Engaging employees in your organisation is about developing a business culture that ensures that your employees are committed to your organisation’s values and goals, dedicated to the success of the organisation, and at the same time are happy and have a sense of well-being.
Engaged staff offer your organisation a number of benefits such as:
- Higher employee motivation
- High levels of productivity
- High levels of employee loyalty
- Better quality products or services
- People will want to work for you
- Employees become natural ambassadors for your organisation
Organisations with strong employee engagement often demonstrate a number of characteristics, such as strong authentic values, mutual respect between employees and management, and clear two-way communication.
If your organisation is suffering from low employee engagement, then here are 10 ways you can improve it:
1. Start at the beginning
If you want to improve your employee engagement, then you need a baseline of where you are now. Undertake a survey to find out how engaged your employees are, analyse the results and then take positive action to implement changes that will improve engagement. And remember to regularly repeat your survey to track your progress.
2. Be positive
Review your current HR policies, and where necessary change them to improve positivity. When reviewing your policies, think about how they help improve employee engagement, if they decrease engagement or make no impact on it. Make changes and communicate the reasons why to your employees.
3. Show the connection
By showing your employees how their role is linked to the success of the organisation, you give them a sense of purpose and help increase engagement levels. This could involve putting your organisation’s vision at the top of every meeting agenda, having a Corporate Social Responsibility policy, so employees can get involved in the local community, or showing employees how their work impacts on others in the organisation.
4. Use your employees’ natural talents
Doing things that use our natural talents, whether it’s problem solving, or organising company social events, increases our happiness at work and makes us more productive. Get to know what your employees’ strengths are – perhaps ask them what they think their strengths are – and then use them.
5. Keep learning
Learning and development can have one of the biggest impacts on employee engagement, and there are plenty of ways to get creative with your training budget. Perhaps employees could go on a secondment, listen to audio material, watch DVDs, write a review of a business book, be mentored, do a job swap or attend breakfast meetings to improve skills such as presentation skills.
6. Share problems
A problem shared is a problem halved. Share problems and decisions about your team and their work (not related to individuals), and ask for their feedback and ideas. It’s even better for engagement if your team can help implement the solution.
7. Share good news
Ensure that any positive feedback you receive from customers, suppliers, other managers or leaders is communicated to everyone involved in that piece of work. You could create a celebration wall where you put up all the positive feedback your team has received.
8. Show appreciation and recognition
It’s well known that receiving recognition from a manager or a colleague increases employee engagement, but surveys have found that giving recognition to others also has a positive impact on employees. Encourage all your team to write thank you notes to each other when they’ve gone the extra mile, or demonstrated the organisation’s values.
9. Don’t be afraid to copy
Most of us have heard of Google’s ‘20% time’, where they allow their employees to spend 20% of their time developing or creating something new. Long before we’d heard of Google doing this, William McKnight, President and Chairman of 3M, implemented something similar for his technical staff. If he hadn’t have done this we might never have had the Post-it note.
10. Get caught reading
Understand how other organisations have improved their employee engagement by reading books on the subject. A different perspective might just give you the inspiration you need.