Keeping your employees engaged and focused can be a challenge at times. According to a study conducted by Hewitt Associates, June of 2010 saw the biggest decline in employee engagement in 15 years.
We’ve found some suggestions to increase employee engagement in this article titled, “Why Employees Are Less Engaged Than Ever:”
- Provide meaningful work
- Help workers understand how they fit into the ‘big picture’
- Create an empowering environment
In addition to the suggestions above, I’d like to suggest adding compassion and appreciation into the mix as well. If you want your employees to be engaged – try engaging with your employees. “Thank you” and “I understand” and “Is there anything that I can do for you?” will go a long way with your employees. If they feel that you are there for them, they will be there for you. It’s as simple as that – it’s human nature.
What do you think? What’s YOUR suggestion for increasing employee engagement? Leave a comment below with your quick tip and on August 5, 2011, we’ll pick the best two tips in our Moderators’ opinions and they will each get a $50 Amazon gift certificate awarded to them.
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UPDATE: The winners have been chosen, see who they are!
26 thoughts on “Employee Engagement: Provide A Suggestion, Win A Gift Certificate”
Happy hours each Friday.
Appoint an activities director\committee. This person or team of people lead creative activities during staff meetings, at retreats, once a month, etc…
Recognition and Reward. Keys to keep employees continually engaged.
Open up opportunities for employees to work on special projects. Some employees are working on the same things day in and day out. Breaking up the monotony will help refresh their spirits and give them something to look forward to.
At my job they recently started doing ih-house training workshops for things like leadership, writing skills and team building. Not only does this help educate the employees, it also gives them a chance to get acquainted with other employees that they normally don’t come in contact with. You would be surprised how in a small company (less than 200) some people have worked there for 5 or 10 years and don’t know each other’s names.
Staff training is the key keep staff motivated and also genuine appreciation and acknowledgement.
You need concepts to train them that are effective. Just ‘training staff’ won’t be effective, especially if your team is lacking motivation because they don’t feel they’re getting paid what they’re worth.
Place a “suggestions box” and encourage your employees to suggest new ideas without limitations, it could be efficiency improvement ideas, new products, new markets or just tips about anything to do with the workplace, show them that there is no such thing as a too insignificant idea. Choose the best idea from the box every month and really apply it! Show them they can influence, no matter what their role in the organization is, they can shape their organization. You can reward the employee that offered the best idea by letting them be part of the planning/change they suggested or something else as possible.
Treat them with respect. Communicate effectively. Listen to their suggestions and make them part of the solution. Inform any challenge and good news. Keep a healthy work environment and express appreciation.
Respect and recognition.
Respect can be shown by listening actively, asking for input, and communicating with employees regarding mission, vision, values, and their individual roles supporting the organization.
Recognition doesn’t have to cost money. Thank you cards to employees from their supervisor, from their supervisor’s boss, from each other that are hand written and given to the employee for specific reasons. Not just “Thanks Jim for being an employee,” but “Thanks Jim for your work on x, the idea you suggested made all the difference.”
Engagement goes both ways – if the management is engaged with the employees, the employees engage with management. Build a stronger company through respect and recognition.
Monthly pot lucks work wonders! Everybody loves food and eating and it gives a chance for a welcomed break of always talking about work – yet brainstorming ALWAYS happens….
I think it’s necessary to “hang out” outside the work place from time to time and change the setting. This way employees and bosses can get to know each other on a more casual level. It also helps understand how people think and work, sometimes discovering new skills that can be useful. A big part of liking your job is liking the people you work with.
Improve company culture so that employees want to come to work, to interact with their colleagues, and to work on their projects.
Providing the opportunity to work on special or outside/community projects helps with this, but there are small changes that can be made that will produce results 10x as large. Find out what little details your employees want you to change-maybe they want to have morning tea available in addition to the ubiquitous coffeepot, maybe they want you to generally not keep the air conditioning tuned to “freezing”, or maybe they just want the chance to wear jeans to the office. Little changes like these can cost the company almost nothing, but provide return on investment in the form of interested and loyal employees who are more comfortable and willing to produce more and better work.
