Effective Employee Engagement Tactics
Having employee engagment in the workplace is vital, and its importance cannot be stressed enough. As a famous (and very successful) man once said, "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."
It was Richard Branson if you were wondering and he's not done too badly for himself, so it might be wise to take note!
Employees that feel looked after and needed will be more engaged in the workplace.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment a member of staff has with their organisation.
When they have this engagement, they see the workplace as more than just a place that pays them. They want the best for the organisation and will work hard to ensure the goals are met.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
The end result of increasing employee engagement isn't just about keeping workers happy (although, this should be a big focus!). It's about improving efficiency and profitability for the company.
A recent study showed that employers experienced an increase in profitability by around 21% when their employees felt more engaged. Imagine being able to turn £1,000,000 into £1,210,000 just by making your employees more engaged.
There are much harder ways to increase profits that's for sure. No matter the size of your company, this percentage is a huge improvement and highlights the importance of employee engagement.
How Does This Increase Happen?
It could have something to do with employees working 4.6 times harder when they feel their voices are heard, or disengaged employees costing organizations up to $550 billion a year. It could also be down to nearly two-thirds of workforces feeling burned out due to their employer's practices.
I'm not just throwing random numbers at you here for the sake of it. Improving employee engagement doesn't just improve one aspect of the business, it improves the whole business.
Let's take a look at some employee engagement ideas that can make a real difference in the workplace!
Be The Change You Want To See
In the past, I've seen many managers failing to practice what they preach.
"I'm open to any suggestion", shortly followed by ignoring all suggestions. "No idea is a bad idea..." That's correct - only, they won't get used.
As a manager, supervisor, or business owner, you have to believe in what you're telling everybody else. It's easy to go around preaching that you want employee engagement, but it requires dedication to implement it when you get it.
Don't let staff ideas pile up in the corner of your office desk; your staff will begin to notice their ideas falling on deaf ears.
When actively giving your all, and acting upon suggestions by involving your staff - they will follow suit.
I've seen so many managers destroy their business from being set in their ways, despite declaring they are open to change.
Oh, and also, if someone's idea gets used, don't be that guy and take all the credit. Go on... make them feel good.
Give Help To Those Who Need It
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to perform at the top of their game all of the time, and occasionally everybody needs a little guidance or support.
More often than not, staff know when they're not performing well. It can make them hide in their shell, as they continue to fall down an unproductive well.
I'm sure we've all been there at one point, but you can't engage with a company (or anything for that matter) that you're hiding from.
Offering them help with their workload if they need it, or a one-on-one talk can make a huge difference. Make them feel loved (not too loved though; you might have another issue or employee grievance pop up).
When help is given to those who are struggling, it not only benefits the individual, but it shows the rest of the company that it's okay to seek help.
It also shows you're a great boss who makes time for their employees - that Boss of the Year award is yours! (It doesn't matter that you're the only one in the company who can win it, it's still yours!)
Employees are scared of making mistakes when working for a boss that won't give them the time of day. They're less likely to try out something new, staying safe and boring; but this won't get anyone to where they need to be.
That isn't a problem when employers engage with their employees, so be proactive, and look around the workplace to identify any issues before it's too late.
Promote Open Communication
It isn't as simple as saying "feel free to discuss anything you want with me".
Communication can often be a large barrier in the workplace, which undoubtedly impacts employee engagement levels.
Similarly, to the previous tip, staff want to be able to see that you're happy to listen. They don't want to feel like they'e causing their boss an inconvenience by coming to them with ideas or concerns.
Once one or two members of staff begin to openly discuss, the rest will feel confident enough to follow suit. If you're surprised by what you hear, that's probably a good thing! No-one needs an office full of yes-(wo)men; let everyone challenge everything - respectfully, of course.
Keep Them Involved
From the evaluation process to searching for new ideas; keep your employees involved in every step.
Remember how we said employees are likely to work 4.6 times harder when their voices are heard? This is where you can give them one.
No-one wants to be a silent cog in the machine, every employee should want to help make a difference and bring more success to the company. When you're looking for a bit of creative genius, or need some comedy gold to add into an article, ask around - you never know who might surprise you.
If you get something, great! You've improved their day, and yours; if nothing is found, it's a shame, but at least everyone knows you're open to their ideas.
As for the evaluation process, no-one likes been given feedback when they don't have a clue how it was worked out. When this happens, staff get defensive and disengage from said feedback, reducing the likelihood of improvement.
So, how can managers get them involved in this process?
Why not let them evaluate their own performances as well as other colleagues? Not only can they identify where to improve first hand, but they also see how their co-workers handle similar situations.
It keeps everyone in the loop and has many more benefits than just increasing employee engagement.
If you want to do this, you're on the right website! Take a look around after you've finished reading this blog, to see how we can help you.
Don't Let The Workplace Become Stale
Keep your business like a bakery - fresh.
When you lose interest in the working environment, you begin to just 'go through the motions'. Each day blurs into another, you can't remember what you did the other day... sound familiar?
Start work at 9, lunch at 12, leave 5. I'm yawning just typing it!
Add a bit of spice into the workplace, whether meeting with colleagues to discuss ideas, team building sessions, using different parts of the office, or even just going out for lunch now and then.
Get your staff to actively use their brains, and they'll use them! No-one likes the same old boring routine in their life, so why have it in the workplace?
Give Your Employees Dynamic Roles and Responsibilites
No, I'm not just using dynamic as a buzzword to make it sound cool.
Don't just have one set of goals and responsibilities, and leave it for a few weeks/months. What happens when they easily reach the goal within a few days?
You should add to or change employee targets and responsibilities based on their performance and progress, so they're constantly working towards something.
Do this within reason though. Don't have your employee's sprinting after an impossible goal and burning themselves out. Regular bite-size changes will keep everyone moving at a pace that suits them, without becoming too relaxed or stressed!
Additional responsibilities also keep employees engaged as it shows you are trusting them beyond their daily tasks. If you put someone in charge of an area you enjoy, you can bet they'll take pride in doing it.
Don't Keep Your Employees Under Lock and Key
I'm not suggesting you force your employees to work for you, but it can feel like that for some due to a lack of control over their own work.
A lot of managers want things done in a certain, exact way - if it's not done their way it's wrong.
Don't be that manager. Give your employees the freedom to complete the work in ways they see fit. You can give them guidance, that's great, but don't be breathing down their neck.
As long as the work is carried out in a timely (and cost-efficient) manner, does it really matter if they're not doing it the exact way you want?
If they fail, it's not the end of the world. Instead, it can be made into a learning opportunity for everyone. Every negative can be turned into a positive with the right mindset!
Make sure you deal with any failures in the right way (don't go in red-faced, all guns blazing and raising hell).
Make The Change
Keep your employees engaged, and the chances that your business will flourish increase!
It's very unlikely that you'll be able to make all these improvements in one go. Instead, it's best to deal with them in bite-sized chunks to keep things simple and easy for everyone.
It's all about the margin gains: improve one small thing at a time and you'll see big improvements. You can read more about marginal gains and its impact on businesses in our whitepaper.
Do you have any tips for driving employee engagement? If so, let us know in the comments!