Employee engagement is not just another buzzword or a metric that your organization needs to keep track of. It is all about creating a work space, where your employees can get up in the mornings and say, “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”. (source)
The best definition we could find on what employee engagement really means is this, “Employee engagement is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day, committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being” (source: engageforsuccess.org).
The process of employee engagement is a continuous one which begins during the on-boarding process – right at the outset, and carries on. And to really make employee engagement a continuous process, one of the best ways to go about it is through making small investments, which make a big difference.
Here are five proven ways of increasing employee engagement, without having to spend any money (or atleast not much).
Creating a culture of Mentoring
Bringing about changes to the organizational culture is often hard, but without a doubt, one of the best ways to bring about the change you want to see in your organization. Having a culture of mentorship or mentoring, within your organization is a great way to boost employee engagement. When your employees know they can reach out to trusted mentors within the work place to help them address issues they are facing at work, or help them be more productive with valuable guidance, it provides a definite boost to the levels of their engagement.
Recognizing the value of Mental Health
Making investments in caring for your employees’ mental health should not be an exception anymore, but a rule. While countries in the West have started taking mental health awareness and interventions with more seriousness than before, India though picking up pace, still has a long way to go. To let your employees know that their mental health comes before anything else, is an indispensable way of you showing that you care. And a place where employees feel cared for, will be a place they will devote their 100% to. Have you read our previous blogs on metal health yet? And do you believe that mental health should be your number one resolution for 2018? If you don’t, maybe you should have a look at this.
Recognizing the value of Feedback
Without a system of regular and consistent feedback, there can be no way for employees to know how they are faring. Their growth may be stunted, and despite possessing talent and skills to mature within the organization, they might begin to slack. This is the very reverse of what employee engagement aims for. Creating a system of feedback goes a long way in ensuring employee and employer satisfaction. Issuing constructive and timely feedback helps employees to stay focused and confident to do their best.
Recognizing the value of Flexibility
By giving your employees the gift of “choices”, you move towards creating a workplace with significantly higher levels of employee engagement. Making space for flexible conditions for work is a powerful way of boosting productivity. For example, many organizations still associate the option of working from home as one that triggers lower levels of productivity. Research though, has shown results quite contrary to this assumption. Allowing your employees flexible schedules, and the option of working from home could actually be a win-win situation for both parties!
Trust perhaps, is the single most important investment you can make in your employees. Think back to the process of recruitment you may have, and you will realize how most of the process was in fact a scrutiny of whether you can trust the job you want to give out, at the hands of the person you are looking to hire. It is the same trust that must be preserved and nurtured after you complete the process of hiring and the recruit glides into his/ her role. Matters like choosing to delegate (and then letting go until the completion of the task!), being open to new ideas, being open to flexibility and feedback, are some small yet significant ways that help you show that you trust your employees. Could there be a better way of keeping them engaged, and happy? We think not!
Still wondering what employee engagement is all about?
Your employees can said to be truly “engaged”, when they are committed and motivated towards what they have been entrusted to do. And it leads to happier workplaces and happier bottom-lines.