The modern day workplace requires a focus on cultivating an environment that boosts employee engagement and productivity. Job seekers are looking for businesses who value their employees and are committed to maintaining a positive work environment.
Employee engagement encompasses many moving parts. It refers to how motivated staff members are to complete their work and how committed they are to the business and its success. Employees put an emphasis on working for a company with which they can relate to the company values and a place where they can collaborate as a team.
The level of engagement by an employee directly reflects his work performance. If employees are engaged, the workplace is directly affected because the environment is more positive, employees feel motivated, and the collective group is happy to be there and be members of the team.
Encouraging employee engagement does not have to be a daunting task. We’ve outlined 9 tips to consider for implementation to keep employees engaged.
A business owner is in the business of managing people. It’s important for employees to feel encouraged by their boss and to feel part of the team. To help employees grow in professional development, it’s vital to start with personal development.
Get to know your employees. Learn about each individual’s family life, interests, and passions outside of work. Find common ground where you can relate to one another outside the professional workplace. Building relationships with employees helps build trust and encourages them to be their best selves at work. It also gives managers an opportunity to identify additional responsibilities that could boost an employee’s performance and help him grow professionally.
A few signs of an unhealthy work environment include feeling like you’re walking on eggshells around the office or working in a constant state of fear that you’re going to be yelled at every day. When employees are belittled or yelled at for making mistakes, it results in disengagement and a lack of productivity because they feel there is nothing they can do right.
Creating an environment free of fear requires management to use tactics of positive reinforcement. Recognizing we are all human and will make mistakes is an important part of managing people. Reacting to mistakes in a kind, constructive, and insightful way helps employees learn and grow without damaging their confidence.
Creating space for a team to share new ideas and solutions is an essential part of fostering a healthy work environment. Whether your business is solely managed or is made up of a team of managers, it’s difficult to manage without open dialogue with employees.
Send out quarterly surveys related to the work environment, ask for feedback in team meetings, and open the floor regularly for questions, comments, and concerns. Take time to listen to your employees with an open mind. It’s impossible for management to be fully involved in every department at all times, which is why employee feedback focused on what works well and which areas need improvement is vital.
Whether big or small, celebrate success! When employees feel appreciated, it gives them more confidence and motivation which positively impacts the quality of work. Passion is an element that fuels productivity. Ignite that fire for your team by recognizing, rewarding, and celebrating the team for their hard work.
Ways to celebrate wins include verbal recognition in front of colleagues, providing a lunch celebration bought by the business, or finishing the work day early (especially on a Friday!). For bigger celebrations, promotions or added responsibility for a team or team members are options to consider.
Personal development is only one part of fostering professional development. Another opportunity to invest in your people is to provide them with tools and resources to help them excel in their roles. It’s the responsibility of a manager to make sure employees feel properly equipped and have access to training to feel comfortable working with required softwares and programs.
Providing a solid foundation of training and development for workplace tools and softwares is crucial to improving productivity and overall engagement. When an employee feels supported and comfortable while learning a new system, the level of trust and confidence builds, which in turn positively affects productivity.
The best thing a manager can do for an employee is to check in regularly. Don’t center these meetings around project updates. Be sure to check in on current challenges, successes, priorities, and overall professional development. Be mindful that seasons of life happen. As you establish a regular scheduled meeting with each direct report, personal development will flourish and you will be able to recognize when an extra push of motivation is needed.
Transparency is a big part of the one-on-one meetings. When discussing current performance and future goals, managers must be transparent with employees. If current productivity doesn’t align with future goals set by the employee, it’s the manager’s duty to point that out. This doesn’t mean that the goal is a complete waste. It’s an opportunity for the manager to hold an employee accountable and get him back on track for success. When management is completely transparent with employees, it leaves very little room for discrepancies.
No employee ever wants to feel trapped inside a box of routine. This is not to say all systems should be thrown out the window. But, it’s beneficial to allow some breathing room for employees to put their own creativity into a task that still achieves the desired outcome. This is a nice break from the mundane routine to keep their engagement levels high.
Creative freedom gives employees an opportunity to take more initiative and be more self-driven, which ultimately can help a business discover leaders that have bright futures advancing higher in the business.
Employees are more likely to feel valued when asked to collaborate with team members rather than be pitted against one another for competitive reasons. Yes, competition can be motivation. However, instead of promoting a winner and a loser, it’s more beneficial to put them on the same team to allow them to work together on a project or to solve a problem. Employees value the thoughts and opinions of their peers. Fostering a space where they can collaborate and share freely is going to boost productivity.
Employee engagement is attainable in so many ways. The focus has to do with employee motivation, satisfaction, and feeling valued at work.
To help build the foundation of positive employee engagement, start by getting to know your people. Create a space free of fear, seek and act on employee feedback, and celebrate all types of successes when appropriate and necessary to boost morale. Make sure all employees have access to resources and training and be sure to invest in additional tools to help professional growth. Meet with your employees one-on-one on a regular basis to check in personally and professionally. At these meetings, make sure you're transparent about their current place in regards to individual, professional goals. Don’t stifle creativity in the workplace and allow your employees to collaborate on projects.