‘Employee engagement’ has become a buzzword in management circles over the past few years and there are a number of employee engagement tips across the internet. This has been driven by polls like this one, which show that the majority of employees are either ‘not engaged’ (just showing up, doing their job and going home) or ‘actively disengaged’ (miserable at their jobs, actively undermining coworkers). Engagement isn’t even good amongst management: only 38.4% of management and executives report being engaged.
Driving engagement has a direct effect on your company’s bottom line. Engaged employees won’t just work harder, they’ll take initiative and drive the company onwards—because it’s their company.
So what are employee engagement tips that you can trust from the professionals?
Find Out How Big a Problem You Have
Have your employees fill in an anonymous employee engagement survey (here are some articles to get you going: 20 Essential Employee Engagement Survey Questions and Build a Better, More Productive Workplace With An Employee Engagement Survey.)
You can also observe your employees (discretely!): are they spending a lot of time on social media? Talking when they should be working? Not talking when they should be talking? Taking up unhealthy activities like smoking or drinking, or even excessive snacking? Taking an unusual number of sick days?
Engage Yourself First
Disengagement starts at the top, and you as an employer are ultimately responsible for showing that you are invested in your employees and that you yourself are engaged.
Show that you aren’t managing from an ivory tower: keep your office door open unless you’re having a private meeting, learn about your employees and show that you are constantly improving yourself—take courses to improve your skills, go jogging in your lunch break and continually demonstrate a positive, open attitude.
Make Sure Everyone Understands Your Mission
To really engage your employees your company needs to be more than a machine that spits out money at them every month, it needs to have a mission. That could be social (reducing poverty, providing essential services, enabling connections) or it could be competitive (being the best company of your kind in your region, creating the best product.)
If everyone understands your mission, if they understand their place in it and if you have a well-defined roadmap to success then the vast majority of employees will stay engaged.
Don’t Rationalize Yourself Away From Engagement
Economic downturns and rising unemployment have a counter-intuitive effect on engagement. You would expect employees to redouble their efforts to demonstrate how valuable they are, but the opposite often happens: engagement drops as hopelessness sets in. Whether a downturn comes from a major recession like the one that recently affected the Alberta oilfield or a speed-bump in your company’s growth, it’s important to keep your corporate culture strong and the focus on your mission laser-sharp.
Recognize And Reward Engagement
Employee of the Month awards have been around forever, with no noticeable effect on engagement so try to change it up with something more non-traditional. Companies with high engagement are highly responsive: they hand out regular praise and even small prizes and raises, keeping their employees always striving to get the next reward.
Employee engagement is difficult to measure and slow to turn around, and yet it’s absolutely vital to your company. As experts in the business, we’ve compiled this list of employee engagement tips to help you succeed. We can help improve your employee engagement even more by coordinating employee benefits that will drive employee retention and engagement.