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How to boost employee engagement

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One of the key drivers of a productive working environment is employee engagement. Happy employees simply do more than their unhappy colleagues, they are more willing to go the extra mile because they feel appreciated and a greater sense of belonging to the business.

There are a large number of factors that affect employee engagement, including leadership interaction, communications, career development opportunities, reward and recognition, team management and equality in the workplace. These are just a few areas that contribute to engagement but there are many more.

The first step in being able to improve your current levels of engagement is to identify where improvements are required. There are a few options for this, such as using Exit interviews to uncover issues or creating a forum for employees to discuss any concerns. One of the most common ways of measuring engagement is to conduct an annual employee survey with a number of questions covering each category of engagement.

Employee engagement surveys

This approach can soon identify problematic areas. So if you are wondering why a certain area has a high attrition rate, the survey might just give you some data to help you to change that pattern of people leaving. Using a mix of multiple choice questions and open questions are most commonly adopted to get a good range of valuable data.

Many companies will conduct a full survey once a year and do smaller ‘pulse’ surveys on a more frequent basis. A lot can happen in a year, so if you do not have any recent data to go off, you could find you have missed lots of opportunities for keeping talented workers, for example.

Some of the key areas that you should cover in your survey are:

Career development opportunities

For many employees, knowing that their career can develop over the next five, ten or even more years is really important. There are some people that might be happy doing the same job, the same way for years but that doesn’t make for an innovative environment. Providing career development opportunities will help to strengthen the skills of employees and therefore result in a more effective workforce.

Collaborative working

Teams that work well together, get better results, it really is that simple. Depending on the nature of the roles, collaborative working can have a huge impact on the success of a team. Teamwork can be enhanced through managers developing an environment where collaborative working is welcomed. Another great way to boost collaborative working is to take some time out of the workplace for team building. There are some great opportunities such as adventure style team building activities, or strategic thinking based activities such as treasure hunts or survival type games. Whilst enhancing the team spirit, you can also inject a bit of fun into the activities, which will make employees feel bonded with their colleagues.

Recognition

If you cannot afford to give your team a pay rise then get creative with recognition schemes. It can be something as simple as setting up a voting system where peers and managers can vote for their colleagues to show their appreciation of the work they have done. Sharing good news stories about successful projects or someone who has gone above the responsibilities of their role also works well.

Leadership communication

In larger businesses, employees can feel detached from the executive team and this can lead to them not feeling fully part of the business. Introducing ways of improving leadership communication with videos or blog style communications from execs can help this.

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