Jaime Marie here, ready to talk through one BIG struggle many companies seem to have.
New employees coming and going, always having to “show the ropes” to fresh faces. It’s time consuming, it affects production rates, and it’s frustrating for existing staff. Every boss’s question: how do you avoid turnovers and stay fully staffed? The ultimate answer: Employee engagement.
What Does Employee Engagement Mean to Employers?
Employee engagement is a workplace tactic resulting in just the right conditions for all members of a workplace to give their best each day. David Macleod, founder of ‘Engage for Success’ says, “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”.
Employee engagement is about positive attitudes triggering and reinforcing one another. It’s important to our companies that our employees are loyal and proud to be working for you. Employee engagement is about drawing out a deeper promise from our employees so fewer leave, absenteeism is reduced, accident rates drop, conflicts and complaints go down, and production increases.
What Does Employee Engagement Mean to Employees?
Employee engagement is getting up in the morning thinking, “Great, I’m going to work. I know what I’m going to do today. I’ve got some great ideas about how to do it really well. I’m looking forward to seeing the team and helping them work well today.” It’s about understanding your role within your company, and being a voice to offer bright ideas and different views. Employee engagement is about being included as a member of the team.
So, What Are Some Steps You Can Take to Better Your Employee Engagement?
Establish Realistic Work Schedules
Are you seeing a lot of new faces and losing, possibly, your best employees? It’s a paradox: the more people work, the less productive they may be. Some employees may find themselves working 60 hours a workweek and giving up on weekend leisure time. This is causing loss of sleep, and poor health. Burnout is common and no one is immune to it. It is critical to structure your work environment so that every employee feels happy and motivated and has the tools and support they need to succeed. Here are some tips on how to avoid ‘burning out’ your employees:
- Be Realistic When Assigning Tasks– Delegate an amount of work that is challenging, but not overwhelming.
- Follow the Passion– Make sure that each of your employees is in the position they love `most. Create new positions or be willing to move skilled employees to different positions if they feel more passionate about them.
- Keep Reasonable Work Hours– Employees differ on how many hours they can work. Some will devote 120 hours a week and love it. Others will try to get out of working a full 40. Don’t ask too much of your employees. Allow for sick days, paid time off, and vacation days.
- Schedule Breaks- Encourage your employees to have a full one hour lunch as well as 15 minute breaks throughout the day. They should use the time to stretch, take a walk, make personal calls, and socialize with coworkers.
The term “workplace” today can refer to a variety of settings, including the living room table, coffee shop, co-working spaces and traditional offices. However, one common theme steadily emerges: a sense of community promotes teamwork and results in greater productivity.
Those that report higher levels of community spirit within the workplace are also more likely to agree that they work in an enjoyable environment, compared to those that don’t. In fact, out of those employees who feel that their work environment contributes to a sense of community, 84% feel that their workplace is an enjoyable environment, compared to 11% who don’t experience the same level of belonging.
Back in school, when working on a class project, we always wanted to be with friends. At work, we want to work with friends! It can be key to let your staff bond outside of work and get to know each other a little better. Without this, there may be a lack of team spirit. Out-of-office trips- dinners, hikes, baseball games – these are all great hang-out ideas that can let them relax and connect.
Show Your Employees They’re Appreciated
When the general atmosphere is more negative than positive, employee morale may plummet. According to the Huffington Post, “A staggering 40 percent of employees surveyed say they weren’t recognized at all over the past year.(”) Take some time to openly congratulate team members who’ve done something outstanding for the company by celebrating them in public! You may be motivating them and (their) coworkers to do better in the future, while enhancing positive energy.
There’s a growing body of scientific research that points to the benefits of gratitude. They show that it improves physical and psychological health, improves sleep, and lifts mood. At my old job, we had something called “Success Saturdays” where we called out one success of each employee from the work week.
Employers soak up the benefits of appreciating their employees. This doesn’t mean on just one calendar day- it means consistently throughout the year. By constantly giving recognition, employers can produce a sense of well-being, trust, optimism, and confidence among employees that will propel company culture forward.
- Appreciation increases employee happiness and satisfaction.
- Appreciation stimulates greater trust toward company leaders.
- Appreciation improves company culture.
Focusing on the negative is an easy trap that anyone can fall into. Expressing congrats and gratitude helps put our daily challenges into perspective, that our mistakes aren’t “mess-ups”, they’re stepping stones to reach a higher level of experience.
Staff satisfaction is very important within a company. If workers are satisfied with their role, then morale is increased, which then increases productivity. Training helps to make people more confident in their role, and this directly improves morale.
Say you were given the choice between a Rolls Royce and a Ford station wagon. One is snazzy, has all the bells and whistles, but the Ford station wagon is dependable and will take care of the family for years- a good investment in the future.
This is something employers don’t always think through thoroughly when it comes to their staff members. Don’t get me wrong, training does come with a cost. The two biggest resources used to train are time and money. However, the benefits outweigh the cost.
Having a trained workforce means your workers are learning new skills that can improve production, work at a speedier pace, reduce production costs, reduce mistakes, build confidence in your workforce, and create a better working environment. An investment in your employees’ skill sets is an investment in your company. Training is well worth it.
Engaging your employees by realizing their potential, building a community spirit within your workplace, keeping it positive and building confidence through a well thought out training program will decrease your turnover and increase productivity. As a bonus, it will be something you yourself will look forward to each day.
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