Onlyone-thirdof U.S. employees say they are engaged in the workplace. Why should this matter? Employee engagement not only has a direct impact on how well your workforce performs, but plays a key role in reducing employee turnover. And that is vitally important when theunemployment rate is expected to drop even furtherto 3.5% in 2019 and 2020.The advantages of having an engaged workforce go far beyond having happier employees. Organizations with an emphasis on employee culture and strong engagement see a direct impact on their profitability. Improved worker retention, productivity, quality and customer satisfaction are just a few of thevery real benefitsthat result from successful employee engagement initiatives. Use these tips to improve your culture and your bottom line.
1. INSTILL A SENSE OF PURPOSE
Employees today want to feel like they are doing something more than just showing up for a job from 9 to 5. They want to know that they’re part of your organization’s mission, that they’re helping to achieve goals, and making a difference.Younger generations, which comprise the largest segment of the U.S. labor force, are especially mission-minded and tend to consider purpose over position.
Encourage your employees to be contributors to your company’s mission and also embrace initiatives to get involved in your community and serve others outside your organization.
2. CREATE A SENSE OF FAMILY
Many mid-sized businesses today actually have an advantage over some of the larger corporations when it comes to protecting their corporate culture and creating employee engagement. When you have the ability to know most of your coworkers and can form close-knit teams, they tend to build better relationships with each other. Smaller companies are sometimes less rigid in their protocols and conduct business in a way that a lot of larger organizations don’t.
But things can also go the opposite way if you don’t do enough to protect your culture and build engagement with employees. Things can sour very quickly if disrespect, bullying, negativity or other poor behavior goes unchecked. Leadership needs to set the example and keep a pulse on employee interactions.
3. HELP EMPLOYEES FEEL HEARD
Employees in mid-sized businesses often have more access to management and, in turn, can feel their voices are being heard, especially when leadership openly seeks their opinions and involves them in decisions. Doing so helps employees feel invested in the company’s success and lets them know they play an important role in finding solutions. Don’t minimize the importance of recognition for achievements, both corporately and individually, and celebrate them together.
Management should guide conversations to let employees know the goals they’re working toward and invite them to share ideas on how to achieve them. It’s also important to create an atmosphere that welcomes candid conversations and isn’t afraid of being challenged without fear of rebuke or retaliation.
4. PROVIDE WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Every workplace has various levels of stress, and leadership should look forways to alleviate it. Beyond the day-to-day pressures, however, there are often added strains of life outside the workplace. While this is nothing new, many companies are making efforts to accommodate employees’ personal obligations and, if your company isn’t among them, it may not be able to compete for top talent. While not conducive for every position, consider ways your company canget creative with benefitsto offer more flexible work schedules or work-from-home opportunities. Many potential recruits consider additional vacation time to be of more value than a bigger salary, so you may want to do away with rigid PTO policies and customize your benefit offerings to meet individual needs.
5. INVEST IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
Workers typically like a challenge and want to know that they can grow in their position and within the company. Look for opportunities to provide continuous learning for your employees. It may involve paying for training on a new technology, providing leadership coaching, creating opportunities to job shadow in another department or any host of learning opportunities. Also look forways to support wellness initiatives, such as helping employees live healthier lives through company-sponsored activities, providing on-site flu shots or lunch and learns, offering tobacco cessation programs and more.
Need more engagement tips and ideas for offering competitive benefits that can help you attract and retain top talent? Download our complimentary guide below, andreach outwith any questions.
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