Helping employees become more productive is about so much more than watching and hoping work will get done faster and better. Fixing the problems underlying the negativity you see can actually make your workers healthier and happier.
Address and resolve these issues and it will improve their home lives as well as their job satisfaction, resulting in lower absenteeism and turnover.
Here are 10 ways to make your work environment produce high employee engagement.
1. Listen to Your Employees
Employee surveys and conversations can be a great way to gauge how your employees are feeling and identify any potential problems within your organization. For example, many of your staff members may feel that they need more time to complete tasks but are afraid to speak up.
One way to get valuable feedback is to have “stay interviews” with your top performers. Ask them what they like most about their jobs and what you can do to encourage them to remain at your company. Do the same thing for your bottom performers. Your team members have the answers, you have the solutions – but first, you have to identify the real problems which underlie what you observe so you can provide the correct solution.
Talking honestly as a group in a neutral setting and inviting people to bring up their problems is the way to get a handle on the nuances that will help with mutual understanding. To do this successfully, do it in small groups and make it clear that you care about your employees as individuals with families.
However, there can be no shooting of the messengers.
You must take the bad with the good with grace and humility and show you are open minded and want their honest feedback. Screw this up and you’ll see problems proliferate.
Meetings focused on solutions are great opportunities for your most committed employees to tell you how they would go about making improvements. Some of their suggestions could be quite valuable, although you can be creative about how you implement them.
These sessions are a great way to make your employees feel as though they are an important part of your team.
You should also conduct exit interviews to find out about employees who are pursuing opportunities at other companies.
The objective is to find out what is drawing employees away from your organization, and how you might be able to improve your environment.
For example, COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to see how well many of our staff members are working from home. If you have employees leaving for jobs where they can work remotely, see how you can best incorporate this into your company. Maybe you can offer them a chance to work from home one or two days a week and provide free lunch on the days they need to come in.
2. Provide Well-Deserved Recognition
While your top employees may be putting their noses to the grindstone every day, they may not feel as though anyone is noticing.
And they may begin to wonder why they’re working so hard.
Folks like to feel appreciated, and this doesn’t always mean spending a fortune on gifts and bonuses. Many times, a compliment or word of praise can go a long way toward making an employee feel valued and competent. When this is stated on a personal note, it can become even more memorable.
Sometimes, you can reward employees by offering to pay for their choice of professional development training or putting them on a special project.
This lets them know that they are one of your special contributors and allows them to develop even stronger skills at the same time.
Many employees also appreciate non-monetary rewards such as dress-down days, a half-day, or work-from-home options. You are showing them that they’ve earned your trust as well as providing them with some much-needed recharging time.
3. Give Your Employees the Right Equipment
Nothing frustrates an employee more than a slow computer or inadequate Wi-Fi. And with so much of today’s work becoming remote, properly functioning technology is even more critical to good working habits.
Simplifying procedures such as logging into necessary websites and programs can also help make your employees’ jobs easier. If you think technological problems could be part of the reason your employees are slowing down, take immediate steps to correct them. Invest in solid tools that will help your team focus on more important aspects of their jobs.
4. Go Remote
Not all jobs can be done remotely. However, if their job allows for it, allow your employees to work from home at least some of the time. It eliminates their commutes, gets rid of in-person meetings, and allows them time to develop healthier lifestyles.
Workers may be able to head up to the gym before they start their day or take a walk when they are working from home. This is also a big help to parents with school-aged children, who can take a break to run a quick carpool or throw in a load of laundry. It can provide the work-life balance that always seems so out of reach.
5. Deal with Problems Right Away
Many employees quickly become frustrated with their jobs when smaller issues blow up into big ones. For example, your employee might have trouble with a particular website that they need to navigate in order to do their job.
Listening to your employees and showing them easier ways to perform their tasks are great ways to help them on their way toward better engagement. If necessary, model what you’re looking for or provide them with additional training.
6. Offer Specific Goals
Your employees will quickly grow frustrated if you offer vague feedback.
Instead, establish a clear system of goals that you help create along with your employees, all the while emphasizing their strengths and your confidence in their ability to meet challenges.
If your goals are specific enough, employees will always know whether or not they’re measuring up. Checking in with them regularly can let them know that you’re aware of their performance. It can also give you a great way to know if employees deserve awards for a job well done.
7. Lead by Example
You must lead from the front.
If you want your employees to be fully engaged, you must demonstrate the level of engagement you expect from them. Doing this can be as simple as talking to them casually about your production schedule. For example, you can let them know that you come in early to go over the numbers, take a break, and then begin writing your reports.
It’s important to model both good working habits and good self-care. Taking breaks is actually an important part of releasing stress. This can, in turn, increase your performance.
8. Emphasize Self-Care
Employees who are burnt out will not be productive and engaged. Too much stress will lead to less productivity, over-scheduling, and poor judgment. Your employees will begin taking too many sick days and display moodiness at work, which can negatively affect everyone.
Self-care for your employees can be as simple as providing standing desk options, which can help them avoid being sedentary at work. You can also provide healthy snacks or team lunches.
Some companies invest in mindfulness options that will help your employees focus and stay at their best. For example, maybe you have a yoga instructor come in once a week and provide a free session. This can help your employees bond with their colleagues, as well as provide them with some much-needed energy.
You can provide your employees with vouchers and coupons for massages, healthy eating, and fitness programs. All of this will make your staff healthier and happier.
When they make mistakes use it as a teaching moment.
This can lead them to become stressed more easily. Instead, communicate your confidence in their ability to do better next time. Use mistakes as an opportunity to identify what went off the rails and discuss how the situation can be prevented in the future.
9. Offer Professional Development
Many employees don’t take the initiative to pursue professional development because they don’t think they have the money or time. However, it can greatly improve engagement. Offering a stipend or free childcare can encourage them to get better trained and educated.
Professional development can help to increase employee engagement as well as job satisfaction. It can also help you to retain the best staff members. Your employees will gain confidence and credibility as they realize what they’re doing right in their jobs, as well as find ways to improve.
10. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Relationships
It’s easy for employees to burn out when they feel that they’re doing their jobs alone. Those who have positive interactions with their peers are more engaged and produce higher quality work. They also have a better overall sense of well-being.
Model and encourage employee conversations about their work. You can use professional development time to encourage break-out discussions about ways that everyone can implement new ideas.
Schedule events where they can interact with staff members from other departments.
Keep your employees in the loop when it comes to news, projects, and successes. The best employees will be motivated to get involved in the latest developments.
Increasing Employee Engagement
Increasing employee engagement has tremendous benefits for your company. You’ll see an increase in productivity, lower staff turnover, and happier clients. With the right approach, you could have a fully engaged staff in no time.
Don’t stay irritated at low productivity and employee problems any longer. If you want help and fast-track solutions – get in touch and let’s set up a time to talk.