Do you ever peer around the office and suddenly feel like your employees are moving in slow-motion? They appear sluggish, maybe even a little unmotivated? There seems to be a frequent stream of workers visiting the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee, but it's as if someone swapped the caffeine with Benadryl.
While you may feel your blood pressure rising in response, before you start pointing the finger at your employees, there are some highly effective employee engagement strategies that can help boost productivity. If you want to drive morale and inject some life into the workplace, it's time to start implementing engagement techniques designed to fuel motivation, enhance productivity, and ultimately, increase revenue.
Amplify the Employee Onboarding Experience
From the moment a new employee steps foot in the door, they should be introduced to the corporate culture, what's expected of them, introduced to coworkers, and even paired up with a mentor to help them make a smooth transition into the new role. Employee engagement initiatives should start from day one. The onboarding process through the individual's first few weeks should give the new hire a clear picture of the company's mission, values, and goals, to help the employee feel a sense of purpose and like they are a part of the organization's larger objectives. Welcoming new employees is a great opportunity to exercise some creativity. You can welcome them with some swag, treat them to breakfast on their first day, organize a happy hour, or anything along these lines that'll help your company make a powerful first impression.
Recognize Your Employees, Not Just Their Work
Most companies have an employee recognition program to reward or highlight achievements as it relates to satisfying sales goals or meeting a particular quota. These programs are essential. After all, who wouldn't want to be given recognition for their hard work and efforts? Where many organizations fall short here, however, is forgetting to humanize their recognition programs, spotlighting the work that was done versus the individual behind the accomplishment. What about work anniversaries, celebrating birthdays, or emphasizing particular employee milestones, like bringing attention to someone who has successfully closed their 100th customer service ticket? Little things like bringing in cupcakes or celebrating an employee’s birthday would really show that you are a manager that places value in their staff.
Encourage Open Communication
Yes, you may be the head honcho of your office or team, but that doesn’t mean that you should rule over your staff like they're your subjects. Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn't it? The truth is, you should be a collaborator and proactively involved in the day-to-day operations of your team. Creating a culture that has a shared mission, encourages creative input, and supports collaboration will have a corresponding impact on productivity, morale, and the efficacy of daily operations. From time to time, you should turn the microphone over to your employees, asking for their advice and feedback. Scheduling quick weekly meetings where everyone can share their insight is a great way to show your employees that individual voices are valued and new ideas are welcome.
Inject Some Flexibility into the Work Week
Many employers are tossing out the typical 9-5 work week and instead, opting for a more flexible, autonomous culture. Research increasingly shows that flexible hours, remote work capabilities, and similar programs is having a tremendously positive impact on employee retention, productivity, revenue, and morale. Think about it: Doing mundane, repetitive tasks on repeat like a broken record can completely drain an employees energy. By shaking up the work week, whether you implement summer Fridays, allow remote work opportunities on Wednesdays, or support flexible work schedules, it'll break up any monotony in the week, prevent burnout, and keep employees feeling refreshed and inspired.
Driving employee engagement doesn't necessary mean an insanely large undertaking or investing a large wad of cash. Nor does it ever mean employing fear tactics or demoralizing your employees to such a degree that they're now frightened into completing their work - That's no way to lead. What matters is implementing small, positive changes geared towards raising satisfaction levels and ensuring employees are working in a healthy, happy environment. Because, guess what? Doing so will benefit all parties involved.