9 Practical ways to Improve Employee Engagement — II

In the first part of this series, we discussed the critical need for businesses to get to grips with employee engagement and its measurement. We explored the differences between engagement and job satisfaction and understood that an employee may very well be satisfied with his job, without being engaged at work. In this post, I have outlined some proven engagement techniques that successful businesses use.

Below are the 9 practical ways to improve Employee Engagement levels:

1. Find out the Hidden Capabilities in Employees:

Stop being overly critical of your employees based on things they cannot do. Rather, find out what are they naturally inclined to. Don’t just stick to employees’ job description and let them work on tasks they have a flair for. This will help unveil their hidden capabilities. Also, allowing employees to be flexible at work, helps them understand how they can best participate.

2. Set Challenging Goals:

Smart and talented employees constantly look for new and difficult problems that challenge their intellect. This way, they add to their scope of knowledge and experience through acquiring new skills.

Challenging goals inspire a greater level of motivation than easy goals. Challenging goals drive the employees out of their monotonous comfort zone and encourage them to accomplish great things. As a result, they show more commitment to their tasks, which results in increased engagement levels.

3. Give Time for Personal Development:

Google’s“20 percent time” policy enables employees to spend one day a week working on things that don’t necessarily form a part of their job description. It can be anything from developing new ideas to fixing problems or working on personal improvement.

Everyone wants to learn something new and improve their skills in different spheres of life. However, after long work hours it becomes difficult to find time and work on personal development. Letting employees spend at least half an hour doing things they are passionate about is a great engagement idea. It may seem as though the company is losing the invaluable working hours, but as things progress, you will realize you are building an environment where employees can thrive.

4. Give them Recognition across the Organization:

Who doesn’t want to be recognized? — not only for their big achievements, but also for their small, unnoticed efforts that they show up day after day. Appreciating the efforts organization wide is an engagement method that every employee would attest to. Putting their name on company website, or mentioning their performance in company newsletters and press releases not only influences just a single employee but has a far reaching impact on other employees across the company.

5. Celebrate Achievements Company wide:

When an employee or team has exceeded targets by showing exceptional performance, then make it a win for the whole company. Involve everyone by making an announcement, and celebrate with a party or an outing. Other employees will take inspiration from this and work their way to be recognized as top performers in the organization.

6. Employee Wellness Programs:

Employee welfare has direct impact on employees’ engagement with the company. Studies show that health and wellness programs not only improve productivity and engagement, but also reduce the turnover rate. Money and time invested in these programs bring back increased productivity in the form of improved performance, reduced absenteeism rate and a positive work culture. All this leads to employees becoming enthusiastic, creative and thus more engaged at work.

7. Involve Employees in the Hiring Activities:

Every employee should feel that he is an important part of the organization. Involving employees in different stages of the hiring process is a great way to do this. This has two benefits. First, it makes employees feel appreciated, resulting in better engagement at work and being loyal to the company. Second, your employees’ input can help you through hiring decisions, especially if they have been working at your company for a long period.

8. Encourage Collaboration between Teams:

Collaboration between teams is crucial for innovation and spirit at work. Companies where employees become isolated to their tasks, have shown increased levels of attrition. Encouraging interaction among different departments can spark new ideas and offer unique insights. When employees are working in close cooperation with other teams, they perform better due to team-spirit and work relationships. They get actively engaged when they find themselves working together with people who share the same goals and dedication to improve the business.

9. Have Fun at Work:

For some managers, accepting the idea of fun can be difficult. But to most employees, it is something they wish they could have more of at work. Having fun at work makes tasks enjoyable, and employees who enjoy their work are productive and engaged. Fun activities also help strengthen work relationships, leading to enhanced teamwork & communication.

These are key factors in improving engagement and retention rate of employees. An enhanced organizational culture and improved profitability will be added icing on the cake.