Employee engagement is crucial for any business, but the things that inspire people are often rather individual. On top of the standard motivators (good salary, promotions and a positive work environment), there are many other small details that should be taken into account.
The first notable difference between people is that they may be introverts or extroverts, meaning that some general tips may not be the best idea for all of them. Still, the human factor is what matters the most, and listening to employees’ feedback is what will truly drive employee engagement.
Rely on Anonymous Feedback
Benefits of anonymous feedback have many facets. The first obvious one everyone points out is that, since it’s anonymous, there’s no reason why people wouldn’t be honest.
Anonymity has multiple benefits, with safety and honesty being of utmost importance. Anonymous feedback also sends the message that all employees are equal, and that their opinions matter.
The finest of managers listen to employees’ feedback and take their opinion into account. This is certain to boost their engagement and encourage them to present their ideas freely.
Emphasize the Importance of Communication
Team communication is challenging, more often than not, but it is absolutely crucial in terms of engagement. With so many online apps and tools now available for free to everyone anywhere, there are more ways than one to go about setting up standards of business communication.
Online meetings and meetups, for example, may prove beneficial for people who feel more relaxed at home, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be implemented. The practice is relatively easy, costs no money, and is highly adjustable.
Do More to Connect In-Office and Remote Teams
With more and more companies turning to remote work, it’s time to consider how to connect in-office and remote teams. It goes without saying that for business operations to function properly, everyone must be on the same page.
Now, there’s no universal formula when it comes to this matter, but there are some good practices. The abovementioned online meetings are one approach, but there are others as well. Team building activities and, especially, workshops that encourage idea exchanges are a great way to help build team spirit and keep people engaged.
To avoid potential problems for remote teams, an effort should be made to help people get to know one another.
Offer Learning Opportunities
The benefits of eLearning are numerous and have been discussed many times. Still, it is important to reiterate that learning can be easy and fun when people are allowed to get to the task in the way that suits them best.
Not everyone thrives in the academic setting. Some people simply function better when learning on their own, and eLearning provides the opportunity for everyone to pace their style to fit their schedule.
Successful businesses always place an emphasis on continual learning, and so do professionals. With the myriad of online courses available, everyone can improve in no time.
Lastly, there is a unique option to offer targeted courses specific to a business. Many businesses are offering homemade courses providing chunks of knowledge necessary for the future. This is, probably, the best solution, so take it into consideration if you haven’t already.
Create a Performance Improvement Plan
It’s difficult to track performance without proper metrics, so consider creating a performance improvement plan. It’s no rocket science, really. It’s all about setting metrics and milestones, and tracking each step of the process, improving procedures when and as needed.
A study undertaken by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and Rob Cross, Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Business at Babson College clearly shows that purpose is the single most important element of collaboration and, therefore, engagement.
According to Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer, i4cp:
“The lack of incentives and rewards is the most common and powerful barrier to effective collaboration. Yet, most talent management systems are designed to reward individual achievement, not team accomplishments. Finding ways to recognize and reward individuals, leaders, and teams who engage in productive collaborative behaviors can pay off in a big way.”
This insight isn’t new. Everyone expects to be compensated for their efforts, no matter their occupation. However, the usual practice to reward managers and team leaders handsomely while not offering regular incentives to team members doesn’t really boost engagement.
It’s difficult to be engaged when you don’t see a purpose. That’s why sharing the company vision and providing adequate bonuses is paramount.
Engagement is, everything considered, a feat employees develop when they are motivated, so do whatever is necessary to keep motivation levels high.
Some times may be more challenging than others, but strong teams that hold to the highest communication standards always weather the challenges sooner or later.
Finally, it is important for the team leader and manager to actively participate in team activities so that the bond will grow even stronger.