At the workplace, you need engaged employees; otherwise, productivity will dip. Here's a guide on how to drive employee engagement.
Employee engagement is a powerful vehicle for driving business success.
It enhances everything from team morale and productivity to retention rates. The only problem is most businesses of today do a terrible job of fostering it. Gallup reports only 35% of all US workers feel engaged in their workplace.
To be fair, figuring out how to drive employee engagement can be a daunting task. There are many moving parts to consider and they all shape the final outcome.
It is time to take decisive action. Here is how to bring out the best in people and make strides toward your goals.
How to Drive Employee Engagement? Start With the Mindset
The engagement formula is complex and includes a whole matrix of different influences.
There are no silver bullets and shortcuts for turning things around overnight. It all starts with the right leadership mindset and core philosophy. They can be summed up in the famous motto “walk the talk”.
In other words, don’t just tell workers you cherish and value them.
You got to show them that because engagement doesn’t emerge out of thin air or empty promises. Here are some innovative and creative ways of spurring engagement.
Tailor the Work Environment
Workplace design profoundly impacts collaboration and engagement.
It sends a clear message to everyone and anchors your business culture. Not only that but physical space also funnels interactions and workflows. Realize, for example, how office layout and furniture placement promote or discourage collaboration.
A balanced plan of open and enclosed spaces (cubicles) is often a winning recipe. It permits seclusion when needed, but also makes interactions more likely to take place.
Moving on, have enough sports for casual conversations and impromptu meetings. Bonds that form there will be your secret weapon in business battles to come.
Let workers customize their workstations or create a design committee. Do your best to improve office ergonomics and overall comfort. Replace typical and boring office décor with something more fun and unique.
Managers have a pivotal role to play in inducing engagement.
Their focus should be on cultivating strong and meaningful relationships with employees. The best way to go about this goal is to discover what drives and motivates them. Some people are just happy to receive a paycheck on time, while others want to “make a difference”.
Here, you can rely on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It is still a useful yardstick for evaluating what makes people get out of bed in the morning, apart from strict office hours.
Apart from this need-based awareness, managers and executives need to display a high level of emotional intelligence. Ensure they leave the doors open to employees' concerns, feedback, and inquiries.
Good relationships are always a two-way street, which brings us to the next point.
Enable Free-Flowing Communication
Open communication and transparency need to be the defining traits of your office life.
First off, communicate the mission of your organization to everyone. Rally people around the purpose, the “why” at the root of your corporate identity. Get crystal-clear about values and show how you uphold them in practice.
To go the extra mile, consider sharing some behind-the-scenes information, such as the direction company is heading. Don’t just give people more tasks, but also more insights and responsibility.
As we’re all coping with Pandemic-caused disruption, you may also need to embrace digital channels of communication and collaboration platforms. Use them to stay in touch and have occasional chats and video calls.
You can step up your email newsletter activities as well. Dispatch useful and interesting information and enrich messages with visual content. Those kinds of emails stand out in overflowing inboxes.
Offer Perks and Benefits
Perks and benefits hold the power to elevate employee engagement across the board.
Launch programs embolden employees to pursue (physical and mental) health and wellness. Think in terms of perks like gym memberships, yoga classes, fitness trackers, free smoothies, etc.
Alternatively, put together a lifestyle spending account funded by all employees. Everyone can choose specific perks they would like and fund them from the shared budget. This kind of personalization and flexibility can pay dividends over a long haul.
Beyond that, opt for personal and professional development programs. Provide coaching, training, and mentoring sessions to supercharge career growth. These processes shouldn’t be exclusive to the onboarding stage.
Finally, introduce some telecommuting days and permit unconventional schedules if possible. These are all ways to minimize turnover rates and boost motivation.
Make Things Eventful
If you are serious about engagement, it is imperative to praise and reward good performance.
You can do it on a day-to-day basis by getting on top of office gamification. This trend revolves around integrating video game-like mechanics and events into business culture and processes.
It’s also possible to stir engagement by initiating various especial occasions and team-building activities. Hold events that celebrate individual and team achievements. Commemorate work anniversaries and throw an office party upon reaching a milestone.
Give away limited-edition swags and corporate challenge coins. Head outdoors and have a paintballing skirmish, scavenger hunt, or a sports match. Ignite a spirit of healthy competition and practice teamwork.
These events are great ice-breakers. People are more eager to strike candid conversations in less formal contexts, where nobody is wearing a tie or sporting a less-than-genuine smile.
So, think outside the box and the box you all share will become a vibrant generator of productivity. You’ll certainly be able to attract and keep top talent and reinforce your bottom line.
Onward and Upward
Knowing how to drive employee engagement is just the first step on the long journey.
You have to take a proactive approach and use various tactics in synergy to nurture engagement over time. Thus, align your effort with the company’s mission, values, and culture.
Design your work environment in a way that maximizes collaboration and interaction. Open the channels of communication on all levels. Ensure management is on the same page, ready to give credit and recognition where they are due.
Entice people to form ties between themselves and the organization they are part of. Awaken a powerful sense of community and belonging.
Following these steps, you will strengthen the organization from within and start dominating the market.
Give something meaningful to your employees today. Get in touch with us to get some corporate challenge coins.