The term is well-known and most of us are well-versed with what employee engagement means and what benefits it can offer to employees and companies alike. Employees who feel engaged in the workplace can:
- Improve profitability
- Reduce turnover and absence
- Increase productivity
The decision-making participation and vision alignment improves between the company and its employees; with both sides developing a deep sense of responsibility and accountability to one another.
But whether a company has 10 employees or 10,000, keeping everyone connected and engaged can be quite a challenge, and more importantly, it’s not an overnight job. Employee engagement is a subtle and gradual process that requires carefully measured steps and patience.
Here are 7 steps on how to build a deep, meaningful bond with employees through engagement activities:
#1 Involve Employees in Decision Making Processes
Every financial quarter or bi-annually, familiarise your employees with the main issues and policy changes introduced to address those issues. Involve your team when brainstorming future plans or taking key decisions about business strategies. Involvement in such activities will bestow responsibility on employees but also show them the company respects and values their ideas, opinions, and input. You can ask for their feedback for big or small decisions like a change in company’s vacation policy or something like the company’s hiring strategies and resources.
#2 Show Them The Money
Nothing builds trust like sharing financial sheets, position, and general information. Josh Carlile, CEO at WritingsGuru, says that’s exactly what you should do in your company. Give your team a brief extract of the company’s financial position and document their general feedback. Share a specific metric such as net turn over, profits, revenue growth numbers but you have to determine what details you are comfortable sharing and what employees want to hear about.
Most companies aren’t comfortable sharing financial figures with employees but the consequence of such a decision is not in any way threatening to you or the company. Employees get a better idea if they contribute to the company and its goals while reinforcing their moral commitment to the company.
#3 “A Sound Mind In A Sound Body”
The Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” symbolises that a fit body achieved through physical exercise is essential for mental or psychological well-being. The Most engaging activity of all time is physical participation; be it in corporate sporting events, office games or an outdoor activity that’s sponsored by the organization. Physical health has a direct relationship with productivity, reduces stress and improves overall motivation of the team.
#4 Start a Mentorship Program
Coaching and mentoring shouldn’t stop after an employee’s initial on-boarding process. Some people will come up to inquire if they can be mentored by a senior or expert, others might depend on the company to assign a coach. You can offer voluntary weekly coaching sessions to talk about the strategies that will help individual members performance. Such programs will help your team in improving their role and participation in the overall, day-to-day happenings of the company.
#5 Increase Employees’ Value
Today’s employees are aware that they must always be updating their skills and knowledge to stay at the top of their game. Use a collaborative approach and offer opportunities that help employees to further grow, professionally and personally, by providing the time and budget for continuing education. Try and offer engagement tasks that will help them add value to their professional expertise. Broaden employees’ horizons by offering an open space for them to learn and create that which they’re passionate about.
#6 Ask Your Employees
Let the process come a full circle and ask employees themselves what it is they would like to be involved to feel more engaged with the organization. You can ask employees individually if the teams are small, but if there are a lot of people in your organization, you can invite anonymous feedback. ALthough it’s not their responsibility to come up with such ideas, like the great Jack Donaghy said, “There are no bad ideas, only great ideas that go horribly wrong.”
#7 Maintain Lines of Communication
Ask the managers of your organization to setup a weekly meeting to see where their direct reports need resources, any new ideas they have, and how things are going in their role. You’ll find that both managers and direct reports will look forward to these meetings and use them like a strategy session to improve their department on a weekly basis. Engage companies rely on open internal communications. If you’re looking for growth ideas for employees then a DR meeting would be at the top of the list.
Bottom line, Employee engagement is a crucial organizational effort that requires long-term vision in a business strategy. Only if these strategies are designed to improve productivity and retention rates.
You have to identify what your company needs and develop the right strategy. Only then should you focus on how to measure employee engagement and what activities to implement.