The results of a recent Gallup survey showed that only 31 percent of U.S. employees are actively engaged at work. And when engagement slips, so do morale, productivity and profitability.
If you feel like you can relate this discouraging statistic, take heart. There are many effective ways to address the issue of declining job satisfaction – and financial rewards may be less important than you think. If you truly listen to your employees and acknowledge their unique needs, you’ll see both engagement and business results take an upward swing.
People who are given creative freedom are more driven to succeed because they have personal interest invested in their work. Of course, you still need employees to achieve desired results, but they don’t always have to follow an identical script to get there.
- Collaboration breeds creativity. Consider creating a common room or workspace where employees can gather to brainstorm, share ideas and work toward common goals. Also encourage collaboration outside of work, whether it’s forming softball or kickball teams, going to Happy Hour once a month, or attending local sporting events together.
Seek employee feedback.
Take a proactive approach to seeking employee input. Some team members may be hesitant to speak up, especially if there’s a problem or they’re introverted by nature. So, be sure to give each individual the opportunity to be heard.
- Don’t just talk. Listen. To be an active listener, let an employee do most of the talking. Until they feel you’re heard them out, avoid asking questions, interrupting or jumping in with advice too soon. Know when it’s your turn to speak and even then, keep a healthy two-way flow going.
As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, negativity costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion a year. Strive continuously to promote a positive company culture. A few tips include:
- Never demeaning or belittling people when they make a mistake. Instead, take the high road and use it as a learning opportunity.
- Creating a fun environment. This can be as elaborate as game rooms and ping pong tables, or as cost-free as Friday dress-down days.
Unless they have a healthy work/life balance, employees won’t be happy on either count. Allow for as much flexibility as possible, whether it’s through telecommuting or switching hours to accommodate personal needs and commitments.
Reward and recognize.
Employees thrive in workplaces where they know their efforts are valued. When managers effectively convey their gratitude, they’re more likely to achieve better results from team members. On the f lip side, if recognition is deserved but not given, people will gradually channel their efforts elsewhere.
- Reward appropriately using a performance-based system. Some companies use an Employee of the Month program, while others have tiered processes. Whatever works best for your organization, be sure to tailor rewards to each individual. Tickets to the opera may be an awesome award for one person, whereas another team member would prefer a family pass to the local amusement park.
These are just a few ideas to get your own creativity flowing as you seek to keep employee engagement at peak levels – especially as spring and summer approach. For additional resources, read our related posts or contact TRC Professional Solutions today.