20 Ideas to Get Employees More Engaged

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Declan DarbyshireContent Writer

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Working towards improving employee engagement levels within your organization is important, and is probably on the minds of HR managers across the globe. After all, if your employees are engaged, their output is likely to improve - every company wants to attract and retain the best talent.

Article 11 Minutes

The only problem with this is that employees in the job market today tend to quickly feel uninspired by their work and end up bored after 1-2 years, before finding something new and leaving you with a role to fill.

Employee engagement aims to keep employees inspired within their role.

This is a problem faced by organizations worldwide, and so in an attempt to help you, we’ve put together these 21 employee engagement ideas that could work for your business. Implement a few and see what happens.

1. Encourage your employees to speak up

It’s common to see employees withhold ideas and suggestions because they don’t feel comfortable speaking their mind within the workplace. If people don’t speak up, you could be missing out on valuable ideas and suggestions that could help the business in the long run.

Try keeping an “open door” policy where employees are encouraged to speak with managers and colleagues around the business about what’s on their mind at the time. Create a safe place for communication and you’ll likely find your employees bring more to the table as they know their ideas and suggestions will be listened to and acknowledged.

2. Offer healthy options at work

Most offices have an abundance of snacks for consumption throughout the day - often these are unhealthy crisps and chocolate from vending machines. Only recently has eating healthier in the office become a trend. The food you consume during the work day can have a larger impact on your production than most people believe.

Not all foods release energy to the body in the same way, some foods release glucose very quickly, giving the consumer a burst of energy, followed swiftly by a slump. While fattier foods give you the energy you need, but then end up using this to digest these foods, leading you to feeling groggy and lacking concentration.

Offering natural and healthy snacks around the office allows employees to snack and keep on top of their energy levels without the slump or groggy feeling many other foods give you. Try to have nuts, fruits and protein bars on hand for curbing that need to snack.

  • Offer healthy snacks
  • Avoid fatty foods at lunch

3. Aid employees with personal growth

As individuals, personal growth is important. People need to feel like they’re consistently growing and getting better at what they do.

When they’re not growing and challenging themselves, they can often become bored - something nobody wants from their employees. Furthermore, if people see their coworkers growing and progressing while they aren’t, it can feel like they’re regressing and slowly getting worse within their role.

Companies and businesses often fail when it comes to promoting personal growth because they focus on what they know works already, rather than experimenting.

  • Offer courses and coaching
  • Encourage personal development

4. Create an engaging experience for new starters

Onboarding new employees tends to be left down to HR, after all it is their job, right? Well, yes, but managers and other employees should also make it a priority to create an engaging experience for new starters.

From day one, this new employee will be forming their own perception of your company, so make sure you make them feel welcomed and valued as a member of the team from the beginning.

Create a comprehensive onboarding plan that all managers know about and provide onboarding training to help managers feel more comfortable and confident within this crucial timeframe.

  • Make new starters feel welcome
  • Create an onboarding plan

5. Spice up the work environment

Working 9-5 can get a little tedious at times, so mixing up the work environment might be a great idea to save your employees becoming bored and switching on their autopilot.

Next time you need to hold a team meeting, get up and go do it in the park. The next 1-2-1 you hold, switch it up and go out for lunch instead of sitting in the office. Something as simple as standing desks and comfortable chairs can make all the difference.

  • Mix things up with meetings

6. Celebrate your employees

When someone creates a great piece of work, or confirms a new client, the work often takes all the praise, while the person who put the work in gets little more than a pat on the back.

However, recognition can go a long way when it comes to engaging employees.

Instead of celebrating the piece of work or the onboarding of a new client, celebrate the person who created or secured the client. Celebrate birthdays, hand out treats and rewards for those working hard - make your employees feel like it’s not just the work they’re producing that you’re celebrating, but them as an individual.

  • Celebrate employees, not just their achievements

7. Perform strength assessments

If managers understand the individual strengths of each employee on their team, they can utilize their strengths and put them to good use. This will keep your employees more engaged in their work and maximize their potential.

Set up an assessment framework for managers so they know how to make the most of their team.

  • Allow employees to work towards their strengths
  • Help managers carry out strength assessments

8. Be a motivating manager

Being a manager is about more than just ordering your employees around the office to complete work - your employees know their job and want to be advised and coached.

It’s been proven that organizations with employees who engage in frequent and effective coaching exercises and talks can improve business results by up to 21%. Try to be a motivating manager who helps their team and employees, rather than an ordering boss who just tells them what they should be doing.

Not only should apply this practice to your own team but help coach the other managers within the business to adopt the same attitude.

  • Manage your team rather than bossing your team

9. Ask employees for advice

This seems obvious, but it’s something that a lot of business don’t do. Your employees all have unique life experiences and strengths that can be used to help you as a manager.

Consulting your employees and asking for their opinion and advice on problems shows they’re respected and their opinion is wanted. When you receive feedback from employees, put it into action and allow them to see that their voice is being heard.