Simply get to know your staff and take the time to say good morning and have a nice evening/weekend. Everyone likes to know they are working for someone who is human.
A wonderful way to get employees to engage is to provide small surprises for them.
At the large department store where my spouse works they tend to do things for all of the employees on Friday. Generally its a surprise like leaving out a few bags of cookies with a big jug of milk on ice and some cute cups. Other weeks its a guess how many jelly beans are in a jar contest and the winner gets to pick out any dvd they want.
Somestimes when pay or benefits are not that great things like this help build COMRADERY and help employees engage in fun competitions. It helps build morale!
Since I’ve been working with women since a few years, I’ve noticed that unfortunately, they tend to talk much more about their collegues’ bad sides than good ones…So I began, each week during our weekly team meeting, to invite noticing good acts! Everybody has to talk about a good act they have noticed about someone else!
At first, it was not natural. Everyone looked at each other, wondering if they can talk or not… and now, they use to be more confortable.
It’s in the human nature: the negative side of a collegue is easier to talk about than his good one…
I hope it will now be used in their hold life.
Remember the 3 R’s; 1. Respect 2. Recognize and 3. Reward. Engagement does not have to be formal or expensive, just genuine and regular. Quick ideas:
1. Respect. To keep loyal, engaged employees, treat them with respect EVERY day. Value their opinion, try to get their involvement in company-wide decisions. Ask for suggestions on cost saving ideas, company events, etc.
2. Recognize. Communicate; say hello by name EVERY time you pass someone. Thank them for doing a good job or just showing up to work! Catch them doing something good.
2. Reward. Lunch with the CEO, small gifts for their anniversaries, monthly “birthday parties” (can simply be cake in the lunch room with a sign listing that month’s birthdays), public awards and non-traditional “Employee of the Month” ideas.
All of these used ‘genuinely’ and regularly can make a difference in the total work environment and culture.
Random 2-3 minute dance offs when you sense that low energy vibe in the workplace. Stop all activity and play some rock, funk,hip hop, whatever and have people just shake it all out.
It creates a great break from the previous lack of energy, its fun, and its cheap.
Get to know your people. In a non-intrusive way – learn about the folks you work with. Knowing one’s “story” can work wonders on communication and build community. It’s much easier to solve problems and create solutions a community.
If the intention is to have employees pay attention to receiving emails, you can hold a contest: who responds first to an email sent at any time of day, wins a day extra annual leave (or leaves an hour before the daily schedule). Or the payout can be made to extract from the employees present at a certain time of day or even a draw between those who complete the day’s work in less time than the average.
Provide meaningful feedback and opportunities to pursue personal challenges. There should also be growth plans for each employee, showing them timelines for advancement, raises etc. based on certain performance goals.
In my opinion this always gamifies the workplace and creates a positive environment of achievement.
Create a forum to understand employee’s skills, capabilities and aspirations so that you can help/support them to improve their skills and place them in appropriate roles where employee satisfaction and organsiation productivity is increased…
I would suggest allowing employees to solve an organizational problem/issue that impacts their daily work. One way to do this is to have a competition for the best business improvement idea. Pick the top three ideas, celebrate the ideas which win and allow the employee(s) who win to implement their idea. Folks know how to save money and be more efficient – we should support them in this effort!
Ask them what they need to perform their jobs. Then listen and act on their responses. If you treat employees as if they owe you because you provide them a paycheck, then they will do just enough to receive that paycheck and little more. Sow the seeds of honoring the value of people and reap the rewards.
Our staff occasionally do “teach in’s” where a staff member shows others “how to” do something or trains staff in a new skill. This is a good way of sharing knowledge and learning something new. I’m sure a lot of companies have very knowledgeable people who can help upskill others. It values the knowledge in-house. There are some things outside trainers can’t do!