Keeping your employees engaged is essential for workplace productivity and overall satisfaction for your workforce. During the pandemic, many businesses may have found it difficult to keep their employees engaged, especially when having to adapt to remote working.
However, recent statistics have shown employees to be more productive in 2020, showing an increase of 47% in daily productivity. This could be due to working from home and many employees finding more balance between work and life. Additionally, it could be that businesses have focused their attention more on keeping employees engaged due to the difficulty of remote working.
There are plenty of employee engagement strategies that you can put in place to help improve employee engagement across the company. Here are eight strategy suggestions for your business to implement this year.
Why is employee engagement important for your company?
When employees are engaged in the workplace, they are more likely to invest in the work they are given. Investing in employee engagement can boost morale and give employees further direction within their roles.
One of the major challenges for many businesses is employee retention. Just like customers, there is always the threat of the grass being greener elsewhere and so, effort must be made to keep them loyal to the business.
By engaging your employees, your business benefits from better work quality. There is an increase in productivity and most importantly, it helps in retaining top talent. So, why wouldn’t you want to focus on employee engagement?
8 effective strategies to increase employee engagement
Whilst this list is not exhaustive in ways to increase employee engagement; they are likely to prove the most beneficial. Employee engagement is also something that is ongoing and therefore, it is important to assess its effectiveness regularly.
#1 – Focus on training and career development
For some employees, they may see the company they work for as being an opportunity to climb the ladder. Whether that be staying within the company or progressing until they have outgrown it. In order to retain your employees, it pays to care about their career progression. It influences their engagement in the workplace too.
Discuss with the employee what it is they would like to achieve in their role. You can conduct this through annual reviews or during weekly or monthly check-ins with the staff member. Encourage them to think about their career development and allocate a budget to training your employees.
You may also want to think about contributions outside of the workplace as your employees are more than likely to have their own passions and a willingness to help others. So perhaps some skill based volunteering may be useful to not only give back to others but provide a professional experience to your employees as well.
Feeling valued within the workplace as an employee does wonders for morale and keeps your staff retention rates high. It benefits the business to keep hold of its top talent and that can be found anywhere in the business, not just higher up in the ranks.
#2 – Understand workload capacity for every individual
It is never a good idea to treat everyone the same when it comes to their workload capacity. The expectation that each individual employee can handle the same as the next, is likely going to backfire.
Understanding that everyone’s workload capacity is different can help maintain and improve employee engagement. When employees feel overwhelmed with their workload, they are more likely to burn out quickly and become less productive as a result.
A way to ensure this is by delegating work fairly and outsourcing or hiring extra staff where possible. Do not let overwhelming workloads slow your company down.
#3 – Prioritize regular communication and feedback
Communication is a necessity in any business. Without proper communication, your teams would likely be mismanaged and mistakes are likely to be made. The need for more communication became apparent during the pandemic where many businesses were forced to operate remotely.
Due to many businesses not having the experience of working remotely full-time, communicating regularly was key. A survey revealed that 55% of workers identified not being able to communicate in person was one of their top three challenges to working from home.
But even if and when employees return to the workplace, you still require regular communication and so also, feedback. Feedback can be useful because it provides transparency between the employee and the employer. It is better for your employees to be aware of what is doing well and what needs maintaining or improvement.
#4 – Recognize the value of taking breaks
Did you know that a staggering 38% of employees do not feel encouraged to take a lunch break in the US alone? That global percentage is likely to be higher due to the attitudes that many of us have when it comes to taking a break from work.
Many of your employees may feel pressure to stay at their desks or to skip lunch breaks in favor of completing their work. Whilst this might be an indication of the workload capacity we mentioned above, it can also be down to the workplace culture.
The only way this mindset can change is if employers are making an active effort to encourage breaks throughout the day and taking them away from the desk. Taking breaks will make for better employees because it gives them an opportunity to think. Whether it is a walk around the block or making themselves a hot drink, a five or ten-minute break every hour or so can be a great contribution to engaged employees.
#5 – Encourage or continue to encourage flexibility
Being flexible with your employees is a requirement that almost all businesses have had to experience during this past year. However, outside of the pandemic, there are a lot of benefits for being flexible with your employees.
You ought to encourage flexibility within the workplace because life, in general, does not always follow a linear path. There can often be bumps in the road and having flexibility with the company you work for can be a weight off your mind.
With that in mind, do what you can to introduce more flexibility in your workplace. Consider your workforce and their mental wellbeing too. It is no doubt that some days are better than others and having a support system in place that includes time off for mental health is essential.
#6 – Provide the tools needed for employees to do the work
In order to keep your employees engaged, it is important for them to have the tools needed to go about their day-to-day schedule. It can be disadvantageous to your workforce by not providing them with the right software or equipment needed to do their jobs successfully.
Pay attention to what they need and whether they have requested anything that they feel will benefit their productivity in the workplace. Your employees are only as good as the resources you provide them with. So, do not self-sabotage your business by not making this a focus point.
There are some fantastic tools that can help. Whether it is Asana for employee and task management or Canva for helping staff with design projects, you can sign up for the ones that can boost their productivity. Furthermore, allocate a budget to every department. Encourage those staff members to utilize it for the success of your team. This is one of the most important employee engagement strategies you should implement.
#7 – Improve benefits and reward hard work
According to LinkedIn, better compensation and benefits were one of the top three reasons millennials left their job. It is pretty obvious that if you are willing to reward your employees and treat them well, they will be more inclined to stay for longer.
There are many businesses that offer great benefits packages but there are those that tend to miss the mark. Consider what your benefits package offers currently and check whether you can improve the same. There are some great benefit package providers that are great for assembling the right benefits for your workforce.
Rewarding hard work is also something that needs to be done more often because most people like to receive praise and recognition. Consider adding an employee of the week or month to the company newsletter or offering bonuses and incentives for those who hit their targets. Recognizing and rewarding hard work comes back to employee retention and feeling valued within the workplace.
#8 – Create the right working environment online and offline
And finally, employee engagement can be heavily influenced by the type of working environment you create both online and offline. From Zoom meetings to in-person socials, brainstorm ideas on how to improve the work atmosphere in order to make everything feel comfortable.
The workplace should be an inclusive environment that has policies in place to protect its employees from discrimination of any kind. Making an effort to promote a healthy and happy work environment is itself going to do tremendously well for staff morale and their level of engagement in the workplace.
Employees should be able to work together in a positive manner, whilst existing in a harmonious workspace. If that is not the case, then this needs to be assessed and changes need to be made instantly. Otherwise, it can be detrimental to the company in more ways than one.
Make employee engagement a priority for your company
Employee engagement can prove not only critical for employee happiness but for the growth and success of your company. Utilize these employee engagement strategies and implement those that work best. You are sure to see incredible results from focusing on employee engagement in your company this year.