  • Ask your employees for advice
  • Show your employees their voice has been heard

10. Encourage individuals

During the hiring process, you often ask people for their strengths, weaknesses, hobbies and experiences - all of these things make them individuals. So why would you ignore these things once they’ve been hired?

When employees feel they’re able to be themselves at work, they’ll often feel more engaged and encouraged, which only means their output is going to improve. Learn about each employee individually, find out what drives them. Do they follow football? What’s their favorite holiday destination? How do they like to unwind? Encourage personalities.

  • Learn about employees
  • Encourage personalities

11. Get everyone socializing

Obviously employees are going to engage with one another and socialize within the workplace; it’s almost impossible for them not to. However, this socializing is based around their work and their day to day activities.

Instead, try organizing a night out or team lunches where everyone is able to loosen up and enjoy themselves outside of work, creating new relationships with the people they work alongside.

  • Organize social events outside the office
  • Encourage employees to build new relationships

12. Encourage employees to take advantage of failures

When a mistake or bad decision is made, it presents a prime opportunity to capitalize and build trust. Instead of pointing out how the mistake came about and all it’s negatives, look at the positives.

Use this as an example to other people so the same mistake isn’t made again, explain how the mistake can be avoided in the future.

  • Take advantage of failure

13. Provide flexible work hours/location

During the hiring process, you look out for trustworthy people you believe can get the job done! So why do you then treat them like children and chain them to their desks from 9am-5pm every day?

You need to trust your employees to get their job done without you looking over their shoulder. When you give your employees the freedom to work flexible hours or even work remotely, it’s likely to result in them feeling valued and respected as a member of the business, which in turn lifts engagement and boosts their output.

  • Have faith in your employees
  • Allow a flexible workplace

14. Celebrate employees moving on

So your star employee has decided that their time with the company is over and they’ve handed in their resignation. This is a big hit to you and the organization, but it shouldn’t be treated as a negative. They’ve put in their own time and effort while working for you, and now it’s time for them to move on with their life - and that’s definitely worth celebrating!

  • Celebrate people moving on

15. Make work fun

Work doesn’t always have to be 100% serious. Yes, you’re there to do a job, but why does that mean you can’t have fun while doing so?

We’re not suggesting you get the football up on a big screen, hand out beers and slap some burgers on a BBQ, but you can still liven up the office. Offices tend to have a bit of fear factor attached to them; when people think of offices, they often think of serious suit and tie business people.

The trick is to remove this fear, let people be themselves and have a little fun, organize team building exercises, plan an event. Just stop being so serious all the time!

  • Organize team building
  • Plan an event

16. Emphasize work-life balance

Focusing too much on work can lead to an imbalance in employee personal lives. If there’s too much work and they don’t feel like they’re getting enough downtime, this can leave them feeling stressed and overworked which only ruins their productivity and fosters a poor company culture.

Each employee is individual and so their needs might also be unique. Take the time to understand their personal situations and provide possible solutions to help them better manage their work-life balance. This could be helping out with child care or allowing leave for employees who want to get a pet.

  • Don’t overwork employees
  • Create tailored solutions for a better work-life balance

17. Preach core values

It’s important to have company values and a goal in place from the get-go. Once you’ve got core values in place, it’s important to stick to them. Everything you or your business do should be centered around these core values and end goal - Whether that’s hiring, firing, onboarding, promoting etc.

  • Preach core values
  • Hire people who embody your values

18. Respect your employees

Every relationship should be built on trust and respect, and this is no different within the workplace; show your employees respect and they’re much more likely to respect you in return. If your employees feel respected and valued at work, their output and attitude will improve.

  • Respect employees and they’ll respect you in return

19. Promote wellness in the office

Everyone gets stressed sometimes, and that includes your employees. Everyone wants a high-performing team, but there’s a fine line between high-performing and overworking - a line you should never cross.

The American Institute of Stress says 40% of employees find their job extremely stressful. This could be down to work schedules, home life, a lack of personal time etc. Promote wellness in the office by encouraging meditation and yoga groups, monitoring employee workloads or even showing a little compassion when they seem busy or stressed out.

  • Watch out for stressed employees
  • Encourage wellness activities such as meditation or yoga

20. Try a motivational speaker

Shake up the workday by bringing a motivational speaker to talk to your employees. A little inspiration on a Monday morning can go a long way to encouraging and promoting a good working environment.

If a motivational speaker isn’t for you, you could always look at creativity workshops or team building exercises. Employees will probably be grateful for the opportunity to learn from experts and the activities themselves can be great for building relationships.

  • Invite a motivational speaker into the office
  • Look into creative workshops or team building exercises

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Declan Darbyshire

Declan writes and edits content on behalf of Amber Jack, global experts in future talent and volume recruitment outsourcing, technology and assessment, delivering unparalleled results by applying intelligent insights, innovative technology and passion.

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