What could be more important to your business than employee engagement? Engaged employees are not only happier, they are also more productive and more likely to stick around.
Despite this, we are in the middle of an employee engagement crisis – according to Gallup, 85% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work, making this the business issue of our time.
So what’s going wrong? There seems to be a disconnect between what employees now expect – flexibility, personal growth and meaningful work – and what employers are offering. Put simply, work no longer works.
To fix this, organisations need to embrace a more employee-centric way of working that prioritises the happiness, motivation and wellbeing of their staff.
Here are five ways you can engage your employees:
- Offer regular feedback
In today’s fast-paced world of work, nothing stays the same for long. To keep employees engaged and on the right track, it is important that you provide regular feedback, as and when it is needed. This is why forward-thinking organisations are replacing annual appraisals with real-time check-ins.
Check-ins are informal ad-hoc meetings where both the manager and employee can talk openly and honestly about their current work, goals, concerns and overall happiness. They help build healthy, human relationships between both parties, and ensure that any issues can be resolved as and when they occur.
- Shape work to suit the individual
Your employees are individuals, with their own unique preferences and working styles. You can’t expect them all to thrive under the same working conditions. If you are dictating exactly how, when and where your employees should work, chances are it’s not working for them. This is particularly true for younger generations, who see flexibility as an expectation rather than a perk.
If you want your employees to be engaged, start shaping work to suit them. This could mean allowing them to work remotely, or letting them do more of the things they love and less of the things they don’t.
Offering flexibility shows your employees that you value them as people, not just as workers. The result will be happier, more loyal and more engaged employees. And if your employees are happy and engaged, they will be more productive and less likely to leave your business.
- Lead, don’t boss
When it comes to unhappy employees, bad management is one of the main offenders. In many cases, people are promoted to managerial positions due to long service or success in other roles, but they are totally unequipped for the unique challenges that come with people management.
Your employees are adults, not children. They don’t need an authority figure telling them what to do, but rather someone who is there to support them and guide them in their work – a leader, coach and mentor, not a dictatorial boss.
Effective leadership requires a specific set of skills and a particular type of person, so make sure that you provide your managers with the necessary training to become leaders and mentors, not micromanaging bosses.
- Invest in your people
People don’t want to see work as just a means to an end, but a journey of self-discovery and improvement. As an employer, the onus is on you to nurture your existing talent, and to find new ways to maximise their skills through learning and development. And with technology constantly changing the way we work, upskilling your staff has never been more important.
Investing in your employees shows them that they have a future with the organisation, and lets them know that they are valued, making them more likely to stick around for the long term.
- Provide meaning
In order to be fully engaged, people need to feel as though their work has meaning, that it is useful in some way, and that it contributes to something bigger. If your employees can find meaning in their work, they will be intrinsically motivated to do it – they will see their work as rewarding in itself, not just a way to be rewarded.
Make sure each and every employee understands the organisation’s goals and direction, and how their own work contributes towards them. By understanding the bigger picture, your employees will see the true value of their own work.
At People First, we’ve designed a revolutionary software platform and ethos designed to fix work. Combining chatbots, people analytics and the science of flow, along with a new contract of alliance, People First enables a better, more productive and sustainable way of working for all.
To find out more about how People First could transform your business, click the speech-bubble icon at the bottom left of this page and talk to one of our team.