Employee engagement which encompasses staff work performance and retention is a topic that is getting increasingly popular and for good reasons. Organizations with engaged employees routinely outperform those with a higher number of disengaged employees. With an engaged group of employees, you lower your risk of turnover, boost customer satisfaction, and increase your company’s overall rate of success. Not to mention the benefits include the accounts of the business.
In fact, we covered the above in greater detail in an earlier piece. Companies everywhere are starting to realize the importance of employee engagement but may not be fully aware of how to keep their staff engaged or even begin to engage them. As essential as employee engagement is, it does not mean that you have to break the bank to achieve it. When it comes to employee engagement, some employers will think of table tennis, foosball lounges or daily catered lunches. Although these are great it can be costly in implementing them. Below are some proven strategies that are inexpensive and will make a positive impact on your work culture. These strategies are comprehensive and will work well in most of the professional environment.
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Promote Appreciation Culture
A poor relationship between employees and managers is one of the leading causes of employee disengagement. This can be easily circumvented by showing appreciation and acknowledging employees. Although money plays a part in how an employee feels about their job, however, high salary or bonuses are hardly the deciding factors when it comes to motivation and productivity. On top of showing appreciation itself, the timing of it is just as important. Rather than confining recognition to annual performance reviews, a simple handwritten note expressing gratitude may be more effective. For acknowledging employees, it does not mean praise them for every little thing they do. Rather, it is about communication like saying “Hello”, “Thank you” and acknowledging it when they go the extra mile or perform well for a certain task.
Create an employee-led committee
One crucial employee engagement strategy is keeping them involved in company events. This builds trust, boosts camaraderie and tells employees that their input is valuable. Create a committee that consists of only employees and put a person from each team in it. This will result in more interaction between different teams and getting input easily from all angles. For a start, have this team organize all company-wide team building or awards events.
Host monthly mini-celebrations
There are multiple reasons to do a mini-celebration; anniversaries, birthdays and employee of the month award are all good opportunities to show staff that you care. If it happens that a particular month has no anniversary or birthday to celebrate, take them out for a bonding activity. Potluck, karaoke night, any sporting activities are all fun and frugal ideas. This will solidify the foundation of loyalty, encourage work friendships and give a sense of excitement each month.
Initiate wacky contests
On a quarterly basis, give employees timeout from the usual drudgery by creating a wacky contest. At times, people just need to think differently or out of the box if you like, to overcome a mental block or frustration at work. You may be surprised at how having fun and letting loose creatively can result in better productivity.
Be fair and realistic
Onto the final point and on a more serious note, to retain the respect of employees and thus engage them, leaders must treat them with respect and fairness. People want to know that they will be judged primarily on their performance rather than factors beyond their control. They also expect that rules and procedures are there to be followed by everyone and not whereby certain individuals have the privilege to bend or break them. Companies also need to ensure that their expectations of the employees are realistic; placing too much on the plate even for engaged employees may result in them burning out or resentment.