High employee engagement is essential for the overall motivation of your employees and your business’s success. Over time, the motivation and passion employees have for their jobs can help drive the success of your business forward and create a positive work environment.
Below, we will be discussing exactly why employee engagement is important and giving you some of our best employee engagement ideas to keep your workplace focused. By the end of this article, you will have a good sense of what employee engagement is and how to make it work for your organization.
What Is Employee Engagement and Why Is It Important?
As we mentioned above, employee engagement is a measure of how passionate employees feel about their work, how committed they are to the organization, and how flexible they are in meeting the goals set by the company.
While employee engagement is not quite the same as employee satisfaction, it can help to drive an overall sense of passion and purpose in the workplace.
Employee engagement is measured by a number of different factors and can be quite subjective depending on your organization and all of your employees. In general, engagement is measured by asking employees certain questions about their performance, feelings toward company goals, competency, and general satisfaction.
It is important to utilize employee engagement activities in your workplace, as more fully engaged employees will understand their purpose in the company and have no questions about how their work benefits the company. This can lead to better overall decision-making and more dedication to the job, resulting in more company growth, innovation, and generally improved job performance.
Employee Engagement Ideas
To start creating more employee engagement in your company, you can follow some of these ideas. It can also be helpful to trial and error some of these ideas so you can find what works best for you, your employees, and your business.
Start During Onboarding
Positive first impressions are essential in creating engaged employees. From as early as your company’s onboarding experience, managers and supervisors should work to help new employees feel welcome, provide ample access to resources, introduce employees around the office, and communicate all shared goals and expectations as clearly as possible.
You may also want to develop activities for new employees to participate in, such as after-work happy hours or trivia nights, or assign each new employee a mentor in your business to help show them the ropes and get them accustomed to the company culture.
Improve the Working Environment
Employees can become worn-down by regular 9 to 5 jobs that feel the same day after day. You can take this opportunity to improve your employees’ engagement by allowing working flexibility, having meetings outdoors walking, or hosting midday meetings and chats at restaurants or coffee shops.
You should be taking every chance possible to celebrate your employees as people, and not only for their accomplishments. This can include recognizing birthdays, celebrating life events, and hosting gatherings. You may also want to throw going-away parties for employees that are retiring or leaving the company, as these actions will keep all of your employees engaged with the workplace and generally much more satisfied.
To help your employees learn about their professional and personal strengths, you can offer strength assessments. These will allow you to engage with your employees and their unique skillsets, further maximizing their potential and passion for their job.
Utilizing motivation in place of managing can help raise employee engagement. Instead of being bossed around, employees can be advised and coached, something that impacts their receptiveness to new ideas and feedback. Over time, this engagement can improve the success of your business.
Involve Employees in Decision-Making
Every employee in your business has their own strengths and viewpoints. If you involve these employees in decision-making processes where applicable or ask them for advice, you can acknowledge these strengths. This will also allow you to show appreciation to your employees and demonstrate that you respect their opinion, something that can keep employees engaged in the long term.
Make time to learn about your employees and their individual passions outside of work. You can ask about hobbies, what they spend their weekends doing, or their family lives in order to keep them engaged and encourage them to bring their authentic personalities to the workplace.
Engage Outside the Workplace
Creating opportunities for your employees to socialize outside of the workplace is a great way to increase employee engagement in the office. Outside team-building activities may lead to stronger communication skills, improved working relationships, and overall increased job satisfaction for all of your employees.
Examples of engagement outside the workplace include holiday parties for your employees, team lunches, and after-work activities.
Provide Flexible Working Hours
A cornerstone of employee engagement is providing flexible working hours. A work schedule that allows employees enough free time to spend with their family or on personal hobbies demonstrates that you respect their personal time and value their position in the company. You can also give occasional half-days on Fridays, allow an option for remote working in certain situations, or utilize schedules like the 9/80 work schedule to maximize flexible scheduling.
Additionally, make an attempt to ensure that your employees are not overworking or having their schedules be micromanaged. You should trust your employees to get their work completed on time and that they have the resources and support needed to meet any goal or milestone set out for them.
Supporting and encouraging your employees to volunteer can be another step in getting your employees to engage outside of work. This step is especially helpful if there is a particular cause your business focuses on. As your employees volunteer they will feel like they are making a difference, boosting their morale and happiness with the company.
Create a Safe Space for Feedback
Feedback, both given and received, in the workplace can be a touchy subject. It is important for employees to be able to provide their feedback when asked without feeling like they will face consequences for their opinions. They should also be able to receive feedback from management without feeling uncomfortable or that it is an attack on their personal work.
Build trusting relationships with your employees and encourage a company culture of openness. When giving or receiving feedback, be sure to keep an open mind, remain respectful, and gauge the comfort level of your employees each step along the way.
Recognize Your Employees
It is important to recognize employees in your company who have exceeded expectations or contributed significantly to your company. A good method is to ask how each employee wants to be recognized, as some will appreciate public recognition while others will appreciate a more private message or thank you card. You can make it part of your onboarding to ask how each employee prefers recognition and refer to it when an employee has made an impact in the workplace.
Design Socialization Spaces
In the office, there should be plenty of areas where employees are able to, and encouraged, to take a break and interact with each other. This could be a lunch room with multiple tables, a gaming area complete with cards, or a set of couches and access to snacks where employees can rest throughout the day.
These spaces will help employees stay relaxed and build stronger relationships with each other, leading to a boost in engagement and overall satisfaction.
Keeping Your Employees Involved
Employee engagement is essential in keeping your employees passionate about their jobs, happy with the company, and feeling their most valued. When implementing employee engagement activity and ideas into your business, be sure to take stock of how employees feel about the changes and be receptive to any feedback – this will create a safe space and start to develop an office culture of communication that is important in keeping your employees engaged and your business successful.