Employee engagement is becoming increasingly important. Employers are beginning to understand the benefits of employee engagement like higher productivity, lower turnover, and reduced training costs. If you know employee engagement is essential, here are some ideas to make it a reality in your workplace.
Engagement at work comes only after our basic needs are met. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, if we don’t have proper food and water, a roof over our heads, and safety, we can’t do our best work. Many employers expect their employees to show up ready to excel, while their employees are silently suffering. Once our needs are met, high-level work becomes easier.
Your employees are filled with knowledge. Many companies treat their employees like workers, instead of leaning on them while making company decisions. It’s hard to be engaged at work if you feel like you aren’t valued. What can you do to show your employees you value their opinions? Let employees in on higher-level company conversations and ask for opinions from your employees. Most of all, use the feedback to make changes at your company. Many employers ask for feedback, few implement what they learn.
Your employees do fantastic work everyday, when did you praise them last? Praise shouldn’t be left for one day a year during an annual performance review. Praise (and constructive feedback) should be shared often, so your employees can engage with the company and lean into positive work behavior. Real-time feedback is imperative for creating lasting change in your company.
Where do your employees see themselves in a year? What about five years? What about twenty years? We know that employees aren’t as loyal to companies anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to maximize the length of each employee’s tenure.
● What parts of your department or the company does your employee want to explore?
● In an ideal world, how much do they want to make at work?
● Do they see themselves moving up in the company? What kind of rank are they looking for?
Talk to each employee and walkthrough what their interests are. Create a plan, and revisit it each year.
Did you know there are certain times when employees are most likely to increase their job hunt? According to research featured in the Harvard Business Review, dates like work anniversaries, mid-life birthdays (turning 40 or 50, for example), and class reunions can make employees reflect and think about their current job.
As an employer, you should have dates like anniversaries and birthdays marked down in a calendar. Send special cards and gifts to your employees before these dates happen. Connect with employees often so that you can be aware of important events like class reunions.
A gift right before someone’s birthday is not enough to make an employee stay. What are you doing leading up to that event to make your employees feel appreciated?
Employee engagement looks different at every company. You may find that employee engagement is severely lacking at your company, so you need to start slow. On the other hand, maybe you’re a pro at employee engagement, so you need higher-level ideas. The best way to determine what your employees need is to ask them. Use frequent employee engagement surveys to understand where your employees are, and what they need from you.