Are you struggling with keeping your employees engaged? If so, you’re not alone. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 85 percent of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged at work. That means 85 percent of your workforce is not reaching its fullest potential. As a business owner or Human Resource professional, this should raise a red flag. The positive news is you can change this. Here are 4 ways to improve employee engagement in your organization.
Understand the difference between employee satisfaction and engagement
First, you should understand the difference between employee satisfaction and engagement. Employee satisfaction only tells you how content your employee is in their job. This means your employee could be satisfied with getting a pay check but does the bare minimum to meet their job requirements. An employee that is engaged will seek out ways to improve the organization and is committed to its growth. These employees are the high performers you want to keep in your business.
Involve employees in the decision-making process.
Peter Barron Stark Companies, a management consulting firm located in California surveyed over 100,000 employees in the Unites States. In the study, they found a direct correlation between how involved employees are in the decision-making process and their overall morale and motivation in their jobs. Companies that involve their employees in the decision-making process showed higher levels of employee engagement. Involving employees with relevant knowledge in the decision-making process is a simple solution to improve employee engagement.
Personally, celebrate and recognize employee contributions and achievements.
This is different than employee recognition programs which are typically held once a year to honor employees for their service or outstanding performance. Personally, celebrating and recognizing employee contributions goes a long way in building trust with your employees. This includes office birthday celebrations, notes of gratitude for working overtime to help meet a deadline, a personalized gift celebrating higher education goals, or a lunch invitation to show your appreciation for their work to solve a customer service issue. Your approach to celebrating and recognizing employee achievements should be personal and unexpected. You want to be sure you are tailoring your approach specifically to the employee’s preferences. Some employees prefer notes of gratitude over a large office celebration. If you’re unsure on which approach you should take with an employee, I encourage you to build a rapport with them, so you are better able to understand their preferences.
Provide employees with professional development opportunities.
In 2016, Better Buys a web-based resource on business technology published the results of a survey of 2000 employees and managers. The survey asked questions regarding the value of professional development opportunities, and how it impacted the participants level of engagement to their organization. 92% ranked professional development as “important” or “very important.” When asked what kind of professional development opportunities they preferred, 48% voted for external/off-site programs, 46% voted for tuition reimbursement, 44% wanted online training, and 42% would like in-house programs. Before you decide on a professional development opportunity, make sure it aligns with your organization’s goals and the employee job duties.
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