Ensuring employees feel engaged in the workplace is an effective yet often overlooked method of increasing productivity.
Just think about it—if a staff member is feeling unmotivated and unchallenged, they simply aren’t going to produce their best work time and time again. In turn, their level of efficiency is going to drop which will then affect their mood and level of stress.
Employing methods that can motivate staff to reproduce their best work is therefore imperative. Employees are only human, after all, so it would be unfair for employers to expect the world from their staff without putting in some effort themselves.
If sales are down or morale is low, engaging your staff to pick up their efforts can be much easier said than done though, and it may take more than a simple one-to-one to get to the root of the issue. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try—problems only get worse when left to fester.
In this article we take a look at some tried and tested methods that aim to make the workplace more engaging for employees. From setting achievable objectives to promoting collaboration, here are five key things to think about when trying to enhance employee engagement.
Having opportunities available for staff to get to know one another is a fantastic way of improving employee engagement. After all, staff can spend years on end working together without ever really talking to each other about non-work-related things. Why not encourage exactly that in your workplace?
Whether it be through an employee team building day, a departmental lunch, or a workplace happy hour, events such as these can offer a break from the monotony of the workday, encouraging employees to create stronger bonds with one another. In turn, this helps motivate staff to talk with each other about any issues they are having, reducing the likelihood of mental health issues surfacing in the workplace. Talk about a win-win.
As time marches forward, the baby boomer generation will gradually become replaced by a new era of millennial-aged employees. This generation of workers are unfairly referred to as ‘snowflakes,’ said to have a reputation for hopping jobs and expecting too much too soon.
While this may be true of some millennial-aged employees, it would be unfair to tarnish all millennials with the same brush. Instead, employers should embrace their influx and implement innovative methods to encourage work engagement. After all, millennials are known for needing and wanting direction from their work. No employee wants to sit there all day long, mindlessly ticking off task after task—they like knowing that their work is going towards something.
One of the most effective ways of giving employee’s direction comes via setting realistic targets and objectives for them to meet. These need to be checked regularly to ensure they are being met, and a dialogue should be encouraged between employee and employer from the get go.
Promote workplace wellness
Staying healthy is vital in all aspects of life but it is especially important at work. Healthier employees tend to be happier and more engaged than more inactive members of staff, so encouraging wellness programs in the workplace could offer a number of benefits.
Research shows that running health and wellness programs can demonstrate value to employees, helping them feel more energized as a result. This, in turn, results in an increased level of productivity, a reduced level of stress and an improved morale.
Whether it be a lunchtime yoga session, running club or corporate gym membership, showing an interest in sustaining staff’s long-term health goes a long way towards improving their overall attitude towards work.
Improve employee onboarding
Consistency is key when it comes to keeping staff engaged with their work. There’d be no point putting in a huge effort one week and then losing interest later down the line—to make a lasting impact, you need to sustain it from day one.
Start with the onboarding program you use for new employees. Is there a set induction new hires are asked to go through? Does this leave new members of staff feeling excited at the prospect of joining? If the answer to both these questions is ‘no’ then herein lies the problem—you need to ensure each member of staff feels motivated from the get go.
The best way of doing this is by looking at the current onboarding process and coming up with ways to improve its efficiency.
Ask staff for ideas
Rather than trying to figure out what your staff want for yourself, why not ask them directly? After all, they are the best placed people to offer advice and suggestions on how to improve the workplace.
Plus, by taking what they say on board, employers will demonstrate that they are willing to listen and enact changes accordingly. Often, staff will have ideas and feedback an employer wouldn’t have even pondered. It’s not just up to the HR department to extract this from employees though—everyone can be involved, regardless of the hierarchical ranking.
So, there you have it—five fantastic methods to engage, inspire and motivate employees. Whichever type of workplace you work in, and wherever you are based, employee engagement is vital to getting the best out of your staff. Only by putting in the effort in will you be able to see a difference in output.