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Engaged employees are crucial: 4 ways to engage them

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This concise guide outlines four strategies to ensure your staff become engaged employees — and how to keep them happy!

Do you feel that turnover in your company is higher than it should be? Or perhaps you simply get the impression that your employees aren’t very engaged with their work?

With all the disruptions of 2020-2021, it’s no surprise if some of your employees are having a hard time. But as an employer, there’s a lot you can do to keep everyone happy and productive, and ensure you have engaged employees throughout your team — whether they’re still working remotely or they’re back in the office.

Employee engagement is the level of energy that employees invest to achieve good results and advance their business.

Engaged employees are interested in their work and enjoy it. They see a deeper meaning in their work. They know how to contribute their personal strengths to their work. You want to continuously train and develop. They think along and get involved.

4 strategies to ensure engaged employees

Here are four important things to try:

  1. Appoint (and Keep) the Right Managers

You might think that most people quit their job because they want more money, greater flexibility, or a new challenge. But actually, a staggering 50% leave to get away from their manager.

Make sure that you invest in training managers within your company, so that they know how to manage effectively and help foster the team to become engaged employees. Equally, listen to staff member’s feedback about managers. If multiple people on a team are having difficulties with their manager, that needs addressing as a priority.

  1. Show Your Employees That You Appreciate Them

You might think that employees will expect a pay rise if they’re doing a great job. But in fact, many employees will appreciate it just as much (if not more) if you simply thank them.

Make sure employees feel appreciated and valued for what they do. A simple handwritten thank you after someone has gone the extra mile could make a huge difference to their motivation and engagement with work.

Where possible, you could also offer some kind of gift to show your appreciation. This doesn’t need to be a salary boost or bonus—a coffee gift card, a food hamper, or even extra vacation time, would likely be very much appreciated and lead to more engaged employees.

  1. Make Sure You Provide Everything You Legally Should, e.g. Paystubs

It might sound basic, but your employees aren’t going to be happy if they’re not getting what they need from you. Provide your employees with everything that you legally need to.

That means paying (at least) the correct minimum wage and classifying your employees correctly. It also means giving employees the paperwork they need—such as pay stubs. In a small company, you could use a paystub generator to quickly and easily produce these.

  1. Give Employees as Much Flexibility As You Can

Everyone values flexibility to work in the way that best suits them and their lifestyle. The more flexibility you can give your employees, the easier it is for them to fully engage with their work — and that also means the more they become engaged employees. 

Where possible, be flexible about:

  • The time of day employees start and end work. Early birds might want to work from 7am – 3pm; night owls might prefer a 10am – 6pm schedule. If there’s no need for work to be done at a specific time of day, then give them that flexibility.
  • Where employees work. Even if your country or state has allowed employees back into workplaces, not everyone will feel comfortable with in-person work. Some employees may have found that they were more productive and focused at home, without a long commute or the distractions of the office.
  • How employees complete tasks. While some tasks may need to be carried out in a fixed, rigid way, others can likely be tackled in whatever way gets the desired result. Let employees achieve results however works best for them.

Satisfied employees vs engaged employees

Concepts that start with employee satisfaction do not take into account all factors that affect employee performance. Thus, measures to promote satisfaction can only be used to a limited extent to increase overall motivation. Thus, offers such as free drinks or casual Fridays can certainly improve the working atmosphere. But to motivate employees to do their best, it usually takes a little more to turn them from satisfied employees into engaged employees.

According to a survey by HR.com, 81 percent of the recruiters surveyed believe that employee engagement depends primarily on the extent to which they trust management. At the same time, the influence of workplace design is classified as relatively low: Only 37 percent believe that it affects employee engagement.

Thus, while employee satisfaction and their performance are only partially related, engaged employees can have a significant impact on the company’s result. This is also proven by a recent survey by the magazine “Harvard Business Review”, in which 75 percent of all surveyed company managers confirmed that commitment and performance usually go hand in hand.

It has been shown that companies whose engaged employees are committed have better results, higher productivity rates, lower turnover rates and fewer violations of safety regulations.

Conclusion

In short: Engaged employees strive to do their best and thus contribute effectively to the “success of their company. So it is obvious why employee engagement is so important for companies and why both sides – management and employees – should be interested in promoting it. In order for everyone to pull together, a precisely tailored, effective program to promote employee engagement is recommended.

The concept of employee engagement goes back to William Kahn, professor at Boston University, who first introduced it in 1990. It says that employees can and want to fully develop their potential. If they are given the opportunity to do so, engaged employees then take responsibility for their work, performance and the working atmosphere.

Kahn’s findings heralded a significant change for companies. Until then, an approach had been taken that focused on employee satisfaction. Instead, focusing on employee engagement offers decisive advantages.

The above ideas cost you little or nothing. They could reap huge benefits, though, with reduced turnover, more engaged employees and increased happiness and productivity.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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