For something that should be fun, purposeful and meaningful, just the mention of staff engagement can cause frown lines for most. Engaged employees should be your most valued commodity, they are motivated, take ownership, are productive and become leaders in your company.
Engaging employees, however, is challenging. Especially if you are trying to attract and retain your talent. The fact is, people, don't stay in jobs for their entire working lives anymore. And, if things aren't going their way; like feeling valued and engaged, being well remunerated for their efforts, good management, and peer relationships, working on meaningful and challenging work, that include opportunities for career growth, then its easier to get a new job than it is to challenge.
This type of turn over is not healthy, and if you’re reading this, and can put a name to 2 or more of those reasons for recent staff leaving then you need to take stock of how to engage with your staff. Notice, I’m not saying you need to cave into every staff request, but you do need to create an environment that staff feels they can have some influence on their work life satisfaction.
Nature of Job + Purpose + Working Conditions = Employee Engagement
No matter how creative we are, if the nature of the job and working conditions are not conducive to the employe, engagement will be low. But the buck doesn't stop there, these are the same values that underpin your company culture.
So what can you do?
Here are our top 15 ideas -
- Improved regular communication - comm’s is the bug bear of every company and always seems to be at the core of most staffing issues. Don't assume anything! Ask your staff how they wish to be communicated with. And, do it regularly.
- T.I.C - learnt this from my husband - Transparent, Informative and Communicative. Use this as your foundation when communicating.
- Line of Sight - when did you hold your last strategy planning day? What was communicated to staff about your day and the company's future strategic plans? We suggest that following any business planning day you hold an all-staff meeting and share with them what came out of the planning day, this is also a great way to reinforce linkages to your company's vision, mission and purpose.
- Staff benefits & wellbeing - no matter how small you are you can have a programme for your staff. Access to financial/wellness and new parents advisors - at no cost to you, just time to make the connections and allowing staff the time during working hours to gain the benefit. Community days, 10 minute massage, the list of ideas is only restricted by your imagination.
- Physical work environment - are you proud of your work space? If not, then why would you expect your staff to be happy working in it! Be proud, create an environment that supports collaboration, innovation, creativity and good old-fashioned communication.
- Performance & Development framework - to aid a clear line of sight for staffs job and personal satisfaction this framework is key, it creates clarity for staff on what they need to do and how they will be measured. A development plan should not be arduous, achieve through individual and team activities.
- Recruitment - do you have a framework? This is crucial when it comes to attracting people that are aligned with your values.
- Socialise!!! Shared lunches, morning teas, raise money for a charity through team activities or sports, or maybe a wine and cheese team. Create a team FB page, whatever suites the ability of your staff and will engage them on a different level do it!
- Team Meetings - often lacking in direction with nothing to action afterwards? Engage Engage Engage! if you are the manager stop talking and get your staff to participate. And, get organised - don't forget T.I.C.
- Mentors? Do you have staff that are worth their weight in gold? Yet, maybe lack experience or confidence? Running a staff lead mentoring or buddy system is great for sharing IP and intimate knowledge of clients, systems/processes.
- Cross Team Pollination - encourage your teams to work together on projects. This can create epic new creative thinking and really get the juices flowing and increase energy.
- Encourage volunteering - get to know your staff and find out what they are passionate about and to top it off give them a day or two each quarter, or and afternoon a month to innovative, bring ideas or to support their cause.
- Courageous conversations - create a culture whereby giving and receiving feedback is the norm. Delivered with sensitivity and consideration, you will minimize courageous conversations going sour.
- Try and Try again - from my experience, these things often hit the ground running then people lose focus. If it doesn’t work, try something else, there is no wrong or right way of doing things, just make sure to always have your company’s values in mind.
Celebrate People - your business is nothing without its people.
There are is many creative ways to increase staff engagement, you just have to have the courage to start something and the tenacity to keep it going until you find what works!. Sometimes getting external facilitators in can aid full participation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to explore how we can get your juices flowing.