Employee engagement is an important component of any thriving business. Engaged employees are less likely to leave the company, less likely to call in sick, more likely to provide quality customer service, and more likely to have a productive workday. All of these factors directly contribute to the company’s overall financial success, and can’t be ignored. In fact, a recent study found that increasing employee engagement efforts by just 10 percent can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.
Despite the obvious importance of employee engagement, administering actual engagement strategies can be daunting at first. Here are a few tactics you can use in your workplace today:
Provide Regular Feedback
Feedback is an extremely important component of employee engagement. Regular feedback helps employees feel more connected and accountable for their tasks. Unfortunately, many managers get caught up in the day-to-day and fail to engage with their staff about performance. Employees want clear expectations and guidelines and desire the ability to gauge their performance based on these expectations. Therefore, feedback is an important step in the engagement process. You’ll want to train your managers on the importance of feedback in both formal and informal channels.
Training & Development Efforts
The opportunity to grow professionally is another great engagement tool. You’ll want to encourage employees to pursue training and continuing education events on a regular basis. Employees who get to learn new skills and network with other professionals are more likely to offer creative insights and contribute in new ways. The sense of growth will also create more job satisfaction.
Gratitude has a huge impact on attitude and self-esteem. It makes sense that gratitude in the workplace can also significantly impact employee engagement. There are many strategies for showing appreciation in the workplace. Popular employee appreciation ideas include catered lunches, celebrations on special occasions or holidays, and extra time off after the completion of a big project. Even an informal “good job” or “thank you” after an employee completes a task can have a huge impact on satisfaction. Regardless of how you choose to show appreciation, it’s important to remember that it plays a big part in your company culture.
Establish a Mentor Program
Friendship and connection are basic human needs, and it’s important to transition this need to the workplace. The establishment of a mentor program is a great way to foster camaraderie within your organization. For younger employees, it offers the opportunity to network and learn from their more experienced counterparts. For more seasoned employees, it provides the opportunity to give back and impact the life and future of a young person. In addition, a mentor program is a great succession planning tool. Employees are able to learn about other areas of the company and are naturally groomed to fill these roles in the future.
Focus on Wellness
Wellness is another great engagement strategy. A healthy workforce is generally a happy workforce, and your employees will appreciate the company’s attention to this delicate area. Wellness trends run the gamut, but you’ll want to focus on total wellness rather than just physical health. This means investing in mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well. You can offer educational forums around various wellness topics, or you can take it a step further and offer a competitive incentive program for the achievement of wellness goals. Either way, your employees will learn strategies for developing a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
These are just a few of the many effective employee engagement strategies. Employee engagement is an extremely important piece of the puzzle, and a little extra effort can go a long way in showing your support and appreciation.
Malcolm Rowlings – Business Management & Staffing Consultant