I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you, as a manager, want more from your employees. You want them to go above and beyond. You don’t want drones clocking in and out. You want productive, motivated employees, employees who genuinely care about the bottom line. By now, you’re probably shaking your head, “Yes, that is what I want!” And you are probably itching to know, “What’s the answer? How can I make all this happen?”
One word? Engagement. Employee engagement leads to staff who are totally devoted to the company and its success, the impact they have on the bottom line is extraordinary. Engaged employees are far more productive, motivated, loyal and deliver amazing customer service.
Here are just a few more ways that highlight what positive employee engagement leads to:
- Engaged employees say good things about the company to friends and family.
- Engaged employees recommend the company to others as a great place to work.
- Engaged employees don’t let fellow co-workers bad mouth the company.
- Engaged employees create a positive atmosphere which leads to a steady workflow.
Here’s the good news, you don’t need to dish out thousands or millions to implement a good employee engagement strategy. The best tips to boost engagement are easy, simple and cost-effective.
1. Be transparent.
Trust is a core component of employee engagement and the only you’ll achieve trust among your employees is to be as transparent as possible. Be open and honest – tell them about business decisions, admit if you make a mistake, include them in talks that impact them directly, ask for their opinion – just act like a human being. Share your concerns and thoughts, your employees will appreciate it and hey, they just might surprise you. (Your employees might have a few tricks up their sleeves so lean on them, you might be surprised).
Keeping your employees in the dark will only lead to unease and distrust so if you think you’re doing them a favor, stop. Through trust and honesty, you have established a relationship that can lead to the resolution of problems more easily and swiftly.
2. Technology makes a huge difference.
There are many online tools that can help businesses significantly improve their employee engagement, for example, Connecteam is a world leading engagement app. Or you can turn to solutions like BambooHR and Gusto.
In the click of a button, you can send important announcements and updates, share birthday wishes, celebrate anniversaries (work and personal), send surveys on any matter, create a suggestion box that’s always available and so much more. Connecteam’s engagement app is made for establishing and fostering an environment centered on employee engagement.
3. Make your expectations clear.
Don’t ever assume that your employees know what is expected of them. It isn’t about fulfilling a job description – it’s all about an employee’s behavior, how they handle customers and tasks, and how well they meet your standards. By no means is your employee a mind reader, in fact, Gallup reported that just 50% of employees know what’s expected of them. So if you thought your employee knows what the job entails and what priorities come first, you’d be wrong.
Clarify your expectations by setting performance goals, monitor the progress, and offer feedback when needed. If you see an employee spending too much time on “busy work”, then help them realign their priorities and make sure they understand the “why.” Why is the task important and how are they helping – this will go a long way in engaging employees.
4. Create a platform for employee feedback.
When employees are just clocking in and out, they feel like another number. Like they don’t matter. When employees are disconnected from the work they do, they won’t feel like they have any stake in the company’s future so simply put, they just don’t care.
The answer here? Give your employees a platform to be heard. Ask for their opinion – on the launch of a new product, a marketing campaign, what color the kitchen should be painted, where the next company outing should be – just talk to your employees and listen. While they won’t influence every decision, the fact that they have the opportunity to give their two cents, well, that makes all the difference.
Once your employees know that they can share their feedback, they feel more connected to the company and its bottom line. Through that engagement, they will work harder to deliver and to do more.
5. Show appreciation.
Close your eyes and think for a minute – when was the last time you said “Thank You!” to an employee? And no, I don’t mean saying thanks because they held the door open for you. I mean, when was the last time you genuinely showed appreciation for a job well done?
Your employees are what keep your company running. Sure, you might have the world’s most amazing product but without your team, you would be nowhere. It is crucial that you show them how much you appreciate them and all the work they do.
Show appreciation by actually saying thank you, writing a card, sending a company-wide email, posting on your company’s social media, a plaque for the employee of the month, a party for friends and family to attend, and so on. There are countless ways you can show your appreciation but just make that you follow through.
6. Encourage breaks.
Boost employee engagement and focus on this tip – encourage your employees to take breaks! The New York Times reported that 30% of employees felt focused if they took a break every 90 minutes. A Staples study also found that 80% of employees felt more productive if they took a break.
By incorporating breaks into your company’s daily routine, your employees will feel more of a work-life balance. Plus, it helps relieve stress, boosts productivity, and leads to happiness – all of which are a recipe for engagement.
- The Enthusiastic Employee: 16 Myths on Employee and Performance Management
- The 101 on Productivity: 7 Business Hacks Every Small Business Needs to Know
- How to Hire and Retain Good Employees
- 9 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged
- How the Best Leaders Build Trust