Want More Engaged Employees? Here Are Some Things To Consider

Employee engagement strategy has always been a crucial point of discussion, since workforce productivity, employee happiness, motivation and wellbeing are all directly related to how well you engage your employees at work. 

By now, most employers understand the concept of engagement and the basic idea behind implementing it into the workforce. Yet, common issues and mistakes leave much room for improvement. 

Common challenges include a lack of organization alignment, a lack of insight and focus from the top management, saturated communication channels or a lack of engaging leadership traits from managers. 

How WFH Makes Engagement Even More of a Challenge

The struggle for engagement is a major concern, especially now that many people are working at a remote office, be it at home or a place where they can isolate themselves from the pandemic. 

Employers are left to figure out how to go remote by mobilizing their workplace, working as a team remotely while managing employee work hours, developing the effectiveness of working remotely, and how working remotely affects productivity. 

Being apart from their employees might make managers look at employees as statistics rather than assets, but remember the importance of employee monitoring should not make employers forget that employees are human beings as well. 

Employers should not just monitor employees as statistics, but as people who have wants and needs, and maintain a balance between these two factors. Many managers are asking themselves; is remote working effective? The truth is that it most certainly can be, especially if your people management is on point.

Employees: A Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Employees are widely recognized as a company’s most valuable asset, according to the vast majority of leaders. However, this is only possible if the workforce is completely committed to their employment. 

If they aren’t, they’re either providing no value or actively working against the company. Employee involvement or engagement has a direct effect on efficiency and profitability. Even though this seems self-evident, many managers still fail to identify, evaluate, and boost team involvement.

Despite popular belief, financial incentives can rank lower on the list of factors that contribute to job satisfaction. Intangibles such as feeling like you’re part of a team and being respected and appreciated play a larger role in work satisfaction.

1. Model Your Core Values And Emphasize Your Mission

Employees are more motivated when they have a mission to work for and a reason to be inspired. 

Your company’s core values and mission statement form the basis of its community, which has a significant impact on employee engagement. Begin by compiling a succinct list of the company’s core values, and then instill these values in each employee. 

Employees recognize the importance of their company’s principles, how they benefit the business, and what is required of each person if this is done. Set a good example for your team and keep everyone accountable. Failure to do so can promote a negative business culture of mistrust, which will lead to employee disengagement.

2. Be Creative to Avoid Downsizing

Employers who regard their workers as true friends would go to great lengths to prevent layoffs. Employees should have confidence that management is doing all it can to keep them, including taking voluntary cost-cutting measures. 

This move may seem extreme, but you’d be shocked how accommodating people can be regarding pay cuts and/or working overtime as part of an emergency plan if it means they’ll keep their job.

3. Provide Training and Coaching

Creating a culture that encourages continuous learning accomplishes more than just helping employees improve the skills they need to do their jobs. It also expresses that the company trusts and believes in its employees’ abilities. 

Fortunately, a large training budget isn’t needed to implement an effective learning program. Take for example, Timberlane Inc, a company that places a strong emphasis on cross-training staff so that they can learn how to do jobs other than their own. 

For instance, office workers may spend a few hours sanding or assembling blinds on the manufacturing floor to gain a better understanding of the company and how it operates. Workplace monitoring statistics might come in handy in order to offer managers a clearer assessment of training progress and make adjustments where necessary.

4. Prioritize Physical and Mental Health

Individuals are more likely to participate when their employer attempts to improve their overall well-being. 

Employee engagement can be improved by implementing a company-wide wellness program. Sponsor gym classes as workplace activities, and consider providing exercise subsidies as a long-term solution to promote healthier behaviors outside of the office.

Encourage workers to take mental health days when they need to get away from the workplace and concentrate on themselves by offering yoga courses. Also, keep a supply of nutritious snacks in the kitchen to keep workers going during the day.

  1. Practice Open and Honest Two-Way Communication

To do their best work, people need to feel like they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. 

People lose momentum when they are unclear about the goals (or when functions aren’t well defined). And employees are more likely to stay quiet but emotionally check out when they don’t feel comfortable expressing their thoughts inside their organization.

When making important decisions, as a leader, seek to be as clear and responsive as possible, and elicit input from all corners of the company. Employees will be loyal to the company if they recognize its purpose, principles, priorities, and challenges, and if they can express their concerns without fear of retaliation.

6. Align Leadership’s Focus On Engagement

An aspect that’s often overlooked is the lack of focus coming from the top. Senior leaders and managers need to be on the same page when it comes to creating and sustaining a unified strategy for consistent and effective engagement among employees. 

Without this, there’s nothing but a vague acknowledgement of value in workplace culture and employee engagement and nothing to connect these factors to organization goals and initiatives.

Start with the basics: deploy engagement surveys or other forms of feedback channels so you know what’s happening with your team. Discuss the engagement issues and make sure all leaders see eye-to-eye. Identify strengths and weaknesses in company culture, apply recognition to meaningful milestones and decide on ways to track progress in engagement that directly affects business goals. Build a plan for everyone to follow.Final Thoughts

Employee engagement is a complex topic with a long list of variables to consider. However, the constant arduous journey of improving engagement in the workplace most often pays off with an increasingly flexible, productive and empowered workforce for your organization.

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