In the first part of this series, we discussed the critical need for businesses to get to grips with employee engagement and its measurement. We explored the differences between engagement and job satisfaction and understood that an employee may very well be satisfied with his job, without being engaged at work. In this post, I will show you some proven engagement techniques that successful businesses use.
Below are the 9 practical ways to improve Employee Engagement levels:
- Find out the Hidden Capabilities in Employees: Stop being excessively critical of your employees based on things they cannot do. Rather, find out what are they naturally inclined to. Don’t just stick to employees’ job description, instead allow them to focus on those tasks they enjoy contributing to the most. Build a plan that involves using their hidden capabilities to have the results you want. In other words, let employees engage with the organization in ways that can help generate the outcomes you desire. You can do this by allowing them to be flexible to explore how they can best participate.
- Set Challenging Goals: Specific and challenging goals can increase engagement by providing a sense of accomplishment when the goal is achieved. Talented employees always look for difficult tasks that challenge their intellect. It helps them to constantly improve their scope of knowledge & experience through learning new skills. Moreover, challenging goals inspire a greater level of motivation than easy goals, even when employees are unable to reach them. Challenging goals drive the employees out of their monotonous comfort zone and encourage them to accomplish something worthwhile. As a result, employees show more commitment to their tasks, resulting in increased engagement levels.
- Give Time for Personal Development: Google’s “20 percent time” policy enables employees to spend one day a week working on things that don’t necessarily form a part of their job description. It can be anything from developing new ideas to fixing problems or working on personal improvement.
- Everyone wants to learn something new and improve their skills in different spheres of life. However, after long work hours it can be pretty difficult for the employees to find time to work on their personal development. Letting your employees spend at least half an hour doing things they are passionate about at workplace is a great engagement idea. It may seem in the beginning that company is losing the invaluable working hours. But as things progress, you will realize that you are building an environment where your employees can thrive. They become aware and responsible towards themselves and the company, ultimately leading to a more engaged staff.
- Give them Recognition across the Organization: Who doesn’t want to be recognized? — not only for their big achievements, but also for their small, unnoticed efforts that they show up day after day. Wanting to be given recognition for all the efforts made is an engagement method that every employee would attest to. And so, to recognize employees’ efforts company wide, all you need to do is put their name on your company website, or mention their performance in company newsletters and press releases. It not only influences just a single employee but has a far reaching impact on other employees as well, working across different departments.
- Celebrate Achievements Company wide: When an employee or a team has exceeded targets by showing exceptional performance, then make it a win for the whole department or company. Involve everyone by making an announcement to rest of the organization and celebrate with a party or an outing. It results in employees of other departments getting inspired and working their way to be recognized as top performers in the organization and thus, showing greater engagement.
- Employee Wellness Programs: Employee welfare has a direct impact on employees’ engagement with the company. Many studies have proved that health and wellness programs not only improve the productivity and engagement, but also result in decreased turnover rate. Money and time invested in these programs brings back increased productivity at work in the form of improved performance, reduced absenteeism rate and most importantly, a positive organizational culture. In such an environment, employees naturally become energetic and feel more engaged at work.
- Involve Employees in the Hiring Activities: A practical method used by many successful organizations to improve the engagement rates is making employees feel that they are an important part of the organization. And there is no better way to do this than involving them in different stages of the hiring process. This has two benefits for the organization. First, it makes employees feel appreciated, resulting in better engagement at work and being loyal to the company. Second, your employees’ input can help you to make the right hiring decision, especially if they have been working at your company for a long period.
- Encourage Collaboration Between Teams: Collaboration between different departments is crucial for innovation and generation of new ideas. Studies have shown that employees who become isolated in their work, show increased levels of attrition. Encouraging interaction among employees from different departments can spark new ideas and offer unique insights to frequently occurring problems. When employees are working in close cooperation with other teams, they are more likely to be inspired due to team-spirit and work relationships. They get more engaged and involved when they find themselves working together with other people and sharing the same dedication to improve the business.
- Have some Fun at Work: To some managers, accepting the idea of fun may be difficult, but to most employees, it is something they wish they could have more of at work. In fact, in an environment where work is accompanied with fun, the employees are likely to work harder and come up with more innovative ideas. Part of the reason is that having fun at work makes your tasks enjoyable, and employees who enjoy their work are more productive and engaged. Fun activities also help establish work relationships and enhances teamwork and communication. All these are key factors in improving engagement and retention rate.
- Implementing the above techniques in your organization will show a major improvement in your employee engagement rates and an enhanced organizational culture & improved profitability will be added icing on the cake. Further, it will not only your improve your engagement and profitability, but also help increase the employee retention by reducing turnover rate.