It is important for businesses to have employees that are engaged with what they are doing and feeling good about the organization. ‘Employee engagement’ has become a watchword for businesses of all sizes – but what is really meant by the term, and why has it become so important?
What is employee engagement?
More than just how satisfied or happy an employee is in their job, employee engagement refers to the level of enthusiasm and investment in the business as a whole. One is considered to be ‘engaged’ when they have a positive outlook about the organization.
Why is employee engagement important?
The simple fact is that when employees are engaged with their business, they perform well. A disengaged employee might just be doing the minimum they can at work, or may even be acting this way deliberately. But in any case, organizations with high employee engagement tend to outperform those with low employee engagement.
Employee engagement ideas that pay off
In 2020, this trend will continue to grow so it’s important that your company takes the issue seriously. Here are eight great tips to help your business improve employee engagement throughout the year.
1. Offer benefits that millennials and Gen Z employees actually want
Your business may well offer benefits, but if you want to improve employee engagement in 2020 you need to ensure those benefits are the kind that your workers want. With millennials and Generation Z now constituting a huge percentage of the workforce, employers need to tap into what these generations want in order to get more from them.
For example, knowing that younger generations have a greater passion for travel and activities outside of work, it can be a great idea to offer sabbaticals.
2. The personal touch
One of the drivers of employee engagement is the feeling of being valued not just as workers, but as human beings. This means that managers and directors need to keep it personal.
Often it is the little things that make a big difference. Saying thank you with a compliment slip is a great example of a strategy that businesses are increasingly using to promote a personal touch between managers and employees. And there are many things you can be doing to treat a member of staff as an individual.
3. Push opportunities for career growth
If you want employees to engage with your business, give them a path to grow. It doesn’t need to be enormous promotions or pay rises – often if staff feel like they are being trained and gaining additional skills, this can make them feel more positive towards the organization.
Additionally, consider promotions easier by having levels of seniority and a defined way to grow in the company.
4. Promote wellness in the workplace
In 2020, we can expect to see businesses continue to push the idea of wellness at work. Considering how many hours employees spend in the workplace, it is important that the working environment gives them the chance to stay fit and healthy.
5. Put a focus on mental as well as physical health
Remember that ‘wellness’ is about much more than just whether your employees have good posture or use a free gym membership. In 2020 we are thankfully beginning to see organizations take a more serious attitude towards the mental health of staff and ensuring that the workplace is not stressful or contributing to issues such as anxiety.
This couldn’t be more timely, as a recent study revealed that 39 per cent of workers say that they have experienced a work-related mental health issue over the past year. When staff feel that they are working for a company that has their best interests at heart, the engagement levels improve.
6. Offer flexible working
It increasingly makes sense to offer a flexible working policy in your business. If there is no need to set specific hours or no specific benefit to have staff traveling into an office every day, this change can actually not only be positive for your business, but it can seriously boost employee engagement.
As staff lead increasingly complicated lives with interests and activities outside of work, it is a great idea to give them the chance to work flexibly and fit their professional lives around their free time.
Read more: A Four-Day Working Week: The Pros & Cons
7. Be a company that cares
More and more people are going the extra mile in their personal lives to live more sustainably. So, it can be very frustrating for employees to work for a company that doesn’t seem to share those values.
To really engage with your staff, be a company that cares about the environment. Make green changes to your business and show them off to your employees. This can really help people to feel that their place of work matches their commitments to positive change.
8. Provide more interesting work
One of the most common reasons why employees leave positions is that they feel underutilized at work and they believe that they aren’t doing anything interesting. This shows that many staff members actually crave the opportunity to take on more complex and difficult tasks because they want what they do to be stimulating, challenging, and interesting.
If there are members of your team who do the same tasks constantly and don’t have the chance to push themselves, they can be some of the least engaged with your business. If you can provide more interesting work that challenges them, it can make a huge difference.
The above employee engagement strategies, especially used in combination, can be a great start to boost everyone’s desire to work at full capacity, contributing more energy to your business. Continue reading How to Foster Employee Innovation, in Interviews to learn more from the experts.