By Tracy Dehbi
What is Employee Engagement? It is an approach designed to “engage” employees to ensure they are committed to the company’s goals and values. It encourages success and well-being for the company as well as the individual employee.
According to Gallup, only 31.5% of American workers are engaged at work – That amounts to $450 billion to $550 billion per year in lost productivity! If your employees are not happy, it can lead to absenteeism, workplace accidents, and increased health care costs.
How do you encourage Employee Engagement within your organization?
- Determine your company values and/or mission statement. Involve the team – ask what the end goal is, in addition to making a profit. Be creative.
- Survey your employees. Are they happy? Do they feel engaged? What would help them feel engaged? What are their goals? Do they feel as if they have a voice? Do they feel respected by co-workers? Find out what types of programs they would like to see and get involved with?
- Focus on collaboration and respect, but do not forget about individualism. Encourage interdisciplinary work – allow someone to try another team member’s work for the day. They may be interested in learning a new skill, taking a course or even going back to school for an advanced degree. Encourage them to do so. It doesn’t mean you always have to pay for it, but you might be able to work with their schedule to make it easier for them – by allowing time for homework, letting them leave an hour early to get to class, etc.
- Keep wellness and balance in mind. Absenteeism costs the employer money. People living healthy lifestyles are less likely to get sick. Consider offering some of the following perks – allow for flex schedules, bring in someone to do yoga classes in the mornings before work, and observe summer hours.
- Encourage philanthropy and volunteerism. Spend a day out of the office volunteering, once per quarter, help the less fortunate, encourage food and toy drives around the holidays, or adopt a local school. There are many people that need help in your local area. It feels good to know you are making a difference and when you are helping someone local it keeps it personal!
Remember these are just suggestions. Customize your engagement practices to fit your office and staff. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Be creative by giving extra time off for a job well done, or tickets to a sporting event or concert. Even a hand-written note goes a long way. But you will notice a difference – your employees will feel engaged AND appreciated.