Staff engagement is becoming a pressing human resources challenge in this decade. In fact, a Gallup report found that 70 percent of U.S. workers were either not engaged or were actively disengaged at work.
One key element in engaging employees is by having a corporate culture that is warm, collaborative and inclusive. An engaged workplace leads directly to higher profitability, increased customer ratings and reduced turnover.
Here are some ways how you can prioritize your company culture to boost employee engagement:
1. Begin at the top
The company’s management team are the first ones who should be displaying positive characteristics and behavior toward the employees. Staff members should see the leadership demonstrating the characteristics everyone else is being asked to display. In companies where top tier executive model the desired behavior, employees are 55 percent more engaged, 53 percent more focused and more likely to stay at the company.
Managers should also be accessible and visible around the office, so that employees see them as approachable and available for guidance and assistance. They should also empower employees by trusting them with sensitive information and tasks as it gives staff members a sense of deeper investment in the company. This helps to create a more cooperative team atmosphere, as opposed to an “us versus them” perception of the management-employee relationship.
2. Appreciate people’s hard work
Saying “thank you” to staff members is such a simple thing, but it’s often overlooked, especially in large companies. When managers and fellow team members acknowledge one’s good work, it builds trust, restores strained relationships and energizes the workplace. Employees with appreciative supervisors are 1.3 times more likely to stay with the company and are 67 percent more engaged.
Additionally, you should publicly recognize employees for their contributions and achievements. This not only motivates each of those individuals to continue doing great work, but also their peers.
3. Be flexible
Sometimes, experience and education don’t guarantee performance. The most skilled candidate will fail if he has a poor attitude. Emphasize hiring for the right behaviors and personality traits for your culture. If the candidate is not the most skilled but has a good attitude, you can be flexible in hiring and offer him training in desired skills.
Being flexible also means you are open to giving employees the freedom to adjust their work schedules or location to better suit their needs. Workers with flexible hours and locations are more productive, happier and more engaged than 8-to-5 cubicle jockeys.
4. Promote a fun and friendly atmosphere
Some offices feature game rooms where employees can break for a game of pinball or air hockey between projects, relax and laugh with colleagues, and reenergize. Having fun together not only breaks up the routine but also encourages creativity and collaboration.
You can have a sports festival or a Casual Friday, where employees can wear funny costumes and dress codes. Management must also get in on the action, which further contributes to authenticity, visibility, and communication.
Your company can also support philanthropic causes by involving employees and management in volunteer projects. Working together to help others demonstrates that the company isn’t just about making money, but about making a difference in the world. Activities such as volunteering can give a direct increase in engagement and productivity among employees.
5. Trust employees with recruitment
One good way to empower and engage employees is by trusting them with recruiting future team members. Your employees are your brand ambassadors. They are familiar with your company culture and are best suited to refer the right candidates for matching open positions.
By allowing them to refer new hires, it shows that you trust their judgment and opinion when it comes to finding potential employees.
If your business is looking to try referral recruitment but you have no idea how to get started, Firstbird can help you. Firstbird specializes in helping companies build effective referral recruitment programs. Register here today!
Do you have other ideas on how to effectively engage employees? Tell us in the comment section below!