Employee engagement is fundamental to building a successful work environment. However, according to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide would consider themselves as engaged. That’s much lower than we might’ve expected. This surprising lack of employee engagement is a significant factor in low company performance.
Improving employee engagement has been shown to result in happier and more productive employees, fewer sick days and accidents, and even lower error rates.
So, how can you boost employee engagement within your company?
1. Focus on your company culture
Company culture has a direct impact on employee turnover. This is because team members will feel a sense of fitting in when they work with the company that’s right for them. Employees who understand their workplace culture tend to have a better grasp of their goals. Not only that, but they are also more in tune with the needs of their managers, fellow employees and customers.
A common example of great company culture is that of Google. With free food, bowling alleys, gym memberships and more, Google boasts several impressive employee perks (which you can read more about in this article by Fast Company). Their approach ensures that they attract like-minded individuals who will thrive in their company.
You don’t have to go to the lengths that Google does to create a great company culture. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you make it clear for employees to know who they’re working with. This ensures that you only attract the right people, and that they will be more engaged and productive in their work.
2. Give them clear expectations
A lack of direction can cause confusion and anxiety among employees. After all, how can employees deliver good work if they don’t fully understand what is expected of them?
Only half of employees worldwide strongly agree that they know exactly what their role involves at work. Giving more instructions to employees won’t fix this problem. Instead, giving clear instructions will promote maximum productivity in the workplace. Not only will it give employees the necessary support they need to structure their work, but it will also ensure that they feel more accountable for their performance.
By helping employees understand the difference their work makes, you help them to gain fulfilment and satisfaction from their job role.
3. Train your managers better
A key area to focus on when looking to boost employee engagement is the managers in a company. This isn’t to say that managers are solely responsible for the performance of their team. Rather, that they have the potential to be a driving force behind positive changes.
A company that offers regular development opportunities for its managers is sure to experience a boost in employee engagement. Offering training in areas such as basic management skills, interpreting employee feedback and general people management helps them to encourage their team members to perform better.
It’s also vital that companies elect managers for the right reasons. Too often, managers secure their positions due to their expertise in a certain area or their success in a previous non-managerial role. However, this method ignores a crucial question – how well can this individual lead people? If they don’t possess the appropriate managerial abilities, it’s logical to train them in people management first.
4. Focus on employee strengths
It’s a fact that everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. In the workplace, focusing on employee strengths is an effective way of improving performance.
In a study conducted by Gallup, it was found that almost seven in 10 employees (67%) who strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths or positive characteristics considered themselves to be engaged employees.
As such, leaders should focus on developing people based on their strongest capabilities, instead of focusing solely on developing their weaknesses. Employees will feel less frustrated and more fulfilled if they’re working to their strengths.
5. Acknowledge employees
This is one of the simplest yet most effective methods of boosting employee engagement. Acknowledging employees who are doing a good job is a great way to communicate appreciation and prove motivation to the recognised employee. What’s more, this recognition also sends a message to other employees that they, too, will be recognised for producing good work. As such, giving positive feedback to employees serves both as a tool for personal reward, as well as a tool to reinforce the desired performance and culture for other employees.
In order to provide genuine, effective acknowledgement, it’s important to offer honest, authentic and personalised feedback to each employee.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!