Employee engagement is a buzzword these days. There are tons of employers and workforce experts scrambling to find ways to improve employee engagement and solve low morale problems.
It’s hard to believe that 30% of the U.S. workforce is disengaged and according to Gallup, 70 percent of employees are not engaged and unproductive at work. Here are seven employee engagement strategies that you can put into action immediately.
1. Offer a more flexible work schedule.
If you provide the option of flexible work hours, it could be one of the best ways to increase employee engagement. When employees have the ability to work from home or set their own schedules, they often feel more trusted and empowered by their leaders and employers.
Offer flexible schedules so they feel less stressed out while still maintaining productivity levels high enough so they don't fall behind schedule or miss deadlines (this will also give them time to recharge themselves after working long hours)
2. Provide growth opportunities for career development.
When employees feel as though they're stuck in a dead-end job with no room for advancement, they'll quickly become disengaged and demotivated in the workplace. That's why it's important to offer growth opportunities for career development — like training courses or the chance to learn new skills — so your employees know they're valued and have a bright future at your company.
Employees should know that there is room for advancement within your organization, even if there aren't any promotional opportunities available at the time. Employees need motivation and knowing that they have room for growth will keep them engaged in their job duties and will help them stay motivated throughout the day.
3. Give feedback
Give them frequent feedback on their performance. Employee engagement thrives when people are given regular feedback on their performance at work. If you notice something an employee is doing well, take time out to praise them for their efforts.
When you give feedback, you're doing more than just telling an employee how they're doing. You're showing that you care about their performance and want to see them improve. That's important to employees: On average, only half of employees feel as though their manager cares about their professional development.
When you give feedback, think of it as a conversation rather than a lecture. Ask for their point of view, talk about how they've done in the past and how they can do better going forward. If the feedback is negative, don't just tell the employee what they did wrong; offer suggestions for how to do it better next time.
4. Show that you care about their overall well-being.
One of the best strategies for employee engagement is to make sure your employees are, well, engaged!
That sounds simple, but it's not easy.
Employees need to feel like they have a purpose and vision in their job. They need to know that you care about them as individuals and not just as cogs in a wheel. They need to know that you're willing to invest in their future.
So how do you show your employees that you care about them?
If you put in the time to get to know your employees, you'll be able to tell when they're having a bad day or if something is bothering them. And if something is bothering them, try to help them fix it. It might not be solvable, but showing that you care makes them loyal and engaged.
5. Give praise and recognition for a job well done.
Every employee wants to know they’re appreciated — it’s one of the most basic human desires. Take advantage of this fact by giving praise and recognition when it’s deserved, whether it’s publicly or privately. And make sure your praise sounds genuine!
It's no secret that exercise leads to more energy and productivity at work — so why not use this knowledge to your advantage? Consider starting a lunchtime walking group or setting up a bike rack at your office. These small changes can go a long way toward getting employees active and engaged during the workday.
6. Be willing to listen. Really listen.
The best leaders are those who are willing to listen to their employees — not just pay lip service to the idea of listening, but actually take the time to understand what their workers have to say.
Surveys are essential for measuring engagement (and for helping keep employees engaged), but it’s important to do more than just ask questions. To create lasting change, you need to be willing to listen. Really listen. If you ask employees for their feedback, make sure you act on it. And when you get feedback from employees about workplace issues or problems, take action so that they know they’re being heard.
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7. Create a “Win Wall”
Every time someone on the team accomplishes something (whether it be personally or professionally), they write it down on a sticky note and post it on the Win Wall for everyone to see. You can also use this wall as an opportunity for employees to acknowledge each other by posting a note when another team member accomplishes something noteworthy.
8. Make Meetings Fun
A good rule of thumb is to schedule your meetings for no longer than they need to be – if that means 15 minutes instead of an hour, then so be it. This will force you to focus on what's important, rather than discussing everything on your agenda.
Give employees opportunities to ask questions or weigh in on decisions during the meeting** When there is a need for long meetings, you can make them fun by adding quick team building activities or icebreakers to your meeting agenda.
9. Create a Transparent Workplace
A transparent workplace is one in which all employees feel free to share their opinions and ideas openly. Transparency is important for employee engagement because it demonstrates that the company cares about its employees and wants them to make a difference.
Your employees want to know what's going on with your business and they want to be a part of it. Make sure they have access to important business information, even if they're not in a management role. This will make them feel included and like they are part of something bigger than themselves (which they are!)
Be transparent about your company's goals and metrics for success. Your employees want to know how their work contributes toward the big picture, so be sure that you're communicating your company's overarching objectives clearly and consistently.
To sum up
Engaged employees are happier and healthier, and much more likely to stay with the company and focus on doing their best work.
To implement employee engagement strategies, organizations need to understand why engagement is important. Engagement should be part of a company’s DNA and aims to bring every individual’s skill sets into the fold so they can contribute to optimum productivity. It’s not something that you can flip a switch on and get off the ground; it takes time and effort, but if you approach this process with care and patience, the payoffs are well worth it.
Whether it’s increasing transparency or enhancing employees’ overall happiness, these strategies will help you get started on the right path. Choose just one that you think will work best for your business and start implementing it today.