4 Employee Engagement Strategies to Build a Rock Star Team
Many companies may underestimate the importance of long-term employee engagement and retention. But given the current tight labor market, you may want to take a closer look at whether your workforce is motivated. That’s because effective employee engagement strategies can lead to engaged and motivated workers; on the other hand, a disengaged workforce can lead to increased rates of absenteeism, decreased productivity, and can even bring down employee morale.
If you're not quite sure how to motivate your team, you're not alone. To augment your employee engagement strategies, take a look at these considerations for building an engaged and motivated rock star team.
Deliver regular feedback
Consistent feedback can help set clear expectations and provide employees the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns, self-identify areas of improvement, and discuss future goals.
Managers may hesitate to provide routine feedback for fear that these discussions may frustrate or discourage workers. However, providing constructive feedback can increase employee motivation. By creating a culture of open communication, your employees may be more likely to accept their evaluations with grace and professionalism.
Provide training and development opportunities
A 2016 report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that employees are happiest in jobs where they are provided career advancement opportunities and on-the-job training. More specifically, 83 percent of employees rated career advancement opportunities as "important" or "very Important" to their job satisfaction, while 89 percent of employees rated job-specific training as "important" or "very Important."
Employees can feel frustrated and disengaged when asked to perform job tasks for which they aren't properly trained, so providing the means to improve their skills, and ultimately the variety of tasks they can perform confidently, can make a positive impact on employee motivation.
The SHRM report also found that "over the past eight years, the percentage of employees considering career advancement opportunities as very important to their job satisfaction has risen by almost 20 percentage points.” Workers are increasingly expecting promotion opportunities for good performance, which is why employees at companies with little to no advancement opportunity often find it difficult to stay.
Be flexible if possible, and use technology to collaborate
Employees may perform better when they’re given some flexibility to decide how (and even when) their work should be completed. When certain positions allow for it, consider the benefits of offering flexible work schedules, work-from-home opportunities, and other discretionary options. With staff based in different offices, or even different time zones, the right technology can help improve collaboration and break down geographic barriers. Companies are increasingly investing in technologies that help employees work more efficiently from multiple sites. Options range from project management systems that make it easier to track performance and progress to time and attendance systems that help managers monitor employee activity. Video, chat, and file-sharing technologies are also helping forge connections among a geographically scattered workforce. This improved collaboration may help foster strong team bonds, which can be essential to long-term employee engagement.
Build your employee community
Building a sense of community within your workforce can go a long way toward creating an environment where employees look forward to coming to work.
Your community-building tasks don't need to be elaborate or expensive. Consider offering monthly recognition meetings, birthday celebrations, or provide breakfast or lunch occasionally, all of which can help demonstrate to your employees that you are willing to invest in their well-being.