Employee engagement is at the forefront of the minds of today’s business leaders and workers alike, leading many organizations to review and adjust their approaches to modern human resource management.
Employee engagement, as Engage for Success defines it, is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give of their best each day, commit to their organization’s goals and values, and contribute to organizational success, all while maintaining an enhanced sense of their own well-being.
According to Gallup research, an astounding 70 percent of U.S. employees aren’t showing up to work committed to delivering their best performance. Adding insult to injury, 52 percent of that population isn’t engaged and another 18 percent are actively disengaged.
Fostering a sense of disengagement in your workplace can be detrimental to business outcomes. In fact, the same study reveals that disengaged employees result in a number of negative business outcomes. They are less productive, more likely to steal from their companies, can negatively influence their coworkers, more likely to miss work, and can even drive customers away.
Engaged workers stand apart from their not-engaged and actively disengaged counterparts because of the effort they consistently bring to their duties. These employees willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their company. They are the people who will drive innovation and move your business forward.
Today’s organizations need to focus on creating a workplace that promotes an engaged workforce. Here are a few ways to boost engagement at your organization:
Establish effective channels for communication
Because many employees engage with peers outside of work via social media and messengers, it should come as no surprise that mimicking these mediums in the workplace can promote internal engagement. A brief message can often suffice to keep teams informed about projects or other business functions.
However, companies should find a balance between light-hearted communication for team chemistry and staying focused on work. Oracle, one of the largest vendors of business technologies, suggests that technology is most valuable to employees when it creates opportunities to learn new skills, build relationships, and develop careers—when it acts “as a tool to help people be more engaged.” Today’s businesses must effectively evaluate which communicative technologies are most impactful within an organization, to avoid that tool becoming an impediment to daily productivity.
Improve workplace environment
It’s no surprise our surroundings can impact our mood; for example, sitting on a beach evokes very different feelings than waiting in a doctor’s office. The same can be said about the workplace. Studies have demonstrated a correlation between employee satisfaction with their workplace environment and how engaged they are while at work. In particular, people who express a more general level of happiness with their overall office environment tend to be more engaged, while people who are dissatisfied with their work environment tend to be more disengaged.
Though many people view an office space solely as a place to complete business tasks, there are many factors that influence an office’s optimal performance. An integrated, well-planned office design and workspace can significantly affect employee engagement. Adding natural elements like plants, playing music, and encouraging physical movement in the office have all been shown to boost productivity, employee sentiment, and overall engagement.
Offer employee rewards and recognition
Rewards are a powerful tool that businesses have used for years in order to boost employee engagement, increase retention, and keep employees happy in the workplace. Although “employee engagement” and “culture” are not synonymous, they are linked. Because engagement is largely about how employees feel connected to their work, a positive culture is fundamental to building an engaged team. A positive approach to employee recognition, in turn, fuels overall engagement.
It’s important for managers to remember that reward and recognition programs must constantly evolve in order to remain effective. For example, many people believe Employee-of-the-Month-style programs are no longer valuable. Instead, many employees prefer professional development opportunities like attending a leadership conference, gaining a mentor, or enrolling in an exclusive webinar.
It’s important to note that although HR trends change frequently, the importance of engaging employees remains constant. Doing so will help maximize your most valuable resource: your people.
Author Bio: Marie Johnson, Enlightened Digital: https://enlightened-digital.com/