Aside from Rihanna’s recent hit, Work is generally not a term associated with wide-eyed enthusiasm or smiles.
Considering we spend approximately 33% of our lives at work, this is a huge opportunity miss.
With 71% of employees reporting not being fully engaged and $11 Billion lost annually to employee turnover, management can no longer afford to ignore the problem.
So how can you make sure your company is a positive force in your employee’s lives?
Below are five no-cost tips to help increase employee engagement and create an environment that employees are happy to contribute to.
1. Less isolation, More face time
Far too many C-Level executives lead the pack from behind. They’re hidden away on separate floors or hallways, completely separate from the rank and file. It’s near impossible to get a pulse on your workforce when you’re isolated from it.
70% of employees who lacked confidence in Senior Leadership were not fully engaged in their role.
Increasing face time and even simple interaction with all your employees will go a long way to restoring trust and understanding.
2. Taking action on employee feedback and surveys
Nearly every company conducts an annual employee survey. Did you know 80% of employees expect their managers to take absolutely no action on employee feedback? In addition to not taking action, failure to address employee concerns significantly increases the likelihood of them becoming disengaged and feeling insignificant.
In fact, employee surveys can actually have a negative effect if zero action is taken year after year. Show your employees you care about their thoughts and contribution to the business by publicly addressing their advice and displaying action plans for improvement.
3. Be genuine, be transparent
Relationships between employees and their direct managers matter a lot. 80% of employees dissatisfied with the direct manager reported being disengaged from the company as a whole . Managers should maintain great relationships not only with their direct reports but also the next level down the hierarchy.
Rather than starting your one-on-ones with business related matters, ask about personal lives and family. This will show you care and empathize with them, increasing the likelihood of them becoming more aligned with your goals. Environments where employees can openly discuss blockers, internal or external, are more successful at keeping teams empowered.
4. Facilitate friendships at work
Having social connections at work is immensely important in keeping people engaged. Employees with a best-friend at work are 7x more likely to be fully engaged and aligned with the company. Employees are often busy during normal work hours, so it’s up to the company to facilitate team members getting to know each other.
Activities that bring people together, including game nights, happy hours, bowling leagues, book clubs and idea incubators go a long way towards building connections. These events may cost some money, but think of it as an investment. The company Mindvalley found that close friendships at work boosted employee satisfaction by 50%.
5. Understand what matters to your employees and align with their growth path.
The two largest factors in creating an environment of engaged employees are enthusiasm and empowerment. Managers should continually reinforce to employees that they are valued as true contributors, which gives them an increased sense of empowerment.
When an employee is on-boarded or promoted, the very first one-on-one should be about growth – “where would you like to be in 12 months?”. Employees who feel a sense of professional growth are far less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere. An ongoing dialog with your employees about their goals will encourage them to exceed these benchmarks.
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