You may be in business to serve your customers and clients, but your employees are what make your business successful—or not.
Sluggish, uninterested, checked out employees won’t reach their full potential at work, causing your business to suffer. Not to mention, sharing an office with a bunch of unengaged employees isn’t enjoyable for you either, no matter how much you love your job!
For their sake, for your sake, and the sake of your business, it’s well worth your time to find ways to keep your employees engaged.
Rethink Your Communication Strategies
How do you communicate with your employees? Or more importantly, how do they feel about how you communicate?
Do you drop by their cubicle every time you have something to say, interrupting their train of thought in the process? Do you fill their inbox with mass emails?
It might be time to rethink your communication strategies.
Consider using a dynamic communication platform to make communication easier for you, as well as more enjoyable for your employees.
For example, you can schedule alerts that pop-up automatically for time-sensitive information, maintain a business news page in lieu of mass emails, and specialize portals based on each department to eliminate irrelevant information.
By streamlining your communication with your employees, you can reduce the amount of time they spend dealing with messages, which means they’ll have more time to stay engaged in important tasks.
Ask and Learn How to Listen
Your employees have a lot to say if only you would give them the chance. Although they may have ideas about ways to keep everyone interested and motivated in the office, they are unlikely to come to you out of the blue.
Instead, make time to ask them how they feel about their position, how it could be improved, and ask their opinion on things that could be changed in the office to ensure things run more smoothly.
When you ask, make sure you’re prepared to listen. Active listening techniques involve repeating what they say, resisting the urge to think about what you’re going to say next, and asking follow-up questions.
No amount of asking and listening is going to matter if you don’t do something about it. Make sure you take their advice and concerns to the heart or at least explain why nothing can be done about their concerns at the moment.
Provide Opportunities for Learning and Growth
There is something comforting about doing the same thing at work each and every day. Unfortunately, the feeling of comfort will slowly subside, and most workers will become restless and bored. Reengage them in their work by providing them with opportunities for learning and growth.
That might mean scheduling professional development meetings, assigning mentors, and offering career counseling, but employees are likely to appreciate your support in continuing their education. If you can, provide opportunities for employees to take classes or go back to college by paying for the new skills they will be using in their position.
Provide Them with Challenges
Employees can get really good at doing their jobs when they have the same responsibilities day-in and day-out. That’s a great thing, but that doesn’t mean they should always do the same things all day, every day, for as long as they hold their position. That will only encourage them to search for new opportunities elsewhere.
Instead, provide them with new opportunities in their current position. Although facing challenges at work can be scary, the only way people grow is through the discomfort.
Provide employees with challenging projects you think they can handle, or ask them to be responsible for an activity or an event in the office. Just make sure you’re there to help them through the process and celebrate their successes.
Find Ways to Have Fun
The office can get dull when you show up and work all day, every day. Of course, that’s what’s expected, but it can be a huge boost to employee morale if you find ways to have fun in the office!
That might mean scheduling group activities, like yoga, during work hours, or starting a tradition of passing out compliment cards. If you want to go big, consider scheduling an indoor carnival or office Olympics!
Additional ideas include:
• Decorating for the holidays
• Scheduling social events outside of work
• Getting some toys, like Koosh balls and Nerf guns
• Ordering lunch and dessert
• Celebrating employee birthdays and work anniversaries
Incentivizing performance among employees sometimes gets a bad rap. You want your employees to be internally motivated, not externally motivated.
However, sometimes it takes external motivations to transform internal motivations. Not to mention, it boosts productivity and gives employees a goal to work towards, which are all great things for keeping them engaged.
• Compensating them with raises or bonuses
• Giving them extra time off of work
• Giving out rewards, like gifts or awards
• Celebrating with parties
• Attending sporting events, theme parks, and more
Support Their Needs Outside of Work
As much as you might like your employees to leave their personal lives at the door, that just isn’t possible. Instead, you can boost employee morale and engagement by showing them you care about their needs outside of work.
That might mean understanding if they’re late to work every once in a while, but it might also mean using company policy to provide them with more flexibility.
For example, you might allow a new parent to spend half of the workweek working from their home office, or you may allow for flexible work hours, which means employees can come in late as long as they are willing to stay late. Unlimited vacation and results-oriented schedules can work too.
Although you may be tempted to focus on your customers and your bottom line, you should turn your attention to your employees. If you provide ways for them to remain engaged in their jobs, you can create the kind of company that customers and clients want to support.
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