In the fast-changing business world of today, employers are having a tough time retaining their employees. A huge factor in retaining employees is keeping them engaged. According to Forbes, “employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” The recent Mind the Workplace report, surveyed over 17,000 employees in America. 71% of the participants were either “actively looking for new job opportunities” or had thoughts about leaving their current role. Leaders are now having difficulty in driving engagement with the much more diverse workforce, and their growing expectations.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Is there any reason to keep your employees engaged? Of course, there is! According to the CHRC, statistics show that disengaged workers cost the North American business economy over $350 billion annually in lost productivity. Having a strong employee engagement rate provides a platform for high-quality workforce management. With high employee engagement, the workplace atmosphere is positive, everyone’s actions are dependable and internal conflicts barely exist. Workers who buy into the company message and work together as a team, strive towards leading your business to a successful outcome. In fact, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being better recognized. With a great environment, absenteeism should decrease as well as employees arriving late. It will drive growth and increase employee retention.
What can I do to Increase Employee Engagement?
Positive Employee Feedback
Finding out what each employee excels at can go a long way. Instead of trying to find faults and being overly critical of your employees, try to find out what makes them excited and focus on what they do well. Many employees are over-stressed, under-supported and constantly ignored. Even the smallest compliment can make your employee’s day. So much so, that workers are 30x more actively engaged when managers focus on their strengths! This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t let employees know when they aren’t performing to the expected standard. However the way you communicate with your employees is crucial. This will not only help with engagement, it can also increase revenue. In a long-term study, companies that had the best corporate cultures and that highly appreciated their employees, customers and owners grew 682% in revenue.
Give Employees Autonomy
Are you constantly breathing down your employee’s necks? Micromanaging your employees can lead to a decrease in productivity. When micromanaged, employees begin to feel a loss of autonomy. Letting your employees build their confidence and giving them the opportunity to display their ability to do their work can be very beneficial to their growth. Employees display more engagement if they are empowered to explore their passions. Also offering encouragement and support for their work can help raise the morale of your team.
Another area where you can give employees more autonomy is through flexible scheduling. Giving your employees the ability to self-schedule, shift bid, or work remotely can dramatically improve employee engagement. This is an easy way to show employees that you trust them and that you want them to have control over their work-life balance. Gallup discovered that engagement climbs when employees spend some time working remotely and some time working in a location with their coworkers.
Having strong, positive communication between you and your employees is crucial. Employees always feel more engaged when they are in the know about anything that is going on in the company. Without strong communication, there may be a disconnect, which can cause mistakes and problems to occur more frequently. Encourage teamwork and help your employees bond with each other. When a team is powered by strong communication, employees feel more confident, are more cooperative and optimistic in their workplace.
Encourage Employee Feedback
Providing your employees with opportunities to give feedback about management can help managers grow and learn how they can better themselves. Giving your employees a voice that leads to change is very valuable. They can feel empowered that they too can change something inside the company, even though it might be inconsequential in the big picture. If employees know management is willing to listen to their ideas and change, employee engagement rates will be higher and morale will be increased.
Know Your Employees Personally
It may seem obvious to some, but knowing each of your employees on a personal level can make your employees feel like you care about them. Your employees feel less like a cog in the big company machine and more like a valued member of staff. Even doing small things such as saying hello to them in the hallway, asking about their family or their hobbies can go a long way. Doing something like this can help your employees feel like you care about them as an individual. If employees feel valued as a person, they are much more likely to be engaged in their work.
Support your Employees
A huge part of keeping employees engaged is showing them that you support them. There are countless ways that you can show empathy & support to your team, and sometimes the most effective way is to frequently remind them that you are there for them. Some managers see benefits from scheduling regular 1:1 meetings with employees, giving employees the opportunity to voice their concerns, mention blockers, and of course, highlight any areas that they are struggling with. It is important to allow employees to be open about their struggles, and ensuring that when they do so, they are met with empathy. There is nothing more discouraging than a manager diminishing your struggles and failing to support you.
Give Your Employees a Position of Influence
Some employees love responsibility. If you put them in a position of influence, you can see how they will react to the new role. Acknowledging that some employees are engaging and then putting them to the test can help you find new leaders in your company. If you allow employees to learn, thrive and discover what they excel at, they will be more engaged. Employees flourish when they feel trusted to make independent decisions that impact the people around them. The most engaged employees will become the people that managers trust to deliver whenever things go haywire. Employees are the most engaged when they feel a sense of responsibility towards their leaders and when their actions set an example for other employees around them.
Engaging employees is hard. The workplace can be a boring place to be in, but with the right people and the right atmosphere, it can turn into a place where people are motivated and happy to work. Nowadays, leaders need to have a high degree of emotional intelligence to be able to navigate the sea of employee’s emotions and wellbeing. Leaders have to constantly innovate to find ways to increase employee engagement at work. A couple of small changes here and there can help change the overall corporate culture of your team for the better. With more employee engagement, your staff members will be more motivated to work toward their goals while furthering your company’s objectives. Employee engagement is not only important, but crucial to a successful workplace.