Employee engagement is about creating a high performing workforce, where your employees care about your organisation, and strongly believe in your mission, purpose and values.
It’s not just about how satisfied or happy your employees are, because this doesn’t always mean that they are working productively. Employees who are engaged have an emotional commitment to working towards your organisational goals – they aren’t just working for a promotion or pay cheque.
It’s also important to remember that engagement can’t be forced – either by the organisation or employees. It has to be part of the company culture, ingrained into the business and each employee.
Here are 5 top actionable tips towards creating a culture of employee engagement:
It’s not always about money
You don’t always need to invest significant amounts of money to engage your employees. It’s more about taking the time to listen, so that staff feel seen, heard and recognised. By placing more focus on listening to staff, you can identify potential areas for improvement within the office environment. This can boost morale and increase engagement, and you may find that a lot of these ideas require little to no financial investment.
Give staff flexibility
Offering flexibility around working hours can decrease stress levels, as flexible working can give employees a more positive work-life balance, in return making them more productive and engaged.
It could be that family life is impacting on employee productivity and performance, so it’s important to listen to your staff and take into account the ever changing demands of modern working life. Using this insight you can adapt your flexible working policy accordingly, which can help to reduce leavism and prevent stress and burnout.
We all know that it feels good to give back, so offering volunteering opportunities within the workplace is a great way to boost morale and positivity and strengthen peer relationships which can in turn increase team productivity.
By offering your employees the opportunity to volunteer for a cause that they’re passionate about, you are deepening their connection to your organisation’s mission and purpose and increasing their engagement.
Look after employee health and wellbeing
The obvious benefit to this is that healthier employees are absent less often, so by encouraging a healthy workforce you are reducing sickness absence and making substantial cost savings. Healthy employees are also more motivated at work, at less risk of long term illness and recover more quickly if they do become sick.
You can promote healthy living by providing resources and encouraging healthy eating habits such as encouraging staff to drink water and providing free fruit. In winter months, you could consider providing staff with a flu jab to help prevent winter illness.
With mental health issues affecting 1 in 4 of us in the UK each year, it’s increasingly important that workplaces are offering the right support and taking a positive approach to mental health awareness. When your employees know that they can comfortably discuss issues relating to their mental health, they are more likely to be engaged.
Practice what you preach
You may state through policies that you have a positive approach to employee health and wellbeing, mental health, and other areas which make a positive contribution towards employee engagement, but your staff need to see this in practice to really experience the benefits.
The way you promote your brand values internally should also reflect any promises made externally. Your claim to be a thought-leading, innovative provider of products or services won’t carry credibility if your employees don’t live and believe in the brand values and promises themselves.
Return to the IoD Mental Health hub