Has your team become unmotivated or uninspired? Do people spread negativity amongst one another? Are people frequently absent without a good explanation?
These are some classic signs of low employee engagement. And while it might go unnoticed at first, how much your employees are engaged with their jobs will eventually impact your customers, and ultimately, the bottom line.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone feels like they’re working in their “dream job.” However, employees who are engaged with their work are choosing to put their best efforts into the job. Here are some steps to help you improve employee engagement.
1. Measure Employee Engagement
Sending a company-wide survey to your employees can help you measure employee engagement. It’s also true that not all employees will feel comfortable filling this out. But, some employees will.
It can be tempting to brush off low employee engagement, even if a survey proves there’s a problem.
However, organizations with low employee engagement and high employee engagement are significantly different.
Employees who are highly engaged typically provide better customer service. They’re also more likely to create innovative solutions. This can be helpful if your company is facing a difficult problem. Absenteeism is less of a problem with engaged employees. Because engaged employees are happier employees, this typically means a more positive environment overall. This translates to more collaboration and teamwork among employees.
2. Help Reduce Stress in the Workplace
For new hires, coming into a new role can be stressful, especially if they feel unprepared. Equipping new hires with the right information can help them succeed. This can include providing them with a schedule of what they’ll be doing for their first week, as well as contact information for who they should call if they have questions. You could consider pairing them with a mentor or buddy to make them feel more welcome on the job.
Managers should do what they can to reduce stress in the workplace. This means looking at workloads and ensuring that one person isn’t doing the work of two. And, if an area is understaffed, managers should advocate for new roles to be filled quickly so veteran hires aren’t overwhelmed with their work.
3. Offer Training Opportunities
Many employees join an organization qualified and ready to learn but may become quickly disenfranchised when they learn that there are no opportunities for growth. Facing the choice of staying and stagnating or looking for another job isn’t a pleasant choice. Disengagement often follows.
Companies can create a better path by offering training opportunities for their employees. This makes it more pleasant for employees who choose to stay, and it creates confidence in new hires that they chose the right organization.
76% of employees believe their companies should provide more digital skills training. That statistic alone should move leaders to take action in creating a robust training program for any interested employees. Not doing so may cause employee engagement to plummet.
4. Engage in Team Building Activities
Some people enjoy their work more when they get to participate in social activities with their colleagues. Whether it’s a potluck once a month or an after-work social, these activities can build camaraderie among those who choose to participate.
Company-funded activities – such as lunches and in-office parties- can make the work atmosphere more fun, too. Although it may be challenging to engage in team-building activities if you have remote employees, it is still possible. There are many activities you can do to increase remote employee engagement. Things like virtual coffee breaks, games, and virtual book clubs. The key is to keep employees connected in work and non-work related ways.
5. Practice the Company’s Values and Promote Its Culture
When it comes to leadership, it is never “do as I say, not as I do.” Leaders of all kinds who expect their team to uphold company values should lead the way in practicing those values and promoting company culture.
Practicing the values with consistency creates a model for employees to emulate. This is especially true when company values align with their personal growth trajectories and goals. When leadership stands steadfast in its values, it gains the trust and respect of its employees. This helps to make them more committed and engaged.
This is also true when promoting company culture. Promoting a rich culture that celebrates its employees encourages them to be the best versions of themselves. By embodying the ethos that the company stands for, leaders can inspire employees to engage wholeheartedly.
6. Invest in Your Team’s Personal Growth
Investing in the personal growth of employees stands as a vital component in creating an engaged and resilient workforce. Employees seek more than just financial gain from a job. Instead, they also want opportunities that allow them to evolve personally and professionally. When a company actively invests in the personal growth of its employees, it sends a clear message that it values its workforce not just as assets. It also shows that the company cares about its employees’ unique potentials and aspirations.
When leaders facilitate personal growth can lead to other work benefits such as enhanced productivity and creativity. As employees develop new skills and broaden their perspectives. This means they are more likely to bring fresh ideas and approaches to their roles.
A workforce that is continually growing is adept at adapting to changes. In essence, investing in the personal growth of employees creates a win-win-win scenario for the company, its employees, and its customers.
7. Recognize Good Work
Employees can feel a bit unnoticed and unmotivated if their hard work goes unseen. This is especially true if they’ve been going the extra mile. Going the extra mile can become very tiring.
Do you have employees who might be feeling this way? Are any of the roles on your team tough to fill? Are these roles prone to high turnover, simply due to the nature of the job?
Sometimes, satisfaction in a job well done isn’t enough. But, recognizing good work can go a long way. And it isn’t just enough to recognize someone one time and let that be that. Team recognition should be built into your culture.
8. Ask For and Learn From Feedback
When leaders see the signs of low engagement, it is time to start asking some questions. Not only for themselves but also asking their team. Getting feedback from their team will help give some much-needed insight into why they are not as engaged as they could be.
Ask about what your team is struggling with so you can help them overcome these challenges. Is there a new change that everyone is struggling with? Are the team members getting along with management and each other? Take the time to ask the right questions to your team and also to listen to their answers.
That feedback will be a valuable tool in understanding the state of your employee relations and give you a head start on the things you can do to improve engagement.
9. Improve Communication
When channels of communication are clear and open, employees feel heard and valued. Improving communication within a corporation is not confined to enhancing dialogues between the leadership and the workforce. On the contrary, it also entails nurturing peer-to-peer conversations. In order to increase employee engagement, make sure your workplace fosters an environment that makes it easy for everyone to communicate with each other. Make sure everyone understands the communication expectations throughout the workday and in meetings.
A climate of transparent communication can help in the timely addressing of issues. This can stop potential misunderstandings from escalating into major problems. As a leader, be sure to keep employees abreast of organizational developments, goals, and strategies. Avoiding this can make employees feel left out of the loop which can cause even more damage to engagement.
Although you can improve communication using technology, don’t rely solely on it. Encourage face-to-face conversations and activities. Some people prefer digital communication while others would rather communicate in person. Facilitating both avenues can ensure that everyone is being communicated to in the way they receive it best.
10. Encourage Collaboration
In the contemporary business arena, encouraging collaboration emerges as a vital strategy to enhance employee engagement. When individuals come together, bringing diverse perspectives and skills to the table, it fosters an environment of learning and innovation. Collaboration breaks the silos that often hamper the free flow of ideas, encouraging employees to work cohesively towards common goals.
When collaboration is encouraged, employees find opportunities to develop professionally and personally. They learn from their colleagues and hone their skills. Furthermore, collaborative efforts often lead to a more enriching and fulfilling work experience. This is because the success that is achieved can be shared in a more personal way.
By encouraging collaboration companies nurture a community of engaged and satisfied employees. Your team will begin to take pride in their collaborative achievements and feel a deeper connection to their workplace.
Employees who are engaged with their work provide better service and solutions than those who are not engaged. By choosing to measure employee engagement and taking steps to improve it, your company – and customers – will reap the benefits.