For an employee to be engaged, there needs to be a few core things that are taken care of.
Employees need to feel like they’re respected, that they’re part of the team, and that their ideas matter. Once that’s taken care of, they’ll be more likely to go above and beyond for their company and provide amazing service, come up with innovative ideas, and help the company grow.
There are 10 essential things that companies need to keep in mind when trying to improve employee engagement. Here they are:
Employee Engagement Is A Serious Problem
According to the Gallup State Of The Workplace report, worldwide, only 13% of employees are engaged, meaning the other 87% are not engaged at their work.
I’m confident that now that there is so much research and literature around engagement and why it matters, those numbers will go up. I’m excited to see the next big report that Gallup puts out, as I expect those numbers to be better.
But there are still a lot of companies that lack in a lot of these areas. It’s so important for companies to get these things right, think of all the opportunity being wasted on disengaged employees. You’re paying these people anyways, you might as well have them be as happy and productive as possible.
1. Relationship With Managers
75% of people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss
Having a bad boss can really ruin any chance of engagement that you might have had at a company.
The way a manager treats their employees is so important, since employees are looking up to managers as coaches. The’re eager to learn from them, so to not teach them is a waste. Help them grow, and they will help you.
2. Employee Happiness
Happy workers are 12% more productive
Having happy employees will make all the difference. They’ll be happier and friendlier with customers, they’ll be nicer to their coworkers, and they’ll be more productive employees.
We’ve written before about the science of happiness, and it’s important that you educate employees on what will make them happier in their daily lives. Help them work on issues of stress, and make sure they enjoy their work.
3. Employee Wellness
Medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs
Many companies don’t appreciate how important wellness is to their employee’s engagement.
Simply showing employees that you care about their wellness is enough to get them motivated. You should be encouraging employees to stay in shape, and to eat healthy. If employees crash in the afternoon from their eating habits, that’s a lot of money wasted on lost productivity.
4. Company Alignment
The way that employees align themselves with the company’s core values has a direct effect on bottom line profits
It’s so important to make sure that you hire the “right” person.
This is usually referred to as hiring for “culture fit”. If an employee fits in with the culture and values of the organization, they’re more likely to stay there longer, be happier, and believe in the mission of the company.
5. Workplace Satisfaction
Have open and honest communication, so an employee can say if their work is meaningful for them or not
Often, employees will be shy to raise any issues. That’s why as a manager, it’s important that you be proactive about it and ask employees if they need anything to make them happier at work.
Are their expectations clear? Do they know who to ask if they need help with anything? Make sure you make things as easy as possible for employees to get their work done.
6. Relationship With Colleagues
According to research, socializing with colleagues is the only thing proven to make you as happy than when you’re not at work
There is also research that shows that being ignored at work is even worse than being bullied. It’s so important that you as a manager, encourage an environment of inclusion. Organize team-building events like happy hours or bowling, to make sure that employees can socialize and become closer.
This will make employees work better together, and make them enjoy coming to work.
7. Employee Feedback
14.9% lower turnover rates in companies that implement regular employee feedback
Employees need frequent feedback to help them grow. You can’t wait until the annual performance review, that’s way too infrequent.
Ideally, you should be meeting with your employees once every 2 weeks for a quick, informal check-in.
8. Recognition And Praise
78% of employees said being recognized motivates them in their job
I would argue that recognition is the most important item on this list.
Boston Consulting Group’s Rainer Strack did research on 200,000 employees to look at drivers of job satisfaction and engagement. From his TED talk:
9. Personal Growth
Companies that invest more in training and career development outperform their peers
Humans have an innate need to learn and grow, and to continuously improve. As a manager, it’s beneficial for you to have employees that are getting better and better at what they do, so it makes sense for you to encourage and help influence this type of behaviour.
Set aside time for mentoring and training, and help employees grow.
The question to ask employees is On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to refer a friend to work here?
This is also known as the net promoter score, and has become famous for its simplicity and power. The other question to ask is would employees be willing to recommend the product/service your company sells.
Originally, this was a customer service tool, and these questions would be asked to customers, but employees often hold their companies to higher standards since the relationship is much deeper.