Strategies for Effective Employee Engagement in the Workplace
Whether we consider the pandemic or not, effective employee engagement in the workplace should be the top priority for companies. After all, when employees aren't motivated and supported, the rest of our strategies reign useless.
With the pandemic and its extreme effects on our world, our lifestyles, and our businesses, employee engagement is more important than ever. Unfortunately, nearly 100,000 businesses have had to shut their doors for good since 2020, and the restrictions to protect us have made it difficult for business owners to adjust their strategies and sustain workflow.
“Employee engagement is an even stronger predictor of performance during tough times such as economic recessions like we are in today.”- Gallup.
For the respective companies that were able to handle these significant impacts, most operations have shifted online. Zoom meetings and Google teams have become the primary form of communication, and it's been life-changing. Businesses can still operate, but people are distracted, restless, and languishing, forced to sit in their home offices all day staring at a screen. It's painfully boring and takes away any sense of teamwork and community that once existed. And thus, employee disengagement creeps in.
This is where you take charge and develop strategies to boost employee engagement and salvage your company community. You need your employees, and they need you.
"Employees should be able to cope better with increasing COVID-19 infection rates if they have a leader who shows consideration, defined as ‘leadership behavior that involves concern for employees' well-being, expressions of support, and displays of warmth and approachability" - Lambert et al.
Why Prioritize Employee Engagement in the Workplace?
It’s simple. Employee engagement has a full-circle effect on your entire company, including the bottom line. Some leaders believe that’s a bit of a stretch—those who believe when employees show up on time every day is proof enough that they’re happy to be there. We hate to break it to you (we don’t—this is important), but engagement means your employees are committed to your company—motivated to do their best work, and have the company’s best interests in mind. Just because someone clocks in every day, it does not mean they’re happy to do so.
We're going to summarize some of the pitfalls that result when employees aren't engaged. Please read carefully.
- High churn rate: Employees seek out work elsewhere and can walk out at any given moment.
- Low productivity: If someone doesn't care about their work, they likely won't try to excel.
- Poor work quality: Like productivity, disengaged employees won't put in the effort to do their jobs well. Even if they keep up with the workflow, the quality of their performance sinks.
- Decreased profitability: High churn rates mean you consistently hire and train new staff. Low productivity and work quality mean missed deadlines and loss of customers. And the results—decreased profitability.
On the other hand, organizations with engaged employees experience a 10% increase in customer rankings and a 20% boost in sales. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless benefits of effective employee engagement strategies, so let’s get you started.
5 Strategies to Increase Employee Engagement—and How to Implement Them
Cultivate and sustain a positive work culture:
Surroundings affect people in many ways, so surround everyone with positivity—especially in a time of uncertainty. Workplace culture is the values, belief systems, and attitudes that you and your employees share. A positive workplace culture improves teamwork, raises morale, increases productivity and efficiency, and enhances employee retention.
How to implement:
- Ensure good communication - Be courteous, clear, and proactive at all times.
- Encourage teamwork - People are naturally social and thrive off working together.
- Provide growth opportunities - Remember that the old punch the clock for a paycheck system is exhausted. Give your employees a chance to better themselves, reach further, and grow with the company.
And above all, give everyone a chance to be heard and allow for honest feedback.
Tip: Consider sending out positive weekly emails on Monday so everyone can start the work week with a smile.
Have a code of values:
A company's core values should be determined at the very beginning stages of development. They define what matters most to your company and the goals everyone is working towards to grow and succeed. Plus, everyone should feel a sense of belonging to be genuinely engaged, and when everyone follows the same code, a community develops.
How to implement:
- If you haven’t already (shame on you), you must define your core values as a company. What are your beliefs? Goals?
- Share these values with every employee, preferably from the day they’re hired.
- Sharing and promoting these values is not enough. As a leader, you must live by them. Seeing how dedicated you are will encourage your employees to form an emotional commitment to the company.
If your employees are kept in the dark, they won't fully commit to their work. That's like asking someone to go pick up lunch without telling them where you ordered from (We take lunch very seriously around here). The end goal is there, but they're in the dark about everything else. It's wildly ineffective and a sure way to push your employees away.
So, keep everyone in the loop. Of course, there will be times when you can't share certain information—that's understandable. But if you're transparent about anything that affects them directly, you'll build a sense of trust.
How to implement:
This strategy should be a piece of cake. Be honest! Let your teams know about any decisions being made, shifting priorities, or other situations that involve them, especially with a majority of work being remote. It's even harder to see the big picture when everyone's just looking through a screen.
Offer remote mental health care:
Aside from the physical illnesses, the pandemic has brought down on so many people, it's taken a toll on everyone's mental health as well. Again, the uncertainty, isolation, and feelings of loneliness for extended periods wear us down. Be the leader your employees need and let them know you support them.
How to implement:
- Be open with everyone in the company about the importance of mental health and that you want to support anyone struggling.
- Encourage mental health days—inform your employees that they can take the time they need to heal without the fear of termination.
- Foster social interaction and connections.
- Offer group chats or remote counselling. Some companies will host "coffee hours" where they provide employees with a digital gift card to popular coffee shops, encourage them to take a 30-minute break to grab a cup, and jump back online to chat with each other.
Tip: Any community-building, self-care activities your company can provide can make a significant difference in employee mental health struggles.
Recognize individual and team efforts:
This one's self-explanatory. All you have to do is give credit where credit is due. Show everyone how much their contributions are appreciated and how the company has progressed because of them.
Regular recognition from peers and managers helps employees feel connected, appreciated, and valued.
Teamwork and Positivity During a Pandemic
When you work with a highly motivated, high-morale team, you most likely enjoy what you do. A sense of community and belonging combined with positivity makes any task more enjoyable. It may even make employees, dare we say, excited to go to work, even during a pandemic.
Since 2020, our world has been separated, scared, and confused. We've quarantined, lost jobs, socially distanced, and have done our best to stick together, but we can still find ourselves feeling alone. For those of us fortunate enough to remain employed, we want to be in a place of positivity. Everything is difficult right now, so to be able to work knowing you'll be greeted with smiling faces and helping hands reduces those looming feelings and reminds us that everything will be okay
Remember, anything that happens in the workplace can reach beyond company walls and make a difference in employees' lives. Teamwork and positivity are a necessity, no matter what.
Engage Your Employees With rready
rready provides leaders with all the right tools to build an innovative work environment. Your team members look to you for guidance and inspiration. Be the innovative leader they want to see and guide your organization down the path to success. You already have your company's ideas and big plans. You’ve harnessed the greatest characteristics of innovative leaders. So take action and keep the inspiration flowing.
rready has been helping organizations build innovative, supportive work environments for years. We can guide you through developing and implementing an effective employee engagement workplace strategy, creating a culture that will continuously drive productivity and improve your bottom line. Recognize your team, their hard work, and give them the tools for success. If you're rready to motivate your employees and transform your business, Contact us todayGet started today