Workplace stress, job burnout, and high turnover rates are the fierce enemies of team productivity. Do you know the primary culprit behind them? It’s the lowest employee engagement, which results from poor workforce management and HR policies.
Future Forum conducted a global Pulse study in 2022 to analyze work-related stress and anxiety levels. Findings suggested that in-office employees are less happy than remote or hybrid workers. They experience poor work-life balance, a low sense of belonging, and declined satisfaction with the work environment.
Moreover, the survey revealed that employees with fixed work schedules are 260% more likely to switch jobs. Loneliness is also a key contributor to workplace anxiety because jobs with little human interaction have the most miserable employees, according to a Harvard study. Hence, the secret to high organizational productivity is not just money or professional success; the workplace environment keeps employees happy and engaged.
Discover creative employee engagement ideas to keep your teams happy and increase retention rates.
What is Meant by Employee Engagement?
Forbes defines employee engagement as a company’s personnel’s emotional commitment toward its goals. It is a relationship between employees and an organization that strengthens over time.
Simply put, if a company encourages its employees correctly and rewards their performance, they put their best effort into achieving the set goals. Higher employee engagement means the company takes care of its workforce and invests heavily to keep them happy. Eventually, the organization is more likely to retain top talent and stay ahead of its competitors.
Why Employee Engagement Matters?
A happy and engaged workforce is more productive and delivers impeccable results. As an employer, if your team is not performing as expected, you must work towards improving employee engagement. Otherwise, you won’t be able to retain your talented workers.
According to a 2012 Gallup survey, high employee engagement increases the chances of organizational success by four times. Besides, companies observe better attendance rates, lower turnover, and higher productivity when their workers are more engaged.
Moreover, experienced HR professionals associate high engagement with improved morale and employee loyalty. Engaged workers mean satisfying customers and, eventually, higher business growth.
Creative Employee Engagement Ideas
Check out these creative ideas to keep your workforce engaged and optimize your work environment for better results:
1. Create a Memorable Onboarding Experience
Say you have recently joined a new company at a managerial level. There is a pile of expectations in your mind. And you are amazed to see how your company welcomed you on your first day. That positive impression will leave a long-lasting impact on your loyalty and commitment to that organization.
Hence, the first step employers should take is to create a memorable onboarding experience for the new hires. Make them feel valued from day one and provide the necessary resources. Besides, a top management executive (CEO, if possible) should invite the onboarded staff to the office and communicate expectations clearly. This interaction will determine the depth of the professional relationship with that organization.
Similarly, introduce fresh faces to all your team members and organize a new hire club for fun activities. If the new recruit delightfully agrees, asking for a treat on day one is also a good idea.
2. Allow Flexibility in the Workplace
The corporate world is changing rapidly, faster than expected, particularly in the post-pandemic era. Gone are the days when companies would follow strict 9-5 routines. Remote work is a new reality today, and employees are now aggressively demanding flexibility from their organizations.
A recent Forbes survey revealed over 12.7% of employees in the US work from home as of 2023, while 28.2% prefer a hybrid model. The 2022 Global Pulse study also indicated that remote teams experience less work-related stress and anxiety. Primarily because flexibility is one of the key factors to boost employee engagement and achieve higher satisfaction.
Hence, employers should break the monotony of fixed work hours and space. Instead, allow your personnel to work at their preferred schedules and places as long as they complete their assigned tasks on time and maintain communication. And if the fully-remote option is unsuitable, you can choose a hybrid model. Try this method, and you will see a significant improvement in overall team performance.
3. Foster a Supportive Company Culture
Imagine two different company cultures.
The first one is rigid with a stressful work environment. The workload overburdens employees. They don’t even have time to take some rest. And there is no one to hear their voices or address their concerns.
Conversely, the second culture is supportive, where employees feel valued. The work environment is very positive as the management is always open to new suggestions. In addition to their routine work, workers have enough time to spend on innovation and improvement.
What kind of culture would you prefer? Definitely, the second one because a positive and supportive company culture supercharges team members. When they feel more valued and taken care of, they always go the extra mile and deliver impeccable results. Particularly, they feel proud of themselves when their positive suggestions are included in strategies.
As a result, the company retains intelligent minds for extended periods and leverages its competencies to achieve long-term sustainability.
4. Promote Teamwork and Collaboration
Harvard survey suggests that loneliness results in work-related stress and declined productivity. Companies where employees collaborate as a team, are more likely to outperform their competitors. It’s up to the employers how well they can utilize the individual abilities of workers to solve complex problems together.
Therefore, companies need to take steps to promote teamwork. In this context, team-building activities should be organized every week or month. These activities can foster a sense of mutual respect and collaboration among team members. For instance, simple ice-breaker games or fun challenges can familiarize team members with each other.
Once they start knowing each other well, they can find viable solutions to complicated problems. Eventually, the company can achieve new milestones and deliver impeccable results.
5. Recognize Success
Human nature values positive recognition in all aspects of life. As professionals, when we achieve a new milestone, we expect our leaders to recognize our hard work and dedication. Similarly, employees also want their efforts admired by the company’s top leadership.
Motivation by recognizing the team’s success is the best way to keep employees engaged. When a company rewards the top performers, it conveys a solid message to the workforce. A sense of encouragement pushes them to work even harder and give their 100%. As a result, employers can achieve higher team productivity and lower attrition rates.
One way to recognize employees’ success is to organize a special event outside the office. Similarly, you can also set a monthly happy hour where critical achievements of the past month shall be celebrated. Employees can also strengthen their relationship with their organization by sharing their professional accomplishments on social media.
Employee engagement refers to a positive relationship between a company and its personnel. This relationship sets the foundation for business growth and long-term sustainability. Companies with highly engaged teams perform exceptionally well and always stay ahead of their competitors.
From employers’ perspective, employee engagement gives them a direction to follow. Employers can easily overcome potential challenges by investing in their workforce’s happiness. They can satisfy their clients and become more innovative. On the other hand, happy workers don’t look for other jobs shortly. Instead, they focus on reinventing traditional methods and exceeding their managers’ expectations.
So, it’s a win-win situation for both employers and their staff.