As the country continues to recover from the global pandemic, many businesses will be putting plans in place to get their employees back to work. In honour of World Wellbeing Week, we wanted to share some tips on how to prioritise employee wellbeing when planning for the big return.
How to Improve Employee Engagement In 6 Simple Steps
The question of how we can improve employee engagement has plagued the minds of business owners, comms workers and HR teams around the world for as long as time itself (well, maybe not that long but near enough!).
Employee engagement is a loaded term. How to improve employee engagement, however, is another matter entirely. It’s not something that can really be defined by any one characteristic.
It’s a word that takes into account a far broader spectrum of different meanings. For example, employee engagement can relate to any one of the following words: employee well being, effective communication strategies, connectivity, appreciation and recognition - the list goes on.
This being the case, it’s extremely important to consider a number of different topics when trying to determine ‘how to improve employee engagement’.
Employee engagement is something that’s incredibly important to any business, regardless of size or financial standing. Whether you like it or not, employees are the secret sauce to the success of your business. Whilst many companies may view their properties and products as their biggest asset, they’re failing to understand that without their people, it all amounts to nothing.
People are what make the cogs turn. Even in an age of largely automated processes, people are at the very heart of a business’s success.
Those that value their people will reap the rewards of a dedicated, passionate and skilled workforce. Those that fail to nurture and reward their staff won’t get the most out of their people, regardless of how talented they might be. Reciprocation is key here - you only get out what you put in!
So, if you’re wondering how you and your business can improve employee engagement, read on!
1) Improve efficiency in the workplace
If employees are working with outdated technology and inefficient practices, chances are their work is being made much harder than it actually needs to be. Recent surveys have identified that inefficient processes waste up to 26% of an employee’s working day. That’s over a quarter of the day, down the drain!
By making sure simple, efficient and sensible processes are put in place, an employee’s workload is made much more manageable and easier to handle. By putting uniform processes in place, you can also be confident that your staff can maintain a defined quality of work, instead of having to cut corners due to time constraints.
2) Improve Communication
When considering the notion of how to improve employee engagement, communication is one of the most important factors to bear in mind. Communication is integral to our everyday lives, especially in the workplace. Communication determines how effectively we fulfil our daily tasks, how we engage with one another and how we perceive the environments around us.
If your staff are unable to communicate with one another or rely on outdated and inefficient processes to exchange information, there’s an increased likelihood of miscommunication and as we all know, that's when mistakes get made.
In a world that's well and truly in the midst of the digital revolution, companies really have no excuse for poor communication.
With fewer staff relying on desktop-based devices than ever before, facilitating communication for mobile-based colleagues and tablet-based employees is becoming increasingly important. One weak link in the communication chain and you'll run the risk of falling into the dreaded workplace digital divide (and behind your competition in the process).
3) Give Feedback and Recognition
Recognising input from your employees goes a long way to making your staff feel valued and further inclined to continue their efforts.
If your staff feel like they’re doing a good job and that they’re being recognised for doing so, not only will their motivation go through the roof, but others may feel inspired to work for the very same recognition.
Run awards for those that hit or exceed targets or highlight personal achievements of your staff to the wider company. It could be the biggest sale of the month or maybe just acknowledgement of a long-serving employee’s service. Whatever it is, the increase employee engagement and productivity could prove longstanding.
4) Encourage Interaction
The workplace doesn’t always have to be about work. In fact, building friendships outside of a professional environment can be an effective way of improving communication throughout the business as a whole.
By creating events or communities within your workplace, like minded people can solidify bonds with others from different departments and create relationships that may not have otherwise existed.
This not only facilitates better communication between departments but also creates familiarity with the wider company and its processes entirely.
Digital Workplaces are ideal places to create communities and increase connectivity, so for those pondering on how to improve employee engagement within their digital workplace, the solution couldn’t be any simpler.
5) Invest in your employees, invest in your company
Improving employee engagement is something that the most forward-thinking companies strive to achieve. It’s something that other less forward-thinking companies neglect (and at worst completely ignore).
Even if at first it appears to be something that isn’t an immediate financial necessity, by failing to ensure that your workforce is engaged, you could end up experiencing further economic turmoil down the line.
If you don’t invest in the very things in which your employees feel they are lacking, whether it be communication, connectivity, access to information or otherwise, you could end up losing the very thing that could turn your business around.
By putting aside, a budget to cater to your employees wants and needs, you are, in essence, investing directly into the company itself. Brainstorming employee engagement ideas could prove to be one of the most productive and economically viable things you do as a business.
More engaged staff, through increased communication, workflow or otherwise are much more likely to put the work in and reciprocate the value that they have themselves been given.
6) Don't ignore Employee well being
Having gained much traction in previous years, corporate employee well being places much emphasis on worker's mental health and how businesses can address and prevent problems that may affect it. Keeping tabs on your employees needs and requirements can help you help them in a big way.
By being aware of your employee's situations, overall satisfaction and whether they have the tools necessary to fulfil their role, leadership teams are better placed to support, provide advice and find the appropriate solutions. Employees that feel valued and genuinely cared for by their business are much more inclined to return the favour.
When it comes down to how you can improve employee engagement, it probably isn’t quite as simple as you were led to believe. Keeping your employees engaged isn’t just a case of paying their wages every month. There are a variety of different factors that need to be taken account, each one as important as the last.
Want to find out more about how you can improve employee engagement during a period of change? Why not check out our blog on how you can utilise your digital workplace to its full potential.