In the past, employees were happy with their job if they had steady paychecks every two weeks. Today, that’s not enough to keep them engaged and motivated at work.
The modern workplace requires more from employers than ever before.
If you want your employees to be happy and productive, you need to offer more benefits and perks that make them feel appreciated and valued – especially in this competitive hiring environment where people are constantly looking for new jobs or better opportunities elsewhere.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways you can consider employee engagement and foster a better work environment that empowers them to be the best they can be while being loyal to your company for a very long time.
How To Improve Employee Engagement At Work
Here are some ideas for improving employee engagement in your company today:
1. Offer more flexible, remote work hours
Due to the current situation that we live in (especially the one brought on by COVID), employees want to feel autonomous and have a better work-life balance. According to research, offering flexible hours will help you increase your employee engagement scores.
A study on the effects of remote work revealed that people who are offered the option prefer to work remote hours at times when commuting would take more than one hour.
Start by creating a clear and proper remote-work policy. Include details about who is eligible, when to travel, and the criteria for approving requests. It’s also essential to inform employees about the benefits of working from home, such as reducing their carbon footprint and saving time and gas money on commutes.
Make it a point to discuss these points with every new hire before offering them the job so they know what to expect (and why).
Employees who work remotely prefer communication in real-time (like Zoom or one of its alternatives) as opposed to email or phone calls. Scheduling tools like Slack are great options for organizing virtual teams, but you should also allow employees to use whatever apps or programs help them improve productivity and make the most of their time.
This type of flexibility is best suited for remote, virtual teams where there’s no physical office location. If you have employees in your main office, it may be more helpful to start with other ideas mentioned below.
2. Make them feel valued with rewards
People value things that they earn through their hard work – something that can be beneficial for you too. If you give bonuses or rewards to employees, they’ll know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated by management, which in turn, makes them feel motivated to work harder for you.
You can use recognition programs to help you reward your employees for their good work. This can be done on a small or large scale – from offering discounts and special privileges to motivating them with rewards, incentives, and even bonuses. These all make you a more valued employer and increase your personal brand with everyone involved.
3. Hire the right people for the job
Hiring the right candidates is essential to build a team of high-performing individuals who will help you achieve your goals and lead your business in the long term.
You need to screen your potential employees carefully before bringing them on board because they’ll be representing your company on every level.
You don’t have to hire an agency or spend thousands of dollars on background checks if you can invest some time in researching and verifying their qualifications through LinkedIn or other social networks instead. In fact, there are multiple ways you can start hiring exponentially and hiring the right people at the same time.
Make sure all new hires go through a proper training program where they learn about company policies, procedures, ethical standards, and more.
This not only helps develop their professional skills but also familiarizes them with the systems and processes that are used daily in your organization.
Invest in training programs or workshops that will help your employees improve their skills – both soft (e.g.: communication skills) and hard (e.g.: computer skills) ones to increase productivity and enhance their work overall. It’s critical to give new hires some time and attention so they’ll feel comfortable right away when joining the team.
Make sure everyone understands they were hired for a specific position; be specific about company goals and how you expect each employee to contribute to those goals accordingly.
4. Promote an open-door policy
This is where people can bring their problems to management without fear of retaliation.
This can be achieved by debating the company’s overall vision and strategy with your employees.
To do that, you’ll want to build a team of people who are not only skilled in their respective fields but also have great critical thinking skills and experience working together as a group.
There are plenty of ways for your management team to communicate better with each other. You can start by organizing joint meetings, setting up regular check-ins, or by using an office communication tool (e.g.: Slack) where everyone can post updates, ask questions and resolve issues as they arise instead of having meetings every time something needs attention.
Every employee must understand his or her role in the organization: what he/she is doing for your company, why it’s important, and how their contribution affects different levels of management. This will not only help employees stay motivated but also develop a sense of ownership and accountability towards their work overtime.
No matter which topic your business ideas revolve around, having an open-door policy is a great way to show your employees that you are there to listen to their feedback and act on it, which increases Employee engagement.
