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While there should be no surprise to learn that there’s a direct correlation between productivity and employee engagement, studies conducted on organizations all over the world concluded that only 31% of employees qualify as “engaged.” Inevitably, this low number results in a pretty significant loss for companies overall. Disengaged employees are unmotivated and can harm a company’s sense of morale, not to mention its bottom line. Conversely, engaged employees are not only easier to retain, they are more customer-focused, productive and profitable for the company. It seems that more and more businesses are starting to realize how imperative it is to create a culture of engagement in the workplace. In an effort to create this, companies are implementing new and unique methods aimed at keeping their employees happy which in turn helps to motivate them to stay engaged. Below is a combination of both “out-of-the-box” tips as well as “tried-and-true” methods to create and sustain an engaged, satisfied culture of employees.
Communication & Recognition:
A recent study concluded that 89% of employees believe that work relationships are important, so developing a culture of camaraderie is vital to maintaining an engaged team. In addition, celebrate employee accomplishments. Recognize significant achievements publicly, as this is often valued more than an increase in pay and is one of the most effective ways to motivate your employees. Publicly recognizing excellent work not only makes that person feel special, it also sets a standard for the future.
Adopt a cause. Successful companies understand the importance of philanthropy. Not only does this help the community, it helps the company as well. Philanthropy creates an opportunity for the company to build a presence within the community and provides for marketing and networking opportunities. Most importantly, participating in various philanthropic events boosts workplace morale, as employees feel like they are making a difference in their community. Research demonstrates that employees who are happy with their company’s commitment to the community will show an increased commitment and engagement to their job.
Health & Wellness:
In order to obtain a greater level of productivity and engagement, companies should strive to enhance the well being of all of their employees. Engaged employees tend to be in better health than those who aren’t satisfied with their job, and oftentimes happy employees require less medical assistance (thus saving money in healthcare costs for the company). Wellness programs that support employees in improving their quality of life and reducing health risks will help raise engagement and productivity.
Lunch and Learn:
This is a new concept that companies have started to implement. At lunchtime, companies will offer a presentation (i.e. Microsoft Office tips and tricks, health and wellness, or something employees express interest in) during lunchtime. Companies have the option of providing lunch for those who attend, which is always appreciated. If you want to make this more appealing, create an opportunity for employees to have a one-on-one lunch with the CEO. This will not only boost employee morale, it will improve workplace communication. While many managers believe that utilizing more traditional managerial skills including effective delegation or regular feedback will increase engagement, research illustrates that developing personal relationships is far more effective.
After investing a significant amount of energy, money and time in recruiting and training employees, retaining them is invaluable. Management strategies go a long way in creating enthusiastic environments for employees, and managers should provide consistent, positive feedback to their employees when they succeed, as well as constructive criticism if expectations are not met. Honest feedback encourages employees to continue being engaged in their work, and this goes a long way towards improving work ethic and loyalty.
Opportunities & Training:
Advancement opportunities are crucial to maintaining happy, engaged employees. If an employee knows there is no room to grow and advance within the company, chances are extremely high that he/she will look for another job immediately. Providing the opportunity to develop additional skills and take on more responsibility will give employees a reason to be engaged and loyal to the company.
By incorporating some of these ideas, its possible to create a more engaging workplace culture (and thus an increased level of productivity and performance) that will be vital for your company for years to come.