Consider implementing the following employee engagement strategies
There’s more to employee engagement than creating a welcoming work environment. Organizations need to plan around and implement some strategies to get their desired results.
Here are some employee engagement strategies to help organizations get started:
Be fair and realistic
To retain the respect of employees, organizational leaders should treat them with respect and fairness while also holding themselves to the same standards. Employees want to know that they will be judged primarily based on their performance rather than on factors outside their control.
Employees also expect that rules and procedures are there to be followed – not discarded at the earliest inconvenient opportunity. It’s especially important for leaders, who very often set the standard for behavior by example. If employees get the impression that the rules don’t apply to some people, they are more likely to become frustrated and voice their displeasure in unproductive ways that hurt the entire team’s morale and performance.
You also need to ensure that your expectations are realistic. While engaged employees will often take on a heavier workload than their less-engaged colleagues, leaning too heavily on them can burn them out or make them resentful. If even routine tasks seem to be overwhelming, employees may give up to some extent and allow their performance standards to dwindle below acceptable levels, according to Onpoint Consulting.
Build two-way communication
Employees want to know about decisions that affect them, what’s expected of them, and any information relevant to their work.
However, simply sharing information is not enough to promote employee engagement. Employees need to know that communication flows both ways. If they can’t take their concerns or ideas to leadership, they will likely feel ignored or unvalued. It goes beyond simply having an open-door policy. Being able to voice concerns is one thing, but knowing that someone is there to listen to them genuinely and take them seriously is another.
Encourage work-life balance
Investing in your employees’ lives outside the workplace is a wise move. It pays off in the long run. Forget mid-life crisis as millennials are now bothered with a quarter-life crisis. Employees are starting to realize how “fair” and “flexible” work timings can benefit their overall well-being. Empathetic companies proactively work to provide the appropriate personal time for employees and tend to stand out.
You can integrate work-life balance into your company culture. You can aid your employees in striking this balance with a series of benefits such as flexible hours, healthcare, and remote working. It helps them build their professional lives without having to compromise their personal lives, according to SurveySparrow.
Regardless if you’re a conventional 9-5 company or operating round-the-clock, you should encourage your employees to have a life. A study by Fidelity Investments found that millennials would even take a price cut to secure a greater work-life balance.
Give a sense of purpose
For many employees nowadays, simply showing up for work, performing a task, and collecting a paycheck are not enough. They want to feel that the work they do is meaningful, that its purpose is beyond profit. Aside from their personal contributions, they want to know that the organization they work for is committed to their shared values and goals.
If employees can’t reconcile their personal values with those of your company, they will quickly become disengaged and less accountable for their work. Thus, you should communicate your organization’s values and mission statement clearly. Moreover, you must show employees how their contributions help in accomplishing the organization’s goals.
When employees can connect their work to their personal values, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and show a greater level of personal investment in the company’s success.
Purpose is becoming a chief differentiator in business. Some go as far as thinking that by 2020, there will be hardly any distinction between for-profit and non-profit business. Instead, companies will be classified as for-purpose and not-for-purpose.
Give away perks
Free food and shuttle buses are almost becoming the norm for Silicon Valley companies. Everyone enjoys the company perks and free stuff that come with the job. From onsite gyms and childcare centers to company-sponsored travel and volunteering, there are many companies that ensure employees take care of themselves while still helping them succeed, according to SurveySparrow.
You could experiment with what your brand has to offer or draw inspiration from others who have pulled this off to great success.
Give back to the community
It’s irrefutable that when people give back, they feel better about what they have done and the company that helped get them involved in the first place. The knowledge that their employer supports and works for a cause can give employees great comfort and a sense of pride.
Offer excellent volunteering programs. Encourage your employees to volunteer or take up a cause that’s close to their hearts. The goodwill and positive PR it will bring you is just a bonus.
Provide a blueprint for success
Knowing that they have a clearly defined future is a major factor in employees’ decision whether or not to remain committed to an organization for the long term. It’s especially true for millennials, who change jobs more frequently than previous generations and routinely identify development opportunities as a key factor in their career decisions.
By holding regular career discussions with employees and asking them where they see themselves in the future, you can create plans that help them develop the skills they need to take on additional responsibility in the future.
Aside from boosting employee retention, an emphasis on development also boosts employee engagement since employees are more likely to see their role in the organization as important and valued. They take greater ownership of their responsibilities while also keeping an eye on the future. If employees know that the work they do today will benefit their career tomorrow, they will feel that they have a clear advancement path in your organization and that they will not be stuck in the same position with no end in sight.
Besides, facilitating development helps build trust as it shows that your company values employees. With that sense of trust comes improved engagement and a greater commitment to the organization’s mission, according to Onpoint Consulting.
Recognize good work
Cheering on successes and highlighting accomplishments might seem like a minor gesture, but it goes a long way toward showing employees that the work they do matters.
Two out of three employees feel that the good work they do goes unrecognized, Gallup research found. Companies should find it worrisome, as employees who feel underappreciated are more likely to engage in troublesome behavior and underperform. Recognizing good work is one of the low-cost employee engagement strategies that can be implemented daily, so it’s remarkable that so many organizations are falling short in this regard.
Celebrating accomplishments doesn’t have to come from leadership all the time. Positive feedback and recognition from colleagues can also help boost employee engagement by creating a sense of trust and camaraderie throughout an organization. When employees have a positive emotional investment in their teammates’ success, they are more likely to be engaged in their work to further that success.