Employee engagement an oxymoron?
Research reveals that four out of ten workers are disengaged. The fall out of disengaged employees can be detrimental to productivity - low morale, 9-5 mentality, higher absenteeism, higher turnover, etc..
Strategically, driving better employee engagement should be at the top of every manager’s annual objectives. Engaged employees are more likely to be motivated and loyal to their employer; these employees score higher on customer satisfaction surveys and constantly think outside the box to drive improvements. Aside from the salary, emotional needs and sense of belonging are often the key factors for the employees when deciding to leave or not to leave. Remember - people leave managers, not companies. Some things to consider:
Open Communication – Do your employees understand the “why” behind their jobs or the projects that they are involved with? It’s important for employees to know what is expected of them and how their day-to-day tasks affect the entire organization. This gives them a sense of ownership. Like a jigsaw puzzle, how his / her piece fit into the big picture. Transparent communication between employer and employees is essential to building an open and positive culture.
More Employee Feedback – Employee engagement survey is an effective way to get feedback from your employees. Let’s consider other ways - What about employee feedback from day-to-day interactions? Managers can often get more genuine and personal feedback over a coffee break. At the same time, managers are building a relationship with employees.
Peer mentorship – Mentorship programs are being adopted by most of the Fortune 500 companies. Why? Research suggests that employees who help their peers feel more accomplished, capable, and confident. The sense of accomplishment will boost confidence and morale of the mentor while making an impact to the mentee.
New tasks and challenges – For most top performers, they are looking for opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills. They will seek outside the organization if opportunities are not available internally. Create a learning environment for the employees to grow within the company; such as new projects, collaboration with other departments, and lunch-and-learn sessions are great ways to promote growth.
Genuine recognitions – It’s human nature to feel good when being recognized. Whether the reward is a personal “Thank You” sticky note, surprised bonus cheque, or the engraved plaque at the year end – shows the employees that their contribution (small and big) did not go un-noticed.
Comfortable work environment – This one is a bit of a no-brainer but often overlooked by managers. Comfortable does not mean spending a million dollars to create an office space that is comparable to Google’s head office. Simply change the wall colour from the previous dull tone, bring in an espresso/coffee machine, comfy chairs, or even built a brainstorming room. Better yet, ask employees for their opinions and ideas.
Creating a plan to increase the level of employee engagement is not an easy task. There are many creative yet effective ways to get the job done. Have you tried any of these employee engagement best practices mentioned above? Leave us a comment. Tell us which one of these worked best for you.