Six tried and tested ways to boost employee engagement Six tried and tested ways to boost employee engagement

Six tried and tested ways to boost employee engagement
19 Oct 2018

David Macleod, co-author of the UK’s Macleod Report - which is also known as ‘Engaging for Success’ - describes employee engagement as “how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”. Renowned author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek  attests, meanwhile, that: “Customers will never love your company until your employees love it first.”

Staff who are engaged and respect the company they work for – and better yet, are committed to its values, goals and ethos – are typically those who contribute most to its future success and growth. They are also loyal, which means they will not only be more likely to stay, but also be more willing to share innovative, new ideas, while encouraging others to buy into the company’s vision too. 

Conversely, disengaged workers are likely to be demotivated, display a negative attitude towards the organisation and its staff, and generally only do the bare minimum. Unfortunately though, they can have an enormous impact on the workplace, not just because they tend to take more time off work, but because they also tend to spark resentment and mistrust among their colleagues too.

Indeed, employee engagement has been shown to have a direct impact on an organisation’s productivity and profitability. But the old adage that ‘people leave bad managers, not bad companies’ is as true as it ever was.

So what can you do to ensure you get the very best out of your team? Here are some suggestions:

Improve your communication skills

It is vital for managers to communicate clearly what they expect from their teams – and by the same token to clarify what 100% looks like. So evaluate what 100% means for you, what possible repercussions there might be if it is not achieved, and what rewards should be on offer if it is. 

Offer learning and development

A great team will be one in which everyone feels valued and able to develop their own skillset to the benefit of themselves and the wider workplace. For some employees, the opportunity to access training and resources will do just that as it is seen to demonstrate faith in their abilities and their future potential. 

Provide rewards and recognition

Not all organisations are in a position to offer pay rises, so finding other ways of recognising and rewarding your team is important. Such rewards can come in the form of healthcare support or financial rewards that can be accessed through platforms offering discounts on everyday purchases such as cinema tickets, car insurance and gym membership.

Enable flexible working

Because flexible working relies on teamwork, it is unlikely to be effective if the team, or the company’s broader organisational goals, are not taken into consideration. As a result, after individual conversations on the subject have taken place, they should be followed up with an open discussion with everyone else on how individual needs can best be met while achieving overall team (and business) targets at the same time.

Once these ground rules have been agreed, your team should be given creative licence to design their own timetables as long as they fit in with the overall requirements of the business. Taking this approach means that even customer-facing roles can benefit from flexible working, for example, by extending opening hours, which could even end up enhancing the overall customer experience.

Provide personal support services

Employees often bring personal issues, such as financial worries or health concerns, into the workplace, which can in turn affect their motivation and productivity. While managers may not always be sure of how best to help, appropriate training can assist them in spotting problems and equip them with knowledge they need to refer workers to specialist professionals. Services such as Employee Assistance Programmes can also prove useful in providing staff with confidential advice and guidance should they need it.

Trust

Perhaps the most effective way of all to engage your team is to trust rather than micromanage them. Allow them the freedom to let their creative juices flow when it comes to how best to fulfil their own, the team’s and the organisation’s goals, and simply trust them to be brilliant.

  Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers is chief executive of not-for-profit health cover provider, Paycare. A qualified accountant and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, he has worked for more than 25 years in senior management roles at organisations in the manufacturing, automotive and construction sectors.

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David Macleod, co-author of the UK’s Macleod Report - which is also known as ‘Engaging for Success’ - describes employee engagement as “how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”. Renowned author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek  attests, meanwhile, that: “Customers will never love your company until your employees love it first.”

Staff who are engaged and respect the company they work for – and better yet, are committed to its values, goals and ethos – are typically those who contribute most to its future success and growth. They are also loyal, which means they will not only be more likely to stay, but also be more willing to share innovative, new ideas, while encouraging others to buy into the company’s vision too. 

Conversely, disengaged workers are likely to be demotivated, display a negative attitude towards the organisation and its staff, and generally only do the bare minimum. Unfortunately though, they can have an enormous impact on the workplace, not just because they tend to take more time off work, but because they also tend to spark resentment and mistrust among their colleagues too.

Indeed, employee engagement has been shown to have a direct impact on an organisation’s productivity and profitability. But the old adage that ‘people leave bad managers, not bad companies’ is as true as it ever was.

So what can you do to ensure you get the very best out of your team? Here are some suggestions:

Improve your communication skills

It is vital for managers to communicate clearly what they expect from their teams – and by the same token to clarify what 100% looks like. So evaluate what 100% means for you, what possible repercussions there might be if it is not achieved, and what rewards should be on offer if it is. 

Offer learning and development

A great team will be one in which everyone feels valued and able to develop their own skillset to the benefit of themselves and the wider workplace. For some employees, the opportunity to access training and resources will do just that as it is seen to demonstrate faith in their abilities and their future potential. 

Provide rewards and recognition

Not all organisations are in a position to offer pay rises, so finding other ways of recognising and rewarding your team is important. Such rewards can come in the form of healthcare support or financial rewards that can be accessed through platforms offering discounts on everyday purchases such as cinema tickets, car insurance and gym membership.

Enable flexible working

Because flexible working relies on teamwork, it is unlikely to be effective if the team, or the company’s broader organisational goals, are not taken into consideration. As a result, after individual conversations on the subject have taken place, they should be followed up with an open discussion with everyone else on how individual needs can best be met while achieving overall team (and business) targets at the same time.

Once these ground rules have been agreed, your team should be given creative licence to design their own timetables as long as they fit in with the overall requirements of the business. Taking this approach means that even customer-facing roles can benefit from flexible working, for example, by extending opening hours, which could even end up enhancing the overall customer experience.

Provide personal support services

Employees often bring personal issues, such as financial worries or health concerns, into the workplace, which can in turn affect their motivation and productivity. While managers may not always be sure of how best to help, appropriate training can assist them in spotting problems and equip them with knowledge they need to refer workers to specialist professionals. Services such as Employee Assistance Programmes can also prove useful in providing staff with confidential advice and guidance should they need it.

Trust

Perhaps the most effective way of all to engage your team is to trust rather than micromanage them. Allow them the freedom to let their creative juices flow when it comes to how best to fulfil their own, the team’s and the organisation’s goals, and simply trust them to be brilliant.

  Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers is chief executive of not-for-profit health cover provider, Paycare. A qualified accountant and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, he has worked for more than 25 years in senior management roles at organisations in the manufacturing, automotive and construction sectors.

 OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

The rise of micro-surveys as an employee engagement tool

How to improve team productivity

Could healthy snacks be the key to employee engagement?