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7 tips to increase employee engagement
  • 02 February 2016
  • Elvis Michael

7 tips to increase employee engagement

According to Gallup, only 31.7 percent of workers play an active and committed role in the workplace. This means that as a business owner, you rely on a small minority of your staff to help propel your company forward by going the extra mile, taking the initiative, and putting extra effort into their daily tasks. Statistics further show that many workers lack motivation and fail to devote the attention required to drive innovation. The good news is that implementing a few best practices can help you initiate and maintain a high level of productivity among your employees.

Lead by example
It can be difficult for employees to become engaged when they don’t feel like their leader is. In this regard, being a motivated self-starter prompts employees to follow in your footsteps, resulting in increased productivity and better performance. Strive to work harder and more efficiently and promote collaboration by keeping your office door open.

Recognize your employees
In today’s busy, sometimes hectic workplace environments, this simple, yet crucial practice is often ignored or forgotten. Publicly acknowledging the value each employee brings to the company and showing gratitude via a simple thank you goes a long way and reminds your staff that you genuinely appreciate when they’re showing effort. A small bonus or lunch invite also works well and shows employees that not only do you think their contribution is valuable, but you also want to get to know them on a personal level.

Be flexible
Flexible schedules and other freedoms help keep employees happier, which in turn gives them more motivation to help the company succeed. When possible, provide scheduling options or even the choice to occasionally work from home. If this simply isn’t possible within your organization, you can still give employees the option to work late and come in to the office closer to lunch time.

Assess the overall situation
Increasing employee engagement often requires a closer examination of each individual. Demonstrate a legitimate interest by getting to know them both personally and professionally. Discuss their interests, find out what inspires them, where they excel and which areas they could use help. You should also have formal meetings with each employee where you can praise them, offer constructive advice and provide incentive for them to act upon it.

Establish a friendly culture
Employee productivity is often affected by your company's physical environment and conditions. Your business should have uncluttered and vibrant work spaces where employees feel energized. For example, windows that let in natural light help create a bright, positive atmosphere. Promote a positive company culture around your office by trying new ideas like holiday decorations, team building exercises, dog friendly Fridays, and casual dress days.

Alleviate stressful situations
Unfortunately, on-the-job stress is sometimes unavoidable. Tight deadlines and unrealistic expectations are among the top reasons workers feel overwhelmed. This type of environment can lead to subpar performance, lack of motivation and general discontent. Provide room to breathe by implementing more realistic deadlines and bringing in additional staff during busy periods. Also, encourage employees to take (but not abuse) a morning and afternoon break, which can help them recharge, refocus and re-engage.

Encourage diverse work opportunities
When their job consists of routine, repetitive tasks, it’s common for employees to lose their passion and just start going through the motions. Help them get their fire back by providing them with new tasks and responsibilities, even if these won’t be something you require regularly. This can include having them contribute ideas to projects normally outside their sphere of responsibility. Enlisting employees in this way challenges them, makes them feel respected and ensures that they remain thoughtful and engaged.

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