Successfully connect with staff members using these effective tactics
The majority of workers around the world aren’t enthused about their job — 85 percent say they aren’t really engaged or are actively disengaged employees, according to Gallup’s most recent global workplace report.
Ignoring engagement issues can cause productivity, turnover and other problems. In the U.S. alone, disengaged employees cost companies approximately $450 to $550 billion a year, according to a Conference Board estimation.
Companies that work to correct employee engagement issues, however, can experience an overwhelmingly positive effect. Virgin Pulse research found employee satisfaction rose at more than half of organizations that invested in employee engagement activities. Fourteen percent saw revenue growth as a result.
However, increasing employee satisfaction may require more than just handing out a few free lunches.
If traditional HR employee engagement initiatives aren’t yielding results at your organization, it may be time to consider some more uncommon techniques — such as:
Making employee recognition more frequent:
While monthly or quarterly programs can have an impact, acknowledging employee efforts more often may help with improving employee engagement. Employees at legal service provider Legal Monkeys, for example, can recognize each others’ achievements by writing one down on the company’s appreciation board, an 8×10-inch frame that the recipient then can pass on to another employee to recognize that individual’s work.
A photograph of the recipient is posted on Facebook to share the kudos with a larger audience. According to a video the company posted, CEO Corey Cormier says the program has helped increase morale and productivity.
Asking for employee input:
Senior leaders being genuinely interested in employees’ opinions and giving employees the freedom and authority to make decisions were two of the factors CustomInsight identified as key engagement drivers in a survey involving more than 18,000 employees.
Southwest Airlines, for example, tapped employees from its technical operations, cargo, ground ops and other departments to help design new uniforms it debuted in 2016. More than 120 employees also tested parts of the proposed outfit for comfort and functionality during the design phase.
Improving employee engagement by enhancing workers’ financial health:
Research from ORC International and PadillaCRT indicates student loan repayment concerns can be a job satisfaction issue for many millennials. Thirty-seven percent of women and 25 percent of men say they’re less likely to stay with their employer because of their financial situation; and 59 percent of millennials say they value student loan repayment assistance over other HR employee engagement initiatives.
Some companies offer financial consultation services, classes and other assistance to help employees avoid money-related stress. Sixty-seven percent of those organizations feel the initiatives have been successful, according to an International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans report.
Providing a sense of purpose:
Research indicates tying work into a bigger goal may help reduce the amount of disengaged employees a company employs.
A WeSpire survey showed a correlation between engagement and employees feeling their employer is making a difference; 75 percent of workers at companies that have a formal engagement strategy feel their organization is making a positive impact in the world, compared to 50 percent of employees whose employer doesn’t have an employee engagement strategy. Similarly, 88 percent of employees at companies with an employee engagement strategy feel they’re making a positive impact within their organization specifically.
Changing the way you convey information:
Less than a quarter — 23 percent — of employees think their company is effectively communicating employee engagement activities, according to WeSpire.
If you’re still relying on email — the most common form of communication, according to an APPrise Mobile survey, followed by staff meetings — reaching out to staff members a different way may be more effective. A Dynamic Signal survey, for example, found 55 percent of employees said a mobile app would help them become more informed and engaged.
For more tips on enhancing engagement, check out our blog posts on the 3 things your employee engagement program needs, HR employee engagement initiatives that can help invigorate employees across an widespread organization, how innovation can help fuel engagement and how to improve employee engagement by strengthening a sense of company pride.