The key to retaining top talent in the digital age is employee engagement.
Employee Engagement is for 9 to 5 and Remote Jobs
As the world embraces the freelancer lifestyle, employees can be tempted by newfound freedom.
The freedom to chart their own paths to success by setting their own rates and choosing projects they enjoy.
Today’s employees yearn to be unshackled from desk jobs so they can have more control over their schedules, and work is much easier to find thanks to a tightening labor market.
In fact, organizations identify a tight job market as a reason for high employee turnover.
So how do you keep an employee sufficiently engaged in a 9-to-5 job and convince them to stay?
Unfortunately, higher financial perks alone are not enough to retain them.
Another fact: 51% of freelancers in America reveal that no amount of cash would make them take a 9-to-5 job.
Yes, hefty compensation packages can contribute to employee engagement – until an employer with even deeper pockets comes along.
What is Employee Engagement?
Effective employee engagement is all about the relationship between an employee and their organization – particularly the level of enthusiasm and the emotional connection they feel for their organization.
An engaged employee feels motivated, passionate and dedicated to their organization’s goals and is willing to put in the effort to ensure the company’s reputation and interests are protected.
An engaged employee has a sense of purpose and is more likely to remain committed to staying with that organization as long as they can.
Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction, happiness or well-being, or even employee experience. Those metrics are less aligned with an organization’s growth and profitability – it’s bottom line – than employee engagement. Employee satisfaction is only part of the equation when it comes to overall performance – an engaged employee cares as much about their work and its contribution to the organization’s success as they do about their personal paycheck.
Effective employee engagement is only achieved through connection
Employees spend most of their time at work. It only makes sense to offer them opportunities for meaning and a sense of belonging.
- Meaning: Your employee needs to know their work makes a difference.
- Safety: Your employee should feel safe from negative repercussions when they choose to fully engage at work.
- Presence: Your employee needs to be physically and mentally fit to fully engage.
If you satisfy Kahn’s conditions and create a sense of belonging, you can expect more effective employee engagement:
- Increased productivity
- Higher return on investment
- Higher customer ratings
- Low employee turnover
- Low absenteeism
“Engagement is an employee’s ability to harness their full self at work” – William Kahn
Do you have an employee engagement strategy in place?
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Read on to learn more about some of the most successful employee engagement strategies adopted by leading organizations all over the world.
1. Listen to Your Employees
You run the risk of declining employee engagement and losing your employees when you don’t listen to them.
Actively listening to your staff and workers builds trust and leads to fewer misunderstandings.
When employees escalate an issue, do you visibly address it?
When you resolve an issue, circle back to the employee who raised it.
Show them how they contributed to change by voicing their concerns.
This will remind them that they matter and their work is meaningful.
2. Create Open Channels of Communication
Foster employee engagement by encouraging a two-way communication flow between your managers and employees.
Employees need to feel heard and require constructive feedback from their managers.
If a staff member is threatened with job loss for expressing an opinion or if their ideas are shut down, you’ll cultivate a culture of fear.
Fear keeps employees from taking risks, being proactive and lowers employee engagement.
Employees who aren’t afraid to communicate their ideas are innovative, less risk-averse and more engaged.
Schedule in-person meetings to check in with your employees and encourage them to provide upward feedback.
Most importantly, hire skilled human resource personnel who are approachable and attentive to employee needs.
3. Train Your Employees
Help your employees excel at work through training and talent development. They will feel valued when you invest in their career advancement.
When employees have the right tools, they fill challenging roles more readily and take on more responsibilities at work.
New ideas come up as a result of training your staff. An upskilled workforce is creative and innovative, which boosts employee engagement and advocacy, which in turn attracts like-minded candidates to your company.
Before you deliver courses to your staff, take time to understand their different learning and working styles.
While some of your employees may prefer to work independently and enjoy individual learning, others may need to team up in a group learning scenario.
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4. Give Recognition Where It’s Due
When you see a job well done, reward the person responsible. Boost their morale by recognizing them publicly.
Provide avenues for your employees to share their best work in meetings. This encourages peer-to-peer learning and increases employee engagement.
5. Redesign Your Workplace for Improved Employee Engagement
Enhance employee engagement by turning your workplace into a dream office space that inspires and motivates employees to work and collaborate.
An activity-based workplace allows employees to pick a spot to work from instead of sitting in a designated work area day in, day out, without respite.
An employee can change postures, meet up with coworkers and rest in between tasks, which boosts employee engagement, on-the-job presence and productivity.
Studies show that employees who control their work experiences and environment are highly engaged.
6. Allow Employees to Work Remotely
Modern employees know they don’t have to report to work 9 to 5 every day for the job to get done.
They can perform their tasks in concert with other important aspects of their lives.
Work-life balance has become a work-life blend.
The two are integrated, and it’s no longer uncommon to answer an email while you’re at the grocery store or pick up a work call at the dinner table.
Give your team the freedom to plan how and when they’d like to get their work done and watch your employee engagement soar.
This gives them more responsibility over their time and productivity.
You can be sure they won’t drag their feet back to work.
7. Involve Your Managers in Staff Training
Employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers. Day-to-day interaction between staff and managers may increase or lower employee engagement.
The Predictive Index Management Study reported only 59% of employees who had bad managers had a passion for their jobs.
Conversely, 94% of employees with great managers were passionate about their jobs.
Make training a management task. This will give your managers useful insights into their direct reports.
When the training is completed, every manager will know how to support their team and influence employee engagement.
A good learning management system (LMS) can equip your managers with the tools they need to increase employee engagement.
For example, the checklist sign-off feature in the World Manager LMS allows managers to track an employee’s competence.
Managers can also track legal compliance when employees sign-off on a company policy document.
8. Recruit the Right People
Employee engagement begins at recruitment. Hire people who are a good fit for your company.
Ask the right questions during the interview, and only hire employees who are engaged from the start.
Once you’ve sent that ‘Welcome Onboard’ email to a new hire, start reaffirming to them that they’re well suited to the role.
Give them an in-depth orientation and assign a work buddy to show them the ropes and kick-start employee engagement.
9. Organize Social Events Outside of 9 to 5 Work
Build a thriving work community and support employee engagement by hosting social events such as potlucks, cookoffs, board game battles, and improv workshops – whatever offers a good cultural fit.
Fun activities build relationships and enable you to create an open and collaborative work environment.
Employees are able to see their coworkers in a different light, which removes the personal barriers that often prevent connection at work.
Next Steps for Improved Employee Engagement Strategies
Engaged employees go above and beyond, they stick around and always tell others about the great company they work for.
Did you know that employee engagement is higher when employees learn in groups?
They can reveal their misconceptions, communicate their ideas and learn from co-workers.
So allow your employees to collaborate on joint assignments, videos, and online simulations.
With World Manager, you can make instant in-roads towards next-level employee engagement by creating live scenario-based training, interactive courses and engaging tests.
Make the first step towards a more engaged organization. Request a quick customized demo today.
Or, download 28 free employee engagement posters to grab attention fast.