Employee engagement is a measurement of how committed your employees are to the business, its goals, and the work they do on a day-to-day basis. For example, if your employees aren’t engaged, then you’ll notice that they’re less motivated and productive in the workplace. So how can you keep your employees engaged? Here are 6 tips to ensure that they stay engaged and motivated.
1. Encourage collaboration between employees
Encouraging teamwork and collaboration between your employees can help you achieve organisational success. When a group of people come together to work on a project, or even something as little as going to a colleague to ask for advice or guidance, they will feel like they are part of a team, have a greater purpose, and more importantly, are valued. This same idea can be seen in things like sports: for example, winning together in a team sport can create a group feeling of camaraderie and success, and this is the same case for the workplace. Since collaboration involves communicating and working together with other people, employees are more likely to be engaged when they are discussing ideas together and working
You can also try and encourage collaboration by organising team-building activities, such as business simulations, puzzles or escape rooms. You can also encourage employees to get to know each other in a more informal setting, such as through happy hours or team dinners after office hours.
2. Create a healthy work environment
The best kind of work environment is one where employees feel comfortable and not as though they are walking on eggshells. Try to create an inclusive atmosphere where people are not afraid to share their ideas: when you punish employees for mistakes or wrong choices, it can create an unhealthy environment that discourages and disengages employees by making them feel isolated from the company. If employees are scared to make mistakes, they are also more unlikely to make suggestions or take risks that can enhance the company.
3. Listen to employee feedback
As we noted in our guide on ways to boost employee morale, you should survey your employees and take their feedback into consideration. By doing so, you’re allowing them to contribute to positive change and making them feel included in improving the company. You can do this by emailing a company survey every month where employees can submit feedback, or by holding monthly meetings.
A benefit to receiving feedback from your employees is that sometimes there can be concerns or problems in the company that you aren’t aware of. However, by taking into account their feedback and acting on it, it shows that you and the company cares about its employees and their concerns, therefore making employees feel valued and engaged in the company’s workings.
4. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings
Scheduling personal one-on-one meetings with your employees is a good way to check in with their well-being. You can also use this meeting as an opportunity to find out about any challenges they’re facing at work, their priorities, as well as their professional and personal development. For example, take the time to find out about what your employees are passionate about and if they want to, for instance, learn more about marketing, you can help identify vocational or training programs for them to take. Not only does this improve their job satisfaction, but it more importantly, increases your staff retention, as your employees will be more engaged and less likely to resign.
5. Implement incentive programmes
Research shows that incentive programs can boost performance in the workplace by 25 to 44 percent, as long as they are conducted in a way that addresses “all issues related to performance and human motivation”. Incentive programs refer to using rewards or recognition to motivate employees: for example, you can reward employees for meeting or surpassing a certain goal or performance metric, or for excelling at upholding the company’s values.
According to a paper on the impact of incentives and motivation on workplace performance, there are five conditions under which incentive programs work best:
- Current work performance is inadequate
- The cause of the decline in work performance is because of a lack of motivation
- The desired performance goal can be quantified
- The goal is viable and achievable, but challenging
- The aim of the incentive program does not conflict with the goals of the company
Incentive programs work because they give everyone an equal opportunity to achieve and surpass goals, and earn rewards in the process. This gives employees a sense of value and purpose, and more importantly, has a positive impact on an organisation’s spirit, emotion and engagement.
6. Support your employees
Supporting your employees goes beyond merely empowering them; rather, it’s also about being consistent in your leadership. Employees don’t engage when their leaders are not consistent in their approach: for example, even if you’ve been supporting them in their professional development, if you dismiss their work and ideas every so often, then it’s hard for employees to trust and engage with you in the long term.
In addition, it’s important to not automatically assume that your employees will be loyal to you on the basis that you work in the same company; rather, you need to look out for their best interests in order to give them a reason to engage.
Maintaining employee engagement is vital to ensuring that motivation and productivity is high in the workplace. As a recap, here are 6 of the steps you can take to make sure your employees are engaged:
- Encouraging collaboration between employees to create a group feeling of camaraderie and success, and to give employees a sense of purpose
- Creating a healthy work environment where employees aren’t afraid to share their ideas and take risks
- Listening and taking into account employee feedback so you can make improvements and resolve any concerns they have
- Scheduling regular one-on-one meetings with your employees to check in with their well-being, challenges, goals and professional and personal development
- Implementing incentive programs to motivate your employees in their work
- Supporting your employees by having their backs and having a consistent leadership approach