A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how a lack of employee engagement negatively impacts business. Now, there’s enough negativity in the world so, this week, why don’t we focus on the positive? First, I thought I would share some encouraging stats about highly engaged employees (via Towers Perrin)
- Eighty-four percent of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact the quality of their organization’s products, compared with only 31 percent of the disengaged.
- Seventy-two percent of highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service, versus 27 percent of the disengaged.
Employee Engagement in Canada
The chart to the right shows the result of a semi-annual Employee Engagement survey conducted by The Management Journal (chart sourced from Canada HR Centre.) I don’t know about you, but, to me, these numbers are simply not acceptable. There are so many solutions to this issue that there really is no reason why 75% of the workforce should be actively disengaged or not engaged. Now, there will never be 100% engagement in employees, but the number should be much higher than 25%. Employers have a responsibility to their employees and it seems like too many companies simply aren’t taking those responsibilities seriously. On the other hand, it could be that these employers simply don’t know how to engage their employees.
Here at Take Roots, we like to focus on the solutions as much as possible; so, let’s discuss the ways in which employers can engage their employees.
“Where there’s a communications problem—we see an opportunity for a solution!” – Take Roots
There are many tried and tested methods to engage employees—below are a few of my favourites.
Let Their Voices Be Heard
Let me start this off with a question: Do you feel more comfortable speaking your mind with someone who has been receptive to your ideas and opinions, or someone who immediately shuts you down without giving you a chance? I’m going to go ahead and guess that it’s the former. If employees feel like their opinions aren’t being considered, most of the time, they’re just going to stop trying to find ways to help improve the company they work for.
Employees need to feel like their voice is valued; when they do, they become much more active in the day-to-day operation of the business. Every idea isn’t going to be perfect but the fact that they’re even concerned with improving the business should be seen as nothing but positive. My advice? Listen. Discuss. Consider. Provide feedback. Showing interest in their suggestions will keep them engaged and they may just find a great way to improve the business! I love a good win-win.
Get to Know Each Other
If an office has less than 20 employees, it’s usually quite easy for everyone to get to know each other. However, in larger organizations it can be quite tricky; it’s easy to get caught-up in the everyday hustle and bustle without really getting to know your colleagues. This is why it’s important to plan special events that give employees a chance to get to know each other in a more casual setting. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or extravagant—luncheons or office games a couple of times a month are a great way for employees to mingle.
One of my favourite ways to get employees more acquainted with each other is to have an office fundraiser. This often allows people from different departments to work together who normally wouldn’t have the chance to do so. Plus, there’s something about working towards a greater goal, such as raising money for a local charity that really brings people together.
Some employers and managers seem to forget that employees do have lives outside of work. Shocking—I know! All joking aside, as nice as it would be from a business perspective for employees to be thinking about their job 24/7, it’s just not realistic. People have families. People have hobbies. Not to mention, people need a mental break from “the office” from time-to-time so that they can be much more effective during work hours. Offering the opportunity to occasionally work from home or take personal days will go a long way in giving employees the balance they need in their lives.
…And so much more
There are literally dozens more ways in which employees can be engaged. From effective internal communications to providing career and education opportunities, employers are not without options. Don’t just stop at one idea—employee engagement should be seen as an ongoing initiative!
Want a more in-depth plan to engage your employees? Contact us to discuss how Take Roots can help!