No company would run properly without their employees. They are the backbone of an organization, doing the grunt work that achieves business-wide success, or failure. Without the right kind of incentive and engagement, employees are likely to perform poorly, or worse, leave their positions.
High turnover rates are bad for business—they require more training for new staff, and as a result, additional resources. It is in the best interest of companies to keep their core teams working with them for as long as possible.
Business owners and HR managers with the right management skills will know that the best way to ensure employees keep performing well is to keep them happy, comfortable, and challenge
But while the work itself can give employees much joy, there needs to be something more from the organisation to keep employees motivated. There has been a great deal of discussion on employee engagement among HR circles recently, mainly because it is a mindset that can benefit both employees and business
There are a number of ways to keep employees motivated. Here we look at seven activities that businesses can undertake to boost employee engagement.
1. Keep Employees Informed
One of the fastest ways to lose employee interest in the company and their work is by keeping them in the dark. If someone is part of an organisation, they should know what is happening and how it will affect them.
This doesn’t mean that managers need to go into specific details about every level of planning. But there should be some amount of transparency from the C-level and management level down to the junior staff.
And information sharing should go beyond company policy and planning. There should be an exchange of knowledge between colleagues and upper management.
Create a programme for employees across levels to share their skills and information using case study templates, presentations, or in open forums similar to the way Ted Talks are conducted.
Using these methods, not only will staff learn more about each other and the company, but they will also add to their skill levels.
2. Make Room for Growth and Learning
Taking off from that first point, employee engagement also means letting them learn more so they can grow as employees and individuals.
The last thing you want for your company is a group of highly skilled people who are unable to move from their current positions, either within or without the business.
Keep part of the company budget aside to sponsor a business writing course or tickets to conferences that your employees can attend. These can be related to the existing skills or for learning brand new skills that will benefit the employee and the company in the long run.
Creating an in-office mentorship programme where employees take each other under their wings is another great way for teams to grow and learn, and will foster an environment of collaboration.
The company can then hold monthly meetings to assess their progress which will give employees an opportunity to share their newfound skills.
3. Move Out of the Office
Most companies, both small and large, engage in CSR practices. This isn’t necessarily only conducted at the higher levels of management, but also by employees at all rungs of the organisation.
Why not make it a group activity? Take an entire team, or the whole company, if possible, to plant trees, or to a soup kitchen, where they can engage in an activity together that isn’t related to their work. This is a great bonding exercise and also gives back to the community.
Teams can also go work outside the office—meeting up at a cafe or a hotel lobby where they spend the entire day working. It’s a great way to get away from the boring old office environment and the change of scenery will rejuvenate the mind.
4. Flexible Hours and Workspaces
We spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. Though it can be comforting to be in a familiar environment for so long, it can also be a drain on the mind. What companies should do is allow their employees to work from home every once in a while.
Working remotely allows employees a break from the distractions at work—like chatty colleagues—and engages their mind more. It also saves them time on commuting—time that is then spent on work.
Another way to keep employees engaged is to be flexible with hours. Not everyone can commit to the 9-5 slot. Instead, allow employees to stagger their timings to some extent so that they can avoid rush hour, and are able to pick up their children from school on time.
5. Highlight Employees on Digital Media
People love recognition. When employees put their time and energy into a project, the least they deserve is some amount of praise for what they have accomplished for the company.
Though financial incentives are definitely a bonus, not all companies can afford it. A pat on the back and a shoutout during a meeting can also be good enough.
Part of a business’ digital marketing strategy is showcasing their brand and company culture to a large, eager audience. Through social media, businesses can show how much they care about their employees by highlighting the achievements of an outstanding individual.
One needn’t do anything elaborate—a simple post on social media for an employee of the month will act as an incentive for employees to work harder. And it will also give them the recognition they deserve.
6. Organise Office Meals
The one thing that brings people together is food. An office meal, whether in the office or outside at a restaurant, will make everyone happy.
Organising a monthly potluck lunch where everyone brings in their own food is an excellent way for people to mingle. Employees and top-level management, who may not have opportunities to meet during the regular work day, will be able to engage with each other through these meals.
Plus, looking forward to a meal and social activities will definitely keep employees motivated and improve performance.
7. Focus on Health and Wellness
Offices can be stressful places. Stressed employees cannot be efficient workers, and can end up suffering from burnout or breakdowns that will have a long-term detrimental affect on their well-being.
Businesses need to make the health of their employees a priority. Though companies have goals and bottom lines, they are not worth risking the wellness of their workers. Not only will this negatively impact a company’s reputation but it will also result in high turnovers.
Offer gym memberships at special rates or on company dime, or organise workout groups within the office. Invest in time management apps to ensure your employees take a break at regular intervals to keep their minds and bodies in the best condition.
With a little bit of awareness, companies can ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment that makes them feel productive and healthy.
Employee engagement activities don’t have to break the budget or require HR managers to spend extra time on them. With a few simple events and programmes, a business can ensure that their employees feel like part of a team, and that the company is looking out for their best interests. This will increase communication and engagement across the board, resulting in better performance and better revenues.
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