Employee Engagement

“Employee engagement continues to be top of mind for business leaders, and for a good reason. Actively disengaged employees are not as productive or happy as their engaged counterparts. If they’re not feeling motivated or willing to give 100%, that’s not good for your bottom line. Checked-out employees aren’t great for company morale or recruiting talent, either,” according to Insperity.

Asking your employees to do things one way but a different one the next day can confuse them and discourage them. Setting unrealistic expectations and giving them too much work (or not enough work) can also make them lose motivation. Having favourites on your team, not giving them credit for their work, or even a total lack of communication with them are more examples of managers’ behaviours that can demoralize employees.

Even though every company or HR manager seems to have an Employee Engagement manual or process to follow, we see that this is a recurrent issue many organizations struggle with. Not to mention that low employee engagement can jeopardize your business.

Best 10 Tactics to Increase Employee Engagement

To tackle the perils of having unmotivated employees, here are some of the best practices on improving employee engagement, according to Michelle Kankousky.

  1. Retaining engaged employees starts by hiring the right people

    Create job posting descriptions with specific language to attract the best candidates. Being transparent in your expectations about job responsibilities from the start forms a solid foundation of engagement. Get some tips on how to write succesful job postings here.

  2. Build an atmosphere of trust, transparency and communication

    A strong culture of trust and communication makes it more likely that employees will approach a manager to discuss why they are unhappy. With two-way communication built on trust, you’ll have better chances of motivating a disgruntled employee to become more engaged.

  3. Recognize and reward employees who are meeting your expectations

    You can foster employee engagement with a culture of gratitude. Showing a little appreciation increases productivity, and people will continue to do the right things for the right reasons.

  4. Cultivate a recognition program with both formal and informal awards

    Everyday rewards like a handwritten note or email of thanks go a long way. Gift cards for a coffee, book or lunch will be appreciated more frequently than the more formal award. See some examples of feasible and affordable practices to reward employees here.

  5. Engaged managers are better at building teams of engaged employees

    Good managers convey realistic, clear, and concise expectations to their employees. Distracted managers often ignore their employees, while unaware managers may show signs of favouritism. Make sure your managers are supporting employee engagement strategies.

  6. Make your engaged employees feel “seen” with career opportunities

    Provide engaged employees with career opportunities such as a mentor, a choice assignment or a promotion that reflects career progression. Such opportunities can help an engaged employee blossom into one of your top high performers.

  7. Remember to be flexible, adaptable and transparent with your workforce

    When a business owner models the company’s core values, employees will understand how to reproduce them in the workplace. Sharing news while being flexible and adaptable helps the company through difficult times. It’s an opportunity to be a powerful role model for employees who may be struggling.

  8. Strive for accountability in all your employees

    Fairness is a foundational concept in the workplace during good times and bad. When employees see that everyone is held accountable to a clear set of rules, a business owner will often have a better outcome in instituting cost-cutting measures.

  9. Team-building activities help support employee engagement in the workplace

    Whether it’s a team lunch via teleconferencing or an in-person recreational activity, team building helps employees make meaningful connections with their colleagues. Positive company morale and employee engagement often go hand in hand.

  10. Support employee engagement outside the workplace

    Giving back to the communities where you do business can be meaningful for you and your staff. Employee volunteer programs can foster employee engagement by increasing feelings of commitment to the company they represent while helping an organization, offering avenues for skill development and providing a sense of pride and recognition.

“Acknowledging hard work and efforts that go above and beyond the call of duty is particularly important,” according to Brian Kreissl. “Look for opportunities to celebrate achievements and milestones and provide down time after particularly stressful periods, like year-end. Ensure there is a focus on—and budget for—continuing professional development. Payroll legislation and technologies constantly evolve, so staying up to date is vital to ensure accuracy and compliance”.

Which of these tactics had the most impact on your team, according to your experience? Tell us in the comments section below.  

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