Efforts to increase employee engagement are at the core of increasingly more business strategies today, as low levels of involvement still need to be addressed across industries. According to a Gallup study from 2022 regarding employees at work, only 21% of staff is "engaged" – described as enthusiastic about their workplace and job.
Engagement levels grew before the pandemic, but the following events left their mark. This calls for proactive measures and efficient steps to create a workplace and work culture that promotes employee retention and raises profitability and productivity.
If you're joining the club of entrepreneurs aspiring to boost their businesses, this article is for you! From investing in their well-being and morale to making small but thoughtful gestures like offering personalised gifts, the following strategies enable you to increase the levels of employee engagement and, with it, productivity and profitability.
Build a positive company culture
The culture of your business is among the principal drivers attracting or decreasing the interest of your employees in helping your enterprise grow. As studies show, employees are not tolerating a toxic environment. MIT Sloan research shows that the failure to provide a healthy environment is the primary catalyst for employment turnover across different industries, with apparel retail and management consulting topping the list.
While it's unsurprising that few employees would stand in a hostile environment and that this would only hold for a short time, learning the most important factors to building a positive company culture is essential. For instance, expressing care towards them through thoughtful actions like offering them personalised mugs or equipment to facilitate their job and at-work comfort can go a long way.
Here are two steps to take in order to boost employee retention and create an atmosphere that inspires them to deliver better results at work:
Focus on the feedback. Employee surveys and proactively seeking and offering feedback help the business improve and grow by reassuring employees of their worth. Asking for feedback from staff enables the management to conclude what can be changed for the better in the firm, offering them the chance to see the company through employees' eyes.
Offer career development opportunities. It's no news that employees pursue professional development to climb the ladder. Lack of opportunities to grow fosters a sense of stagnation and disinterest in how the company's doing along the road. On the other hand, if your business provides new hire mentorship, training programs, and promotion possibilities, you can grow your enterprise's employment rates in the long run by building a healthy company culture.
Create a more enjoyable workplace
When employees are supported to find their intrinsic interests by trying different tasks to determine which suits them, they're inclined to find their job more appealing. However, how interesting they see their job depends from employee to employee. Simply put, an activity that awakens the interest in one can turn it off for another.
To offer the chance to find what arouses an employee's curiosity, you can approach the job rotation program model. To exemplify this concept, let's look at the Heineken example. The Dutch brewer employs a job rotation strategy through different departments, from packaging development to quality assurance. After completing the program, each participant can determine and participate in the department that best matches their interests.
A more pleasant workplace is also one that prioritises mental and physical health and makes efforts to enhance the staff's well-being. Encouraging your employees to take mental health days or provide meditation classes can have a significant impact. When such an undertaking is off the table, several thoughtful details like providing healthy snacks will fuel when their batteries are low.
Offer more autonomy
Granting employees more autonomy can work wonders in developing their intrinsic motivation. An excellent example to back up this concept is the Netflix model, which provides employees a "no rules" environment and stands out by offering great freedom. Employees are empowered to make unsupervised strategic business-related decisions in the company's best interest. They have limitless vacation days, and don't need to request reimbursement pre-approvals.
This culture of responsibility and independence has worked wonders for the past years, considering that it's holding on in the company up to this day and is considered vital to keep the company functioning and growing.
Reward with more time off
There's an increase in the working hours for college-educated professionals, leading to a drop in their sentiment of time affluence. Thus, providing your employees extra time off and paid vacations besides the financial incentives can directly lead to boosted feelings of time affluence.
The necessity to reward your staff with extra time to be spent as they wish is more important after the pandemic led to the growth of the number of working hours and a decline in leisure activities.
Here's a satisfactory example. Several companies, like Bumble, provided their employees with an extra week off to tackle the burnout induced by the pandemic some time ago. This was a practical move to increase their staff's engagement and keep the business healthy in the long run.
Grow employee confidence
People show repellence toward completing tasks they feel they lack the skill for. The confidence with which employees who undervalue themselves perform their work must be increased; otherwise, your business may not capitalise on your staff's skills to the maximum potential.
To boost employee confidence, you must recognise their strengths and weaknesses and take an objective approach. Only by tackling the issue can you help them grasp the areas where they're excelling and what other aspects need improvement.
Even the most insecure employee can become more confident when receiving transparent feedback, consistent support, and honest insights.
An important aspect that makes or breaks an enterprise's success today is employee engagement and motivation. With this in mind, make the necessary improvements to create a healthy work environment that promotes efficiency, and watch how little steps like the ones depicted above take your business a long way.
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