Talk to your employees about their career plans. Does their current role maximise their strengths and abilities? If not, propose new or interesting projects they can work on to expand their skillset, or secondment to a different department or location to give them the variety they need to maintain engagement.
Additionally, discuss training and development opportunities that can help them advance within the company. Provide clear and consistent feedback on how they can improve their performance. Ultimately, showing that you care about helping staff maintain job satisfaction will reap rewards.
3. Foster meaningful work for all employees
Engaged employees believe their work is important and has value and therefore take pride in the results of their efforts.
As a manager, frequently reinforce the direct importance of your employees’ roles to the company’s success. Set goals and challenge your employees to meet them to promote a sense of purpose. Grant them the autonomy to improve how things are done to help them feel trusted and respected. Get them involved in the decisions that provide a sense of ownership over the direction of the company.
4. Find ways to recognise and reward employees
For employees to be motivated to give their best, they need to know their efforts will be recognised and rewarded. Make time to celebrate accomplishments in ways that are meaningful to them. Ordering in a team lunch, sharing wins with the wider business or awarding a small gift for achieving a milestone gives employees something extra to strive for and helps them stay engaged longer.
5. Go green
A study published in the Journal of Organisational Behaviour showed that employees at green firms were 16% more productive than employees at conventional firms, concluding that “employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training, and benefit from better interpersonal relationships.”
These are some simple strategies to adopt to improve your green image and employee engagement:
- Implement company-wide recycling policies and challenge employees to limit waste
- Switch to energy-efficient light globes
- Use recycled paper in the printer and challenge employees to use less
- Provide employees with reusable water bottles to discourage consumption of drinks in PET plastic
- Ask employees to power down their computer and other desk appliances fully in the evening
- Explore corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that can get your organisation involved in helping the local community
6. Put people at the heart of the culture
Companies that understand people are their greatest asset reap the benefits of an engaged workforce. This includes considering your employees’ responsibilities beyond the office and enabling them to balance work and home life more easily via flexible hours or remote work arrangements.
Encourage employees to balance hard work with fun by investing in social events and regular team-building activities. Promote the sharing of ideas, suggestions and improvements by asking for feedback in a variety of ways to foster a culture of honest feedback.
A work environment in which people feel valued, heard and have a sense of camaraderie is ultimately most critical to employee engagement.
This article is contributed by Michael Page.