Employees require more than a paycheck and warm fuzzy feelings in order to feel engaged and satisfied at their workplaces. They want a sense of mutual understanding among employees as well as leadership that prioritizes their wellbeing.
Managers can enhance employee engagement by listening to employees’ suggestions through pulse surveys, performance conversations, stay interviews and employee suggestion boxes.
1. Create a Mission Statement and Values
Launching and communicating a company mission statement and values can help increase employee engagement, as employees want their personal values to align with those of the workplace they are part of.
Employees want to feel that their daily tasks contribute to the company’s goals and purpose, so having a clear mission statement and set of values helps everyone understand what’s expected of them and how their efforts have an impactful role in its success.
To generate a strong mission statement and values, businesses should convene a meeting where all employees are invited to share their ideas. By doing this, a consensus-driven mission statement and values will emerge that can then serve as the framework for decision-making processes, climate assessments, or individual goal setting activities within an organization.
2. Train Managers
Employee engagement has evolved beyond being just an industry buzzword; it is now a key determinant of business success. According to Gallup research, engaged employees tend to experience lower stress levels, have improved work-life balance and are more likely to stay with their current employer.
Training managers on how to engage their teams effectively is one of the most efficient ways of increasing team productivity and satisfaction. This may involve role reversals – where managers switch roles with employees for one day only – storytelling workshops, goal-setting exercises, conflict resolution simulations or mindfulness and stress reduction sessions as means of engagement.
These activities will help to foster an engaged and welcoming workplace culture, making everyone feel like they belong. Make engagement an ongoing process by scheduling follow-up training sessions to reinforce learning. Aim for an environment in which employees feel valued while staying motivated – but remember: these are just activities!
3. Encourage Feedback
Note that employee engagement goes beyond mere happiness or contentment; rather, it means employees feeling connected to the mission and values of their company as well as having clarity regarding their roles, goals and opinions mattering.
Employees want their work to be meaningful, challenging, and interesting; they want a bright future for the organization and its leaders; be given opportunities for professional growth; and understand why changes to organizational operations are being implemented.
Of course, offering feedback opportunities can help enhance the employee engagement process. But managers should take this initiative seriously: when managers ignore or disregard feedback or opposing opinions from employees, this can cause distrust amongst participants and discourage participation altogether.
4. Offer Mental Health Days
Mental health days offer employees a chance to rest and refocus, leaving them better prepared to return to work and produce quality work. Unfortunately, companies without policies in place may find that employees use mental health days as an easy way out from dealing with their underlying issues.
Employees should be encouraged to prioritize both physical and mental wellbeing by prioritizing sleep hygiene, healthy food consumption and spending time with loved ones.
They may take time off for various reasons, such as caring for an ailing family member or attending therapy sessions. To prevent stigmatization for taking time off work, an ideal business should promote a no-questions-asked policy for its employees taking time off.
5. Recognize Employees
Recognition is an integral component of employee satisfaction and engagement; yet too often organizations make the mistake of mistaking employee recognition as simply making employees happy or contented with the work environment. While happiness or contentment should result from engagement efforts, recognition should instead focus on driving business results through clear expectations, opportunities to do what they excel in, development programs and opinions counting.
Employees want their work to have meaning. Recognizing them for completing projects on time and aiding colleagues is one way of providing this feeling, as is showing them where their role fits within the larger vision of the company. Offering financial incentives or other forms of appreciation are also great ways of showing employees they are appreciated for all they do.