Are your employees really engaged at your workplace? According to a survey, only 34% of workers in the U.S. are engaged. The rest of them are probably just clocking in the hours and looking for a better job. What is the reason behind this lack of engagement? Is it work pressure? Do they feel unacknowledged? Don’t they like the work environment?
A disengaged workforce, however talented, does more harm than good for your organization, as they tend to be less productive and hardly enthusiastic about any achievements of the company. Sometimes the look on your employees’ faces reveals that they might rather be anywhere but here. They don’t feel the need to put in any extra efforts for your company’s benefit, they might not utilize their office hours effectively, and they most probably won’t have a good opinion about the organization.
The first step to increase the level of engagement among your employees is to find out the reason behind their disengagement. Once you know the reasons, you can then implement appropriate employee engagement strategies.
Here are some of the best employee engagement strategies that you can implement in your organization:
Employee Engagement Strategy #1 - Introduce a Rewards and Recognition Program
Rewards and recognition for a job well done has kept us motivated all through our growing up years. The same stands true even at the workplace. When employees feel that they are not being given due credit or are not being appreciated for their work, they feel undervalued. To avoid this, you can introduce a rewards and recognition program.
Rewards don’t have to be something expensive. A lot of companies have monthly or quarterly best performance awards where the employee receives a certificate or a badge as a reward. Everyone loves being appreciated for their work. If not an organization-wide recognition program, you can at least mention their names and their achievements in your next team meeting. You could also include the names of these employees in your monthly newsletter. Apart from perks, recognition for a job well done goes a long way in motivating employees. It makes them feel appreciated and valued. Companies using incentive programs reported a 79% success rate in achieving their established goals when the correct reward was offered.
Employee Engagement Strategy #2 - Establish an Effective Communication Channel
There has to be a proper communication channel to ensure that a two-way communication takes place between employees and the management team. And no, an annual talk about performance and goals is not enough. There has to be frequent communication opportunities. Today, most offices have an open-door policy to show that they can be approached at any time. This gives out a message to your employees that their inputs and queries are always welcome.
Provide a platform for employees to address and direct their issues and grievances to the right people. Whether it’s the reporting manager, the leadership team, or the HR, make it evident that you are always available for the employees to come and talk to you. However, ensure that the employees come up with relevant issues and problems. Additionally, you can also conduct open house sessions to have an open discussion with employees about what they like and dislike about the organization. This way, you can identify their problems and proactively come up with solutions to mitigate those problems.
Employee Engagement Strategy #3 -Set Up Employee Training Programs
How often have you hired and trained a new talent, only to hire someone for the same position within a year again? Recruitment and training are costly and time consuming. If you can’t retain the employee, you would end up repeating the same process over and over again. Organizations must ensure that a certain level of engagement is maintained in order to reduce the turnover rates.
Training and development programs are an effective way to motivate employees. You can incorporate new methods of training to increase employee engagement. If you are going for mobile training, then you can design compelling training modules with multiple interactive elements which will keep them engaged in the course. If it’s a classroom style training, then involve the whole team in activities or use augmented reality to generate interest among learners. Also, find out from the employees which skill would they want to learn or enhance. This makes it easy for L&D teams to arrange for those specific training programs. You can also develop a program through which employees can demonstrate their leadership skills and move higher in their career. Providing appropriate career development opportunities will retain your valuable resources.
Employee Engagement Strategy #4 - Celebrate Festivals and Personal Milestones
An office doesn’t have to be boring at all times. Your employees definitely deserve a break. You can come up with dedicated days to celebrate in office. Festivals are a great way to increase employee engagement. Organize competitions where employees work together to decorate their bays and workstations or build something creative. You can celebrate their personal milestones like birthdays, promotions, anniversaries etc. These celebrations give the team an opportunity to connect and interact with each other in an informal way, creating a better rapport among them. Such competitions and get-togethers help in increasing the employee engagement levels. HR teams must try to create a work environment where employees feel happy about coming to work every day. This can be achieved only if there’s a balance between work and fun.
Engagement Strategy #5 - Organize Fun Events
This is an effective way to generate interest among the employees. You can have various sports tournaments held at an intra or inter-corporate levels. It gives employees a chance to meet their colleagues outside the office space and play and have fun. Outdoor games like cricket, football, throw ball etc., are generally preferred by most people. HR teams can make it an engaging event by promoting the games in advance and encouraging employees to either participate or attend the event as spectators. Indoor games can also be organized where employees get an opportunity to move around and have some fun at their workplace itself. A couple of hours’ respite can go a long way in keeping your employees motivated and their energy levels high.
Here’s a short video on the 8 best Employee Engagement Strategies:
#6 - Show That You Care
Show your employees that you value them by organizing wellness programs and workshops for their personal benefit. For example, you can have a health check-up planned for your employees where medical experts will come and check their BMI, blood pressure etc., and give them medical or dietary advice. Similarly, you can organize workshops for women’s safety such as self-defense, POSH training etc. Other workshop ideas include financial wellness, tax saving, improving mental health, stress reduction etc. These gestures show that you care for your employees’ well-being. 61% of employees agree that they have made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program.
#7 - Employee Engagement Survey
Surveys are a simple and effective way to find out your employees’ views and opinions about your organization. Conduct a monthly survey to identify the issues faced by employees. You can ask job role-oriented questions like how satisfied they are with their monthly targets; do they find them achievable. These questions give you an idea if your employees find their goals and targets reasonable. You can also include generic questions like if they like the food in the cafeteria do, are they aware of workplace safety, etc.
The data collected from these surveys will give you an insight on the problems and issues faced by the employees. Mitigating these problems will increase employee satisfaction which will eventually increase employee engagement.
#8 - Act Upon the Findings of the Survey
Many a times, companies undertake surveys and gather feedback, but fail to act upon it. This slack in action sends a wrong message to the employees. The next time you ask for a feedback they may not even consider giving it as they know it’s not going to make any impact. So, ensure that you are not just collecting data from employees for safekeeping, but are also acting upon it. Keep a track of what your employees think about your company on social media and other digital platforms. Glassdoor, for example, is one such platform where employees tend to write about what they like and dislike about their job and organization. The HR team can track this platform to figure out the pros and cons of the organization as described by the employees and take necessary actions to correct the situation.
Employees need to see that the leadership hears and values their opinion. It might not be possible to implement every single suggestion offered by them, but the ones that genuinely seem like an issue can be resolved. For example, if travelling is a problem for your employees, you can arrange for a shuttle service with specific pickup and drop points.
These were some of the best employee engagement strategies to boost the motivation levels of your workforce. Promote open communication, transparency and positive work environment to encourage your employees to go the extra mile to achieve their goals and objectives. Strive to bring a sense of belongingness to the company as it will lead them to believe that their success lies in the organization’s success. A highly engaged workforce can thus improve your business outcomes.