Effectively engaging the workforce is rightfully being recognised as one of the key components of a successful business, with numerous studies demonstrating that a happier employee is likely to be more productive and more faithful to the company. This not only improves profit margins in the short term, but also reduces the expenses needed for recruitment and training in the long run.
As such, investing in employee engagement should be at the top of any CEO’s agenda. Of course, the word “invest” immediately conjures up the idea of financial outlay, and offering competitive salaries and monetary bonuses are obvious methods of incentivising staff to perform well and stay loyal to the brand. However, not all problems can be solved by throwing money at them and finance shouldn’t necessarily be considered as the most effective way to increase engagement in the workplace. With that in mind, here are some other ideas which can help to boost staff morale, enhance productivity and bolster that bottom line all in one fell swoop.
A recent survey found that 60% of employees prioritised flexibility with regards to their working hours above all factors. What was number two on the list? The ability to work remotely. In today’s cybercentric world, people are more and more eager (and increasingly able) to manage their own work schedules. Implement flexi-time in the office and allow those who can to work from home and watch staff satisfaction levels skyrocket. Freedom breeds loyalty.
Encourage regular socialising
Employees who are more familiar with one another will be more confident and comfortable in each other’s presence, resulting in a better collaborative work ethic and increased productivity. Of course, team bonding can occur around the water cooler – but only to a certain extent. The old adage of “the team that plays together, stays together” may be true here, especially if the staff feel like they’re getting something back. Consider hosting a weekly club for interested parties, whether it be cocktails or cookery, bowling or backgammon.
Be open to input
An employee who feels like his voice is being heard and his opinion being valued is one who is likely to feel a greater affinity with the company. Organise regular meetings between staff where everyone can have their say on what is and isn’t working within the workplace, with employees encouraged to put forward their own suggestions and improvements. Implementing those ideas will show your staff that each and every member of the team has a key role in defining and embedding company values across the board.
A staff member who doesn’t feel like their contributions are given the merit they deserve is far more likely to have their head turned by a rival or may even go looking for pastures new themselves. It’s important to place an emphasis on progress and performance, recognising when employees have excelled and rewarding them accordingly. This can take the form of a financial reward if appropriate – but it doesn’t need to. Even just some well-chosen words of congratulation and recognition can be enough to reassure staff that they are appreciated by those above them in the chain of command.
Communicate your goals
A good leader will communicate their passion for the business and a team bond by nurturing loyalty. Good communication helps a team understand what’s expected of them so they can work together supportively to reach their objectives.
It is remarkable that less than half of employees feel they know what their company stands for and what makes it different from its competitors, according to research by business consultancy Gallup.
Recent research* revealed that only 41 per cent of employees understand their company and its business objectives.
Whether you’re talking about pay and conditions, new staffing policies or an office relocation, communication is key to employee engagement. Keeping the conversations focussed and relevant means the dialogue with staff will keep their attention rather than bore them.
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