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If you’ve noticed a drop off in employee engagement at your workplace, you’re not alone. Research has shown that in 2020, 80% of employees were disengaged. While this isn’t exactly surprising considering how the past year and a half has been, employee engagement needs to be addressed now. Improving employee engagement is the responsibility of all leaders and does require some effort, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying! Employee engagement is essential to the functioning of the workplace and the success of the business. Engaged employees reduce turnover rates, reduce costs, increase profits and improve productivity. So let’s take a look at how to improve employee engagement at your organisation.
Actively support your team’s growth! Help them by creating opportunities to challenge them and develop their skills. Employees that aren’t learning new skills and challenging themselves are unlikely to be engaged, so provide them with tasks that take them outside of their role and their comfort zone.
Implement workplace health programs that take a look at wellness as a whole. Programs should focus on:
Employees that are physically and mentally well are far more likely to be engaged and happy in the workplace.
Flexible work schedules and allowing remote work - whether that be permanently or as part of a hybrid working model - are likely to improve employee engagement. With 83% of Millennials and 62% of older workers ranking work-life balance as one of the most important job factors, work-life balance cannot be ignored. During the interview process, make sure candidates are aware that your company prioritises work-life balance and reinforce this during the onboarding process too.
Employee engagement surveys are a great way for your team to reach out anonymously about how they perceive the workplace, issues they’re having and ways of improving the workplace. It provides leaders with real insights into the workplace from every level and allows them the opportunity to implement changes. Not only this, but sending out surveys and responding to the feedback shows employees that they have been heard and are valued - both of which can help improve engagement and morale overall. Employee engagement surveys don’t have to be a huge task, you can simply roll out 10-20 questions to your employees every quarter to check in on your team (and Op Central can help you do it!)
65% of employees say they want leaders to provide them with more feedback, as it gives them clarity, indicates they are valued, motivates them and helps them grow - or in short; improves their levels of engagement. Start by scheduling in some regular one-on-one check-ins and providing your team with effective feedback that allows your team the opportunity to improve.
Employees want to know that their leaders can see and appreciate their work - particularly when they have gone above and beyond. Leaders should take the time to recognise their team when they have been performing well. Rewards don’t have to be large or expensive, it can be as simple as an extra day of paid leave or a little shout out in the company newsletter. Even just a small token of appreciation can go a long way in improving employee engagement.
Collaboration doesn’t just help you get better ideas and improve efficiency, it increases engagement too. Collaboration should involve the whole team, including leaders! It shows that everyone’s ideas and opinions are valued and indicates that the company is open to change. Try to implement tasks for teams to work on together and ‘round tables’ where everyone can meet (virtually or in person) to discuss ideas.
You want a team that can get along and work well together and company events can really help to create a healthy culture and foster workplace bonds. Events such as trivia night or happy hour can really assist employees in building personal relationships and relating better to one another. Maybe you even want to involve the above point and collaborate on some activities you can all do together. Your employees are likely to feel more included and happy in the workplace.
Whether or not you have noticed a drop off in employee engagement, taking a look into engagement levels and ways to improve engagement is always a good idea. The benefits of employee engagement span far further than just an individual level. Engaged employees affect the whole team and the business as well. There’s no reason not to look into employee engagement.