Employee engagement can take many forms, and is quite a fluid concept, but the basic idea is to implement certain structures to keep your employees happy, involved and engaged in the process and the business.
Having worked in a business where employee engagement was really high and positive, and then for a business where there was none, I can personally vouch for how it can affect morale and productivity. Keeping employees engaged in the business can be so simple, depending on how you approach it, and it can benefit the business in such a way that reduces employee turnover, maximises productivity and improves customer service.
The benefits of employee engagement
Employees who feel engaged can bring so much to the table. If an employee is truly engaged, there are a number of benefits to this, both to the employee and the business.
For starters, your employees will be happy, and satisfied with their careers. Happy employees are more likely to treat customers well, and promote your brand naturally because they are at ease and valued in the workplace. You should then see that your customer service levels are consistently high.
Engaged employees have higher productivity, and are more creative. The more they are engaged and involved in the business process, the more you will see their creative flair. You’ll find that nurturing them and allowing them a voice will bring a whole new wave of ideas to the party. They will find new and creative ways to solve problems and complete tasks. Remember to recognise and reward these ideas, and give credit where it is due.
If you think it’s not worth looking at employee engagement ideas, consider this. They’re also less likely to go and work elsewhere. Think about it – if you’re content and happy in a relationship, would you up and leave? I have always judged a business by their employee turnover. If they have a majority of employees who have stuck with the business and have been content working there for years, that’s more of a pull than salary. Wanting to get up and go to work each day has a much more positive effect on employees, and this will show in their output. You might well also see sickness/absence go down, and less grievances.
You should also find that if your employees are engaged, they are better communicators. Feeling valued in the workplace will lead to good relationships with co-workers, managers and customers alike. Disengaged employees will plod through their day, waiting for 5pm, whereas engaged employees are present. Conversations can turn into productive ideas and discussions. Your employees will connect with each other, and this can lead to new innovations. Another great reason to consider looking into employee engagement ideas.
There are many employee engagement ideas that you can implement quickly and efficiently. The first and foremost is to recognise when your staff achieve a goal. It can be something as small as a passing word of thanks, as this can show that you’re appreciative of their effort if they achieve something significant. It shows that you are aware of what they accomplish. When I was an employee in my old business, the director there would thank everyone as they were leaving work each day. That was something that I then implemented myself, and it’s something so small that can be effective straight away.
Get them involved in the business process. Everyone has skillsets that might be outside of their job role, it’s always worth getting employees involved in new ideas, projects and seeing if anyone has anything to contribute. Otherwise, how would you discover these talents?
Reward your staff
Implement rewards schemes. There are many companies who offer packages that you can sign up to, to offer your employees discounts at restaurants, shops, cinemas amongst other things. There is a price to that, but there are various packages available dependent on your budget.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to schemes such as those, you can reward your staff in other ways. Office days out, nights out, baking competitions, events such as these don’t have to cost the earth. What they do is get everyone together and involved in a social way. Not every event has to be team-building. Getting your staff together and taking the time to get to know them on a personal level will make them feel comfortable and valued, and will improve communication. Share your office/work life on social media; let your customers see the fun too.
Last but not least, listen to them. Have an open, honest and communication-driven environment. Take feedback on board, and give regular feedback to your employees too. Don’t stifle their ideas or their frustrations, and make sure any criticism or feedback you give is constructive and has positive outcomes.
Just remember, be authentic. You’ve probably seen at least some of BBC’s The Office from the early 2000s. Ricky Gervais’s David Brent is convinced of his staff’s loyalty and engagement, but only because he tells them they are so. In reality, they all seem to hate their jobs and their boss. Telling an employee that they’re engaged isn’t enough; they should feel it. Put effort into coming up with employee engagement ideas. It will keep engagement at a high and you will see the benefits.