How to strengthen your employee engagement approach (and make sure your employees will be on board with it!)
Without happy, motivated and valued employees, a business runs the risk of losing staff.
Employee engagement is, in essence, the relationship between employers and employees, implemented with a goal to drive organisational success whilst also being aware of each individual’s well-being. It’s something the majority of organisations will focus on in their HR or business strategy because, let’s be honest, if an employee doesn’t have high job satisfaction, what’s making them stay?
Whether your business is an SME, a startup or a corporate, your employees deserve to feel like they’re working in an environment that doesn’t just strive for great results alone, but one where there’s support, encouragement and appreciation along the way.
As freelance careers, remote working and self-employment are all options that are available to many workers across a lot of industries, ensuring your employees are engaged and have a sense of fulfillment at work is critical to retaining them.
Let’s take a look at some innovative and effective methods you can take to transform your employee engagement method:
Focus on your employees’ strengths
Each and every one of your employees is a unique individual, with a unique set of skills and expertise. The first step in improving your employee engagement approach is to hone in on these strengths and work with each person to improve them.
Not only will putting a spotlight on each employee’s strengths demonstrate your genuine care and investment in their career and personal success, it will also amount to consistent results. Think about it – if someone is in an environment where they’re encouraged to utilise their personal strengths that they’ve worked closely with their manager to draw out, they’re far more likely to reach new heights of success than if they simply follow their boss’s chosen techniques and methods.
According to research, 51% of Americans have said that they aren’t engaged at work; they feel no connection to their jobs, and work solely to achieve the bare minimum. As a leader, a part of your role is to ensure your employees feel engaged in their work. Techniques such as having regular check-ins to discuss targets and objectives, opening up options to them to help with achieving these goals, and monitoring their success rate can all contribute to their personal development plan.
Foolproof your recruitment strategy
Recruiting staff that will be a good fit for your company culture and on board with your goals is, as every business knows, essential.
When looking to enhance employee morale and demonstrate how highly you hold employees, opening up new roles and positions to them as well as wider candidates will demonstrate that you’re keen for them to progress within your company. Whilst sourcing candidates from recruitment agencies or through job boards can help you find a highly skilled and talented prospective candidate, your current employees already have a deeper understanding of culture, the way of working and how every team works together to meet goals.
By opening up roles to internal staff, the investment you have in them is clear and, in turn, will have an effect on employee retention and engagement. A recent study found that 60% of workers who were promoted into jobs actually had higher performance levels than employees hired through external routes into similar roles. And, from a financial perspective, there are less costs involved when hiring internally – money that can then be invested into training, development and team building opportunities.
Work perks should have a deeper impact
The decisive factor for many potential candidates, as revealed by HR advocates, are work perks. But are dress-down Fridays or quarterly team lunches enough to truly help employees feel engaged in the workplace?
For many companies, managers and HR departments are pushing to make their employee benefits stand out and genuinely have an impact on staffs’ working lives. A number of tech companies, for example, are now offering a month’s sabbatical to each employee; the organisation encourages their employees to take a month to do something on their bucket list, such as travel, learn a new language or just simply take time to relax and recharge. The catch? Well, there isn’t really one – they often will just have to share what they’ve achieved on their sabbatical once they return to work.
Not every start-up or SME will be in a position where they can afford for employees to take a month off, but don’t be disheartened – work perks that increase employee engagement and enhance employees’ well-being don’t have to be costly or time-consuming, they just have to be genuine. For example, offer flexible hours so employees can pick up their child from school, or work from home so they can simply stay in their pajamas all day (we all want to do it, sometimes!) Benefits such as this show your staff that you trust them to do their work in their own time or from where they want, and to do it to a high standard.
This kind of trust and freedom, when used properly, will lead to a natural reduction in turnover; when staff feel like they work in a positive, healthy and understanding work environment, they’ll feel happy to come to work. Plus, this attitude will reflect onto your customers and clients, too – it’s a win, win situation.
As an employer or HR manager, it’s time to take a look at how you can genuinely improve your employee engagement strategy. As more and more industries work to better their relationships between employer and employees, it’s critical that you’re able to keep up. Speak with your staff directly; what do they want from you? What do they need to keep the quality of their work and performance consistent? By developing this strategy now, you’ll be prepared for the next working generation to enter the workplace over the coming years.