Employee engagement is a hot topic in today’s business world. It is a key factor in activating high performance and maintaining a low turnover rate in your company. A high performing team generates more sales, better customer service, and greater profitability. But what exactly is it?
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that an employee has with the company they work for. A critical component is that the organization’s goals are aligned with the employee’s personal life or career goals. According to Gallup’s Retaining Employees report, just 37% of engaged employees would consider leaving for a 20% raise or less, compared to 54% of actively disengaged employees who would jump ship. When an emotional commitment is ignited, personal care for the well-being of the company increases, and therefore engagement improves.
So what steps can your company take to improve your employee engagement? Here are a few ideas.
All Aboard: Perfect Your Onboarding Process
Do you remember your first impressions of the company you now work for? Although cultural norms were hinted at during the interview, an employee’s first day is when their initial perceptions get cemented into reality. Assign a key contact to your new hire to welcome them. This mentor will be able to help them adjust to their new environment, show them around, and set the tone for developing cross-team communications down the road. This can provide an avenue for the newbie to ask questions that they may hesitate to ask their manager. Ultimately, this process sets your new hires up with the tools they need to succeed.
Celebration Time: Acknowledge the Team, Not Just Accomplishments
Recognition is huge, especially for Millennials, the largest generational group in today’s workforce. Take the time to recognize a job well done. The more valued an employee feels the more motivated they are to excel in their position. Calling attention to accomplishments is not the only way to produce recognition. Studies have shown that engagement is rooted much deeper if you take the time to recognize the person, not solely the work itself. Other ways to implement this is through celebrating birthdays and recognizing any milestones such as graduations or weddings. When you get down to the root of it, recognition is about taking the time to show that you care.
Water Cooler Moments: Get Social
Coinciding with celebrations, socializing outside of work is an effective way to increase engagement. Having a holiday party, or the occasional happy hour after work encourages coworkers to get to know one another. Spending quality time in a relaxed setting builds teamwork and collaboration while also establishing a personal level of respect for one another. Most importantly, socializing will increase employees’ job satisfaction level.
Loud and Proud: Show Off Your Team
Demonstrate to your employees how much you value their commitment. Showcase your team’s fun events (such as holiday parties or conferences) by creating a bulletin board with their photos. One way to take this virtual in the digital age is to create a unique “About Our Team” page on your website. Include a couple fun facts along with their title. Not only are you engaging your employees, but you’re attracting prospects and future team members by branding your unique culture.
Collaborate and Listen: Ask Your Team for Advice
The best way to gauge how an employee is feeling is to ask. To do this effectively, it’s important that you ensure all answers are confidential when requesting feedback. With anonymous engagement surveys, you’ll be able to check in on the alignment of company goals, personal and professional issues, and analyze team workflow. Consulting with your employees will show that you respect their opinions and that you’re looking out for the best for the company. You can start this process by initiating one-on-one individual check-in meetings with each of your team members.
Culture: Set the Pace for Your Company
Create a unique office environment that will fuel the culture of your company. Make your environment a place where employees enjoy spending time. Some easy fixes are bright colored walls, open workstations, break rooms stocked with coffee and snacks, music, comfortable chairs, and items that represent your culture. Another great tip for building culture is to create a committee that will ensure they set the culture tone for the rest of your organization. This will help determine a solid structure for your culture to fall into place and permeate the company.
Gamification: Make Work Fun
Is it a game changer or a fad? Gamification alters the rules of engagement and inspires employee behavior, ultimately driving results. Not only can it help make the workplace more engaging but it also improves productivity. Behavior is a hard thing to change. By leveraging gamification, you’re able to motivate from the employee’s point of view. Revolutionize your organization through gamification and supercharge the excitement of hitting goals.
Employee engagement largely impacts a company’s bottom line. Higher engagement correlates to increased productivity, boosted sales, better collaboration, and customer loyalty. Think of employee engagement as insurance for long-term success. While it may be a small investment upfront, that investment will have a large payoff. Take the time to create significant moments with your team, listen to advice, and make an impact on your culture. By making the effort, your employees will believe that your company genuinely cares about them, not just the work they produce.
Article reprinted from the Spring 2017 issue of Bellwether.
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