Whether it’s missing shifts, not bringing their A-game at work or simply not caring enough to think about your company’s long-term vision, disengaged employees can wreak havoc to your business in more ways than one.
It’s difficult enough as it is to find and retain quality employees, let alone worry about the damaging effects that an actively disengaged workforce can bring.
“Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work, they are resentful that their needs aren’t being met and are acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers potentially undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.”
From frequently showing up late to a shift to not showing up at all and bringing negative energy in the workplace by criticizing others, this level of disengagement you want to avoid at all costs.
After all, in this current job climate, the last thing you need to worry about is having a high employee turnover and a bad company reputation.
What Drives Employee Engagement
If a good paycheck, fun working environment or fancy perks don’t drive employee engagement, then what does?
While having meetings to address employee concerns, responding within an appropriate timeframe and keeping the lines of communication open via instant messaging platforms are all great methods to improve employee engagement, there’s an additional way that’s rarely talked about.
In order to truly maximize engagement with your employees in the communication realm, you need to show an actual interest in your employee’s life that goes beyond their roles and responsibilities.
Employees are human after all, with real-life problems that value meaningful conversations.
Having a vested interest in their actual life outside of work shows that you genuinely care about their well-being.
While you don’t have to play the role of a therapist or be the listening ear to their personal issues, you can easily express an interest in their lives.
Simply asking them what their plans for the weekend are and following up with them about it the following week is one easy way.
Another is putting their birthdays on your calendar and wishing them a Happy Birthday the day will be sure to put a smile on their face and make them feel valued.
2. Prioritize Feedback (On Both Ends)
When it comes to offering employee feedback, it should occur more frequently than on an annual or semi quarterly basis.
After all, there’s a lot of learning that takes place on a weekly basis.
If employees don’t know their strong points or areas they need to improve on, there won’t be much growth or encouragement, to begin with.
By taking the time to prioritize employee feedback and providing individual attention, you’re showing you care enough to hear them out as well as provide valuable feedback that’ll encourage them to succeed.
At the end of the day, if you want employee engagement to be optimal, you need to give employees a reason to stay instead of a reason to leave.
One surefire way is by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Whether it’s hands-on training, online courses, or ensuring they have the right equipment to get their work done while offering professional growth goes a long way in impacting their overall engagement.
You can also speak to your HR department about implementing an incentive program as well.
5. Offer Flexible Scheduling
We all know schedules can be a deal breaker.
It’s what made Sally from restaurant A decide to leave and work for restaurant B who offered her a flexible working schedule that aligned more with her needs.
Studies have shown time and time again that what one of the top requirements employees (primarily millennials) seek in the workplace is flexibility.
Flexibility is said to “increase perceived work-life balance, which in turn reduces the stress of commuting, marital conflict, and money spent on childcare.”
In other words:
Happy workforce = More productivity
While flexibility may mean different things for everyone, there seems to be a consensus around offering flextime.
By offering flexible schedules, employees can enjoy the “life” side of work/life balance such as being there for their kid’s soccer game or dropping them off for daycare.
Case in point: In a study conducted by IBM, when hourly workers (who normally have the most rigid schedules) were given flextime, their work-family difficulties dropped drastically from 42% to 18%and an increase in productivity was seen.
These findings suggest that “people who feel they have control over their work schedules have more perceived control over their lives.”
As a result, employees feel less stressed out and motivated to work since they have a better work/life balance.
Whether your workforce is large or small, one thing’s certain: more companies are getting on board with the benefits that flexible scheduling provides not only for employees but for managers as well.
From increased productivity to better retention and reduced tardiness, offering flexible scheduling is a win/win for everyone.
By choosing the right employee scheduling software to create flexible scheduling that meets everyone’s needs, not only will you save time managing schedules but see an overall increase in employee engagement as well.
Now that you know what employee engagement truly is, why it matters and ways to improve it, you can be well on your way to increasing engagement in the workplace.
Whether you’re a small or large-sized company, one thing’s for certain: employees are the driving force behind your business.
Which is why keeping them engaged should be a top priority.