5. Make sure they don’t just have a job but a career with long-term potential
One way to keep talent engaged and motivated over the long term is by offering training opportunities that will help them learn new skills at work or advance their careers when opportunities open up for advancement elsewhere.
It’s critical to maintain an environment where people can grow professionally – even if it means giving them more responsibilities beyond their job description, training them in new systems or technologies that might help them do their job better, and allowing them to take on more challenging projects.
6. Celebrate birthdays with small yet insightful things
Offering cake and ice cream in the break room on a random Wednesday afternoon might not be able to cut it anymore (at least if you do, make sure the cake tastes amazingly good) to improve employee engagement.
There are many ways managers can surprise their employees and show them they’re appreciated during special days – like birthdays – without breaking the bank, while also improving their working relationship.
For example, you could host an after-work mixer with beer and snacks or throw a lunch picnic for your team outside in the garden on a sunny day. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant; just something that shows your appreciation for them being part of the team.
7. Create fun office events where people get together
This has been proven to improve both employee morale and productivity while enhancing overall company culture through creating connections among colleagues who may not work together daily.
Things like themed office parties, company outings, or corporate retreats are great ways for everyone to get together outside the workplace and have fun while doing so.
You have to be consistent with your vision and mission and gradually work towards it.
8. Host monthly workshops on topics relevant to your employees’ lives
Focus on things that your workforce cares about. For example, if you’re a marketing team, host events/discussions around topics like improving employee productivity in the workplace, streamlining internal communication tools, and increasing overall engagement among teammates.
This can be done by improving collaboration between them using tech tools, or even those which deal with specific knowledge that employees can use in their personal life.
While these themes won’t always be directly related to their jobs, there’s no doubt they’ll benefit from this knowledge in one way or another, as it can help them become better, smarter, and happier employees.
You can get people to attend your workshops by hosting them as lunchtime sessions, offering time-off for employees who take part in the workshop, or even hosting a smaller meeting (if you’re organized enough).
Also, you can offer your employees the chance to build better careers through online courses that you sponsor for them, allowing them to advance their e-learning as they go along.
Offering workshops that directly benefit your employees in various aspects of their lives is a great way to ensure they are engaged in their working hours.
9. Offer classes to create a company culture
These classes will be there to teach people how to succeed at your company’s culture, or invite community members to lead classes on topics they’re passionate about.
Whether it’s on a specific software program (e.g.: Microsoft Excel), general workplace skills (e.g.: professional dress/behavior), or leadership development, think of class-based training as an opportunity for everyone to learn from one another and gain knowledge that will benefit them both in and out of work.
Providing lessons by hiring external trainers can be expensive; however, you don’t necessarily have to hire someone to teach employees something new.
If there are certain areas you want your workforce to excel at, try leading a workshop yourself so employees will feel more comfortable asking questions when it comes time to try the new skill in real life.
10. Organize an office challenge to Improve Employee Engagement
This challenge might take place over weeks/months for bonus incentives, such as a company-wide fitness challenge where employees compete to see who’s lost the most weight or can lose it fastest (with prizes awarded).
If you work in sales, it could be a sales competition with different teams fighting to earn the biggest commission/revenue share for their department.
This might also lead you to ask questions that will benefit everyone involved. For example, if you’re running a sales competition and need to pick teams, do you automatically choose the most efficient people based solely on their numbers? Or are there other factors that go into decision-making – such as whether they can work in a team or not?
The point is, when it comes time for hiring/promotion opportunities, companies tend to look at employees’ numbers without thinking about other aspects of their personalities that may have been gained from participating in these challenges.
Final thoughts on Improving Employee Engagement
In conclusion, employee engagement is no longer just about keeping employees happy in the workplace – you do need to go the extra mile to look after your employee’s wellbeing.
If you want to improve employee retention rates and get ahead of your competition, it’s important to offer perks that are fun and beneficial – which can help employees grow as individuals too.
By implementing these ideas into your workplace, you’ll be well on your way to improving employee engagement and keeping everyone happy.
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