Surprisingly, despite the fact, that there are lots of ways to boost employee engagement, the problem of low employee engagement is still an important and relevant problem: employee engagement level in companies all around the world is shockingly low; according to Gallup statistics, only 15% of employees feel happy at their working places.
An engaged workforce is considerably more valuable than a disengaged employee. Dan Pink concluded in far 2009 that three pieces compose a maximum level of employee engagement in the workplace. These drivers of employee engagement are still relevant today:
– Autonomy. It means a balance between total control and the ability to make your own decisions and be proactive.
– Masters. Despite the popular misconception that it is only relevant for beginners, even senior-level specialists with significant experience highly value the contribution to their professional development. For fast-developing industries like IT or marketing, it’s out of the question.
– Purpose. It’s about feeling yourself a part of something important, a valuable team player with an important job role, an inspiration for someone.
A recent study by Bath University produced a little more detailed report. Its idea is in the crucial meaning of holding a work-life balance; work and personal life are not substitutes or synonyms. There also is a job demand-resources theory, according to which such things as support in accomplishing your current role, help in reducing stress, and achieving personal growth are as much important for employee engagement, as high salary or professional goals.
Keep it under control, but let them do this. Allowing people to work in accordance not only with the requirements but also with their vision is incredibly valuable and helps to increase employee morale. Sometimes, employees are outraged that their skills and proactivity, required during the hiring process, are actually not welcome. They find it depressing and demotivating.
If your company works with remote employees during the pandemic, take care of the maintenance of the team spirit and make it a core of your company culture. It is not about online parties (feel free if you like the idea), but asking about their day, condition, etc. These are tiny things that take 30 minutes a day but are of great importance for each individual employee and the team as a whole.
Constructive criticism and encouragement are important for all generations. Negative feedback gives a clear understanding of what you can or should improve, refine, or learn. Positive feedback gives wings.
Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone have identified three triggers that prompt negative reaction to feedback:
– Truth trigger. When you fundamentally disagree with the comment itself and refuse to accept it.
– Relationship trigger. When the comment itself is positive, but you are not a fan of a person giving feedback.
– Identity trigger. Employees with imposter syndrome – which is pretty common – may find it difficult to believe their work is valuable and even take compliments as a mockery.
There unlikely is something more demotivating than the sense there are intrigues, favoritism, and prejudice – anything that makes you feel second-best. You need to keep your personal attitude and work processes separated, and be 100 % unbiased.
You keep employees longer when the morale moves upward. Do not make your team listen to your motivational speech instead of having lunch, but brief chats and team-buildings from time to time will pay you back. Also, it is highly important to define company core values. For instance, correct company policies can become an additional source of motivation for the individual employee and for the whole team.
Conferences and webinars are vital for employee experience development. But there also are little things you can do. Mind games, board games, movie nights – all these things are incredibly impacting as well. Their role in professional development is huge, and they are always lots of fun.
According to a survey by Jumpstart HR, the vast majority of job seekers value personal growth opportunities and fulfillment of professional goals over anything else when considering a new workplace. The personal level of engagement also depends on the possible career path.
Long story short, three pillars hold a team engagement level constantly high: Growth, Recognition, and Trust. Ensuring them, you can expect a positive atmosphere, a high level of job satisfaction, and fruitful work.
Studies show, that disengaged workers are twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack, weigh on average five pounds more, and have less marital intimacy than engaged employees.
So, when you take steps to improve engagement and profitability, you will also be taking steps to improve the health and happiness of your employees.
A one hundred percent effective way to be aware of the climate in your team is a questionnaire – an irreplaceable tool for your HR department. Send it out every few months to get regular feedback.
1. Will you be working here in 12 months?
Amee Parekh from Uber Technologies has some accurate assessments of this question:
One important question in an employee engagement survey is, “Do you intend to stay with the company 12 months from now?” This is a key indicator of whether an employee finds the organization a rewarding place to work or if the employee experiences significant challenges that are driving them to look externally. The survey being anonymous is important so that the employer receives candid responses.
2. Why do you continue to stay here?
Having answers, you will clarify what keeps people at your company, what the satisfaction level is, and what changes you should implement. It causes you to reflect on whether you are moving in the right direction.
3. Would you leave if you got a better offer?
Would you consider leaving the company if a competitor attracts you with a better offer? The answer gives you an understanding of an engagement level and your company policies and mission value.
4. Why do you like/dislike your job?
This answer can provide if the “why” of the candidate is in alignment with the organization’s “why.” So you can understand whether your employees and you are the right people for each other.
5. Do you feel that your voice is important?
The chance to impact company life using your talents and soft skills is crucial. Here you conclude if employees’ ideas meet encouragement.
6. Would you recommend the company as a workplace to your friend?
Answers can tell a lot about your people strategy and its effectiveness. No one would bring their friend to an uncomfortable workplace. No one.
7. Do you get enough internal motivation (not only financial)?
Apart from everything else, the information about the internal motivation level gives you an understanding of what productivity rate you should expect.
8. How would you define company culture in a single word?
Print them out later and attach them to the wall in the meeting room. It is an insight for managers and a chance to pull people together and break the ice. Also, it can help to reevaluate company policies, in case the answers are not corresponding with them.
9. What would you do as a CEO for one day?
Having such an opportunity, everyone would change what does not suit them personally. This question is a deep well of ideas and inspiration for improving processes and corporate culture.
10. What should we continue to do?
We tend to think, that surveys are only for discovering dark sides. With this question, you find out what is going great, stroke your ego a little, and calm down after analyzing all the previous employee feedback.
Actions on boosting an engagement level are not a short-term trend that will soon fade away. It is a powerful tool for an engaged employee coping with work issues. Remember, it’s always better to prevent problems than to break your head over the ways to solve them.
Work on employee engagement because:
– all employees appreciate working in comfort, regardless of the position;
– engaged employee brings more value to your company;
– it’s a way to build a powerful team – the greatest of all powers.
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