Why is it necessary to engage employees at the workplace?
We all go to do our work. But how many people do their actual work? Some of them are mentally absent despite their physical presence at the workplace. Some of them are not at all interested in doing something worthy. Rather they are only completing the allotted tasks. A few of them have a habit to pass their duty hours somehow or waste others’ time as well. Or in the worst case, some employees have a tendency to keep changing their jobs every now and then. These are the characteristics of disengaged employees. If this continues to happen, then such an organisation is in a state of big trouble.
On the other side, engaged employees are a company’s most valuable assets. The well-known author Tim Rutledge in Getting Engaged: The New Workplace Loyalty enlightens that truly engaged employees are attracted to, and inspired by, their work (“I want to do this”). They are committed to (“I am dedicated to the success of what I am doing”) and fascinated by (“I love what I am doing”) their work.
As opposed to their counterparts, such employee members promise fruitful results in the terms of business growth, turnover, customer service, competitive edge, product innovation and overall goals. They work in the company, with the company and for the company by all means. That’s why no company can shut eyes to the influence of employee engagement.
The concept of employee engagement is not new. However, the tactics to engross the modern employees have to be very effective. We have summarised 5 key ideas that work very well to create an engaged workforce.
1. Rub off Rigidity, Favour Flexibility
It’s almost the time to forget command-and-control ethos. More and more employees now wish to enjoy a level of flexibility to maintain work and personal life balance. Allowing employees to work as per their preference under certain conditions is conducive. They will be more responsible for work completion. Don’t bind them to do a certain thing. Remember, it’s good to rely on commitment than compliance.
Technology has made it possible. Time tracking apps like Futuramo Time Tracker are useful to self-assess the work. It serves as a perfect companion to manage time and make work easier. Also, with the adoption of BYOD policies, employees are no more desk-bound. Flexible work options will make your workforce feel empowered rather than dragged!
2. Create a Culture of Smiles and Socialisation
The man is a social animal. Apart from work also, it is beneficial to unite your staff in all possible ways. This makes them more involved. For instance, celebrating birthdays, achievements, special occasions, wellness programmes, social and charitable causes or normal events like potluck lunch, coffee conversations, cross-department connections, etc. prove to be very impactful. It gives them a chance to know each other better.
Such events are a great way to promote team work. Begin it with the day 1 and you won’t need to worry ahead. With the right culture of highly engaged employees, there is 21% increase in the profitability of the business. Having happier employees creates an optimistic culture. Such employees are more likely to stick to the organisation for long.
3. Be Concerned about their Concerns
A good leadership strategy is to listen well. Pay attention to what your employees are saying. Let there be a sense of camaraderie. Be it about a discomfort at the workplace, work issue, unavailability of the resources or any other complaint. Act on it to improve and bring a change. This will instigate a feeling of ‘You Matter’ within the employee.
As a manager or CEO, it should be of prime importance to you that your employees feel safe and enthusiastic. Addressing their concerns with relevant actions will reduce the ratio of absenteeism. Furthermore, it will increase the work productivity and efficiency.
4. Showing Gratitude is Great!
Kevin Kruse defines it as – “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.” Engaged employees are happy and willing to invest their time and efforts. An ideal leader should never forget to thank them for their contribution. Acknowledging their involvement in company’s success raises their confidence.
It’s not only about the wages or a salary hike. But, there are many ways to thank and reward the worthy ones. According to human psychology, a public appreciation does wonders. It will boost employee morale to excel more. Besides that, it will also motivate others to perform better. So for the next time, don’t miss out even a small reason to reward and recognise your staff.
5. Communicate to Connect and Collaborate
Without clear and open communication, employee engagement is only a theory. Arrange open space sessions to discuss innovative and improvement ideas. Forget the top-down hierarchy. Allow employees to communicate with each other, their supervisors as well as the higher-ups. This creates a more allied workplace. Sharing thoughts, brainstorming sessions and open-discussions yield excellence.
To make it more interesting, consider colour themes for specific meeting rooms. As mentioned in the psychology of colours in the workplace, certain colours affect employees work. They make them more productive and creative. Conveying company’s plans is essential. Aligning them with the employees will associate them at a deeper level.
There are endless ways to engage with your employees. Companies can try productized software, wellness activities, hiring experts and consultants and experimenting with a mix of everything. But what matters is listening and understanding your employees. Their ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ should be in synchronisation while they are at work. A high level of employee engagement will help to achieve the same for a business.
An organisation attains more than expected outcome by having a positive workplace environment. Enrich your workplace culture with employee engagement. With simple measures and kind gestures, the employees will find their workplace amazing. They will show more zeal and energy to do their work. Bond with your employees, motivate them and climb up the heights of success together. There’s no stopping then!
About the author:
Swati Kungwani is the business analyst and content manager for iTouchVision, a UK-based customer service platform. She specialises in customer experience management and driving new customer initiatives. Connect with her on LinkedIn. Join iTouchVision’s social network: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.