Engaged employees are happier in their roles, more loyal to the organization that employs them, and more productive and fulfilled overall.
Boosting engagement through specific strategies and projects is something many managers attempt, but knowing where to start is challenging, and expanding existing initiatives can also be an uphill struggle.
With that in mind, here are a few actionable, practical ways to attain your employee engagement ambitions.
What employees want more than anything is to feel that their contribution to a business is not only recognized and valued but also is a kind of investment in their own future; if they know that they are working towards something personally beneficial, be it a promotion, award, pay rise or bonus, they will be more eager to carry out their duties day to day.
As such, it makes sense to focus employee engagement projects on corporate training and development. By providing workers with access to the kinds of resources that will enhance their skill sets, bolster their leadership abilities and steward them along the path to tangible progression within the organization, you will be incentivizing them to feel more connected with their job and the company as a whole.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that any training and development you fund will not just enhance the outlook for individual employees, but also provide perks to the business itself. Workers that are well trained and qualified to a high level will be more impactful and productive, and because they are also engaged and satisfied, their loyalty will pay dividends in the long run.
Corporate volunteering can also be a great way to develop your team skills further while giving back to society. In terms of the impact on project growth, if employees realize that there will be mutual benefits from signing up to training schemes and participating in volunteering projects, more will be willing to commit to this kind of initiative.
When it comes to employee engagement, it is not necessarily the best idea to simply follow the herd and stick to a one-size-fits-all approach. This is because the specific dynamics of your team, or the pressures and restrictions of the industry you occupy, may make certain engagement strategies less viable, while others will be uniquely advantageous but could be overlooked if you do not do your research.
A good example of this comes in the form of flexible working. Lots of businesses are being encouraged to offer staff the ability to set their own schedules and pick and choose when they are at their desk.
This is fine in principle, but in practice, it may be a bugbear for employees and managers alike because if members of a given team have wildly different schedules, more roadblocks to productivity will arise. Likewise, the routine and structure provided by fixed, shared working hours are more appealing to some, and setting limits on hours of contact, for example, can be counterproductive.
Another variant on this theme has come to the forefront in recent times, with the rise of virtual events. The push to make the most of video calls for the purposes of socializing with work colleagues may be positive for certain people, but there are also those who find the pressure of these scenarios too much to make them enjoyable. Steering clear of making your online team building and bonding feel like enforced, mandatory ‘fun’ should account for differences in personalities.
In short, if it seems that your engagement projects are not clicking, it's better to change or ditch them rather than forging ahead.
At the end of the day, the people who are going to be directly involved with employee engagement projects are also those who are in the best position to tell you what is working, and what is holding them back from becoming more invested in a given scheme.
Managers and decision-makers should therefore aim to pay attention to any feedback offered by employees, as well as to proactively request input on these projects so that people know they can speak up if they have something to say.
Even if all you learn is that you are doing the right thing, it is better to ask the question in the first place, rather than assume that your efforts are optimal.
Do you want to know more about how Optimy can help you with your employee engagement program? Reach out to discover more about the all-in-one platform!