How engaged are your coworkers and employees?
If your response is “I’m not sure,” you have a problem that needs to be addressed. And if you know engagement has been a struggle for your team, then settle in! And if you know engagement has been a struggle for your team, then settle in! Highly engaged employees make the best employees, so you should continuously be investing in developing strategies to achieve this.
Do you remember your favorite TV sitcom? Surely it had lackluster seasons or pointless episodes. But you kept watching until you finished the entire series. Do you know why?
One word: Investment.
Once you got invested in a character or the story, you had the resolve to power through whatever bad acting or ugly writing the series threw at you. You wanted to see it through because you were emotionally attached to the show.
Employee engagement works the same way. Highly engaged employees have a strong emotional investment in their work, the business, and the company. These employees feel connected to the company personally and will work their best to bring success to the business regardless of the ups and downs that we know inevitably occur in the business world.
A 2020 study by Gallup showed that highly engaged teams had lower rates of absenteeism and turnover and better performance than teams with less engagement. The results also showed that businesses with highly engaged employees had 10% better customer engagement and loyalty, 23% more profits, and 18% higher sales.
Your company likely has an employee engagement strategy in place. However, if you are unsure about your employees’ engagement level, the techniques are not as effective as they should be—and you need to improve them.
Employee engagement hinges on these five core concepts:
Most, if not all, of these concepts are what employees need to feel connected to the company. Your company probably has perks and policies that revolve around them already.
For example, your company may have an Employee of the Month or Year award, which ticks the Recognition core concept. Employees who feel their efforts are recognized will more likely strive harder.
For Communication, your company may have a suggestion box where employees can drop off their written sentiments. Team meetings where members discuss their work week are another strategy.
Growth may come from sponsored seminars, training, and mentorship programs. Job promotion or rotation are strategies for Growth, too.
Companies now offer unlimited paid time off (PTO), a great work-life balance strategy. A hybrid work setup, which became popular after the pandemic, offers more flexible working conditions.
Employee Empowerment comes from giving them autonomy over their work. This means less micromanaging from managers and more creative freedom with projects.
While these are good employee engagement strategies, you can still improve them. Let’s break them down and give tips on how to make them even more powerful.
Winning Employee of the Month is nice, but how often does top management recognize a middle- or lower-level employee? Not to mention that only 12 employees can win this in a year. Furthermore, behind-the-scenes employees such as custodians, utility workers, and the like rarely win such rewards, so how will they be recognized and appreciated?
A better strategy is peer-to-peer recognition. This approach asks for feedback from the executives, managers, team members, and even clients and customers, if possible.
This approach allows everyone to be recognized and appreciated by everyone. It also instills camaraderie and a sense of belongingness.
Suggestion boxes and employee surveys are nice because they allow employees to be heard. However, that anonymity can also be a wall that hinders your employees from feeling connected to you and the company.
A better approach is to get to know your coworkers truly. As obvious as it may sound, getting to know and caring for your employees will engage them more.
Talk to your employees. Pay attention to their interests. Familiarize yourself with their role so you can understand them better.
This approach takes time, but the investment will be worth it. This level of communication creates a strong bond among coworkers built on one crucial ingredient: trust.
Offering training to hone their current skill set further is great for growth. However, this can sometimes make employees feel stagnant, akin to a one-trick pony.
Why not offer opportunities to add another skill set? An example would be sponsoring continuing education programs for employees.
Think about the unsung heroes of a company: the custodians, security staff, and utility personnel. What if they were given the incentive of an education stipend that they could use to learn a new skill if they wished? This will provide them with more and better job opportunities in the future.
Unlimited PTOs and free gym memberships or amenities vouchers are great perks. However, not everyone may like these perks or have time to use them.
For instance, take your employees who are single parents, working students, night shift workers, and all the other employees who are too busy outside of work to enjoy those perks.
A better strategy would be more inclusive of your employees’ needs. For example, offering a daycare stipend for parents is a great way to alleviate some of their stress at home.
Another example is offering flexible hours or allowing remote work. According to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey in 2021, 42% of the responders will switch to a company that offers remote work options if their current job does not.
The basic principle of employee empowerment is giving them free rein and accountability for their work. This is a powerful strategy that keeps an employee engaged when executed properly.
One way you can improve on this is to strengthen your onboarding. A solid onboarding strategy engages the employee right from the get-go.
Think of it as the first impression on a first date. Sure, you have a great personality—but that does not mean you will not put your best foot forward.
An outstanding onboarding process should provide employees with everything they need to know to do their job efficiently. If you create this onboarding process, you can give your employees all the free rein and empowerment they need to stay engaged.
Employee engagement strategies are necessary if you want more sales, higher productivity, and higher employee retention. Invest in these powerful tips and improve the engagement strategies in your company.