It should come as no surprise that employees who don’t feel engaged with the work they do will be less efficient on a daily basis. Therefore, many HR departments struggle with the seemingly difficult task of making employees engage more.
While it can definitely be tricky, there are some tried and tested strategies that will make it a whole lot easier. We’re going to cover those strategies and also briefly go over the importance of employee engagement in the next section.
By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be armed with the knowledge needed to overhaul your office’s level of productivity — in a short amount of time at that. Without further adieu let’s get right into it!
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
There are quite a few reasons why employee engagement is so important. The first and most obvious one is productivity. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise either since it only makes sense that employees who are passionate about their job will yield better results.
Beyond productivity, keeping employee engagement high will also boost your talent retention. There are far too many cases where an employee gets good at their job, applies to a new company, then leaves. This issue usually falls on the lap of the HR department.
Those in HR wouldn’t have to worry as much about employees leaving if everyone was more engaged and invested with the work that they do in the company. There are also external benefits to employee engagement.
Most CEOs agree that their customer satisfaction has risen alongside employee engagement. This makes sense since employees that are happier with their job are more likely to give off a positive energy when speaking to your customers.
Saying that there are many other benefits would be an understatement, but to save you some time we only touched on the most important ones. To learn more about the benefits of employee engagement stay tuned for our next article on the subject.
Top 4 Strategies
Going out to lunch with all the employees in your office provides a great opportunity to get to know everyone better. Furthermore, it also gives them the opportunity to open up to you about any problems that they may be facing.
Most veteran HR managers would agree that they’ve had better luck catching problems early when they already have a rapport with the employees at their company. If you really want to nip problems at the bud then you need to be their friend in addition to being from HR.
Sure, you might spend a bit on treating everyone to lunch but it will be well worth it in the long run. There are even some companies who are willing to cover the lunch costs that the HR manager incurs since it still comes out cheaper than having to hire and train new employees.
It also helps you gather invaluable feedback about how the employees would want the company to run, what changes would make their jobs easier, and even any operational inefficiencies that they might’ve picked up on.
In addition to these small outings, you could also organize company-wide lunches every quarter so that everyone has the chance to build a stronger relationship both with their coworkers and the company as a whole. This reminds them that they’re part of something big and worthwhile.
Gamification has applications in so many areas of business. Whether it’s marketing, productivity, and yes even engagement — there are few things that wouldn’t benefit from the implementation of a gamified system.
Take the popular app Habitica for example. It uses the same concept of gamification to help people stick to their beneficial routines by creating an avatar that can lose health, get new gear, and defeat bosses depending on how well the players stick to their goals in the real world.
You can apply the gamification trend to your company in an effort to improve employee engagement in quite a few ways. The most common one is game night. Quite a few large companies — particularly tech startups in Silicon Valley — have explored this.
Whether it’s trivia, Pictionary, or even competitive games, having employees engage in friendly contests is always a good way to get the creative juices flowing and build relationships within the company.
Relay race obstacle courses, escape rooms, board games, card games, VR, you name it. As long as it’s something fun, cooperative, and takes away the stress of work then it’s a suitable candidate for game night.
Note: as a bonus, you could even implement an avatar system similar to Habitica in which employees that get their projects done early or land a new client receive new gear and level up their character.
Let’s face it, office toxicity is a very real thing and it can be hard to avoid since everyone has their own likes/dislikes — meaning the occasional clash is impossible to avoid. Or is it? What we’re getting at is that there are some workarounds that remedy office toxicity.
If you can’t remove the toxicity from the equation then why not remove the office? It may seem counter-intuitive to let employees work from outside the office to boost their engagement but bear with us.
It’s well-known that negative office environments can cause work anxiety and thus hinder employee engagement. In addition to relieving the stress of your employees, offering remote working arrangements will also help you stay competitive.
Experienced workers are more likely to jump ship and leave for a better company if that competitor offers them a remote option while you don’t. There are also other benefits such as the fact that they can work at any time when you let them do so remotely.
This will soften the blow that procrastination can have on your company. If an in-house employee procrastinates until 5 PM then that’s it, they’ll put their tasks off for tomorrow. In contrast, remote workers can compensate by staying up late to finish.
Sure, office all-nighters do exist but most employees are far more willing to stay up if they’re at least in the comfort of their own home. No one sees staying in their cubicle overnight as a fun activity.
Lastly, snacks. Employees are more likely to engage with their work if they have access to extra benefits, particularly yummy snacks. You don’t have to spend a fortune on professional catering or bog your employees down with cholesterol by providing junk food.
There are quite a few nutritious snacks that you can offer such as avocados, dark chocolate, or red grapes. These will keep your employees both happy and healthy. You don’t even have to worry about the time it takes to buy these items since there are many services that do it for you.
With an abundance of food ordering solutions already available worldwide, you don’t have any good excuse to not leverage the benefits of providing snacks to all the employees at your companies. It even serves as an extra incentive to join when headhunting talent.
As you can see, reaping the benefits of employee engagement is actually relatively easy if you employ the right strategy. Whether it’s giving out snacks, arranging an obstacle course, or letting your employees work at home, there’s no shortage of methods to choose from.
If you found the information in this article useful then be sure to share it with a friend so that they too can reap the benefits of heightened engagement. That’s all for now but happy engaging and go crush this new decade!
About the author:
Cassy Aite is a life-long entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CEO of Hoppier - an Ottawa based company that provides healthy snacks, supplies, and other consumables to the offices.