There's nothing more frustrating than having a team of employees who are disengaged. Employee engagement strategies can make all the difference when it comes to productivity and company culture. The benefits of an engaged workforce are clear: higher productivity, increased retention rates and improved company culture. A few striking statistics from Gallup:
Even with all the positives to increasing employee engagement, it can be difficult to implement a strategy to successfully combat it.
In this post we will discuss how you can build an Employee Engagement Strategy for your organisation and start seeing results today!
Employee engagement strategies can take on many different forms. They are as unique as each business and should be customised to your organisation's needs and culture, here are some essential ideas that will help you put together a strategy that succeeds:
First things first, you need to take a step back and look at your company culture. Identify what feel good factors already exist within your organisation? What do you want them to be moving forward? Now is the time to determine if the company needs a significant change in culture, or if you're just enhancing the culture it already has.
If you're unsure, a good reference point is your company values. Are the team living up to the values today? Many companies have a short list of values - the Commonwealth Bank for example uses:
To help further define your culture, it is useful to further detail the key attitudes and behaviours which represent each value. It can be useful to start with a simple list of common behaviours and actions. What attitudes and behaviours should the team be showing? It can be useful to start with a simple list of common behaviours and actions that represent the kind of culture you're looking to integrate.
Happy people are motivated people. Employee engagement strategies are most successful when a clear company purpose is defined. While it may seem simple in theory, the best way for your colleagues to feel engaged is by aligning on what drives them individually with the companies purpose.
A company's purpose is often defined by its mission statement, which should be able to answer the following about your business:
That's where Ikigai comes in; Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means the 'reason to get up in the morning'. It's also a philosophy that links your work to personal happiness.
Discussing a candidates Ikigai during the hiring process and seeing if it aligns with your companies purpose is a key way to avoid early cultural and productivity issues.
It can be easy to throw new hires into their role and have them hit the ground running, but that isn't always effective and is linked to lower employee retention rates. With a clearly defined culture and shared mission/purpose, it's important that this is linked into individual employees role descriptions and responsibilities. The quickest way to alienate and lose critical staff is to have a disconnect between their role and the direction of the organisation.
Set clear responsibilities across your team, with KPI/OKRs that make it clear their contribution is linked to the companies mission and their purpose, or Ikigai.
Rewards should not be limited to only tangible metrics, like sales numbers and output, but also focussed on rewarding the people who go above and beyond to contribute to your organisations culture. Is there an individual who runs weekly trivia, organises drinks at 4pm on a Friday or always helps anyone on the team? Make sure their efforts aren't ignored.
Rewarding and recognition should be a part of daily business. To foster a culture that follows this, set up regular catch ups, such as:
An important part of any employee engagement strategy is to ensure that all your team members know how and when to raise an issue. Having a transparent communication channel in place will reduce internal stress levels by making sure issues are dealt with quickly, correctly and sensitively. A few things to consider implementing if they're not part of your process currently:
Your front-line managers are key to successful communication across the organisation. As such, it's important to invest in them, which leads to the next point...
Providing training opportunities can help staff to grow in their roles and also improve the quality of work they produce. Training should be offered on topics relevant to both an employee's role and interest, so people are more likely engage with it. This will not only aid productivity but provide a morale boost by allowing employees to follow their own passions outside of work too.
Gallup's CliftonStrengths assessment found that companies with a focus on developing their employees achieved:
A few key things to keep in mind:
The best way to encourage and improve productivity is by providing regular feedback. This should cover both positive and negative examples, so employees know what they're doing well at as much as when something can be improved upon.
When an employee knows how effective their work is, it will incentivise them to continue producing high-quality results - which leads us nicely onto our next point...
Don't ignore negative feedback! Employee engagement is all about treating people fairly, so if someone has information that suggests you are not being fair or have a certain style of management that isn't working for your employees - it's important to listen and consider the implications.
Lead by example when giving feedback too - don’t be passive aggressive but instead be straight-forward and deal with issues head on.
Finally, Employee Engagement is not just about managing staff members to achieve results - it's also about creating a workplace culture that encourages people to speak up if they see something wrong or have an idea for how things could work better. Employee Engagement Strategies should always include structural means of involving all levels of your organisation in culture building.
Employee engagement strategies are a sure fire way of improving your business performance from the get go! If you implement these techniques into your company culture then not only will your staff feel valued but also more engaged in their roles too. Building a successful internal team takes time but with a bit of effort creating an engaging strategy from day one you'll be on the path to success.