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The Key to Company Success: Improving Employee Engagement

One of the most important parts of running a successful company is keeping your employees happy and engaged. If you don’t, then you’re spending your time (and money) dealing with high turnover and constantly hiring and training new employees. It can cost you a lot to replace someone and it takes around 44 days to get them up to speed.

You’ll be happy to hear that the employee turnover rate dropped between 2022 and 2023, but it may surprise you to hear that the voluntary turnover rate is higher than involuntary turnover. That means people are choosing to leave their jobs.

Employee engagement plays a huge role in turnover rates. I mean, when people are happy they tend to stay where they’re at, right?

So, what should you be doing to improve the employee engagement at your company?

Understanding Employee Engagement

First things first, what the heck is employee engagement anyway? Think of it as the level of enthusiasm and commitment your employees feel toward their jobs. 

You know your employees are engaged when they’re doing their job, right? But what’s more important is if they’re caring, contributing, and feeling like they’re a part of the big picture—not just a cog in the machine. Anyone can show up and get their job done, but the concern is how long can they do that before they decide they want something better?

Make sure you’re the something better.

Communicate Like a Boss

Just like in any successful relationship, communication is incredibly important. Now, your relationship with your employees shouldn’t be the same as it is with a romantic partner (that would be a whole other problem, but it would engage your HR department!), but there are aspects of that type of relationship that can be used in a professional setting.

For instance, if you stopped talking to someone you were interested in, how would that make them feel? Would they feel very “engaged” in the relationship? Probably not. Same goes for your employees. If you’re not talking to them regularly, they won’t feel valued, and they won’t care about investing in the “relationship” —they could easily walk away. And what if that’s an employee you really can’t afford losing?

Communication doesn’t mean boring meetings either. I’m talking about real, honest-to-goodness conversations. Check in with your team. Ask how they’re doing. Got an open-door policy? Great! Use it. Let them know they can come to you with anything, anytime.

Be Transparent

Nobody likes being left in the dark. Share the big picture with your team. Let them know what’s going on in the company. Got some good news? Share it. Bad news? Yep, share that too. When folks know what’s happening, they feel like they’re in the loop and that makes them more invested.

Listen Up

Ever felt like you’re talking to a brick wall? Yeah, don’t be that wall. Listen to your employees. Their feedback is gold. Maybe they’ve got some killer ideas or maybe they’re struggling with something you didn’t even know about. Either way, open those ears and take it all in.

3. Recognition and Rewards: Show Some Love

If people don’t know they’re doing a good job, how long do you think they’ll keep it up? Probably not long. Recognize and reward your employees for a job well done. It doesn’t have to be all about the Benjamins either. Sure, bonuses are great, but sometimes a simple “Great job!” can go a long way.

Tailored Rewards

Know what makes your team tick. Maybe Jenny loves coffee—hook her up with a gift card to her favourite café. Or maybe Joe’s a movie buff—how about some tickets to the latest blockbuster? Personal touches show you care.

Public Praise

Who doesn’t love a bit of the spotlight? Shout out your star performers in team meetings or company newsletters. Public recognition not only makes the receiver feel good but also sets a benchmark for others.

Professional Development: Invest in Your Team

Wanna keep your employees around? Help them grow. Offer opportunities for professional development. This could be training programs, workshops, or even just time to attend industry events. When you invest in your team’s growth, they’ll invest in you.

Career Pathways

Show your employees there’s a future for them at your company. Create clear career paths and offer the tools they need to advance. Nobody wants to feel like they’re stuck in a dead-end job.

For example, maybe you have someone who is a lower-level HR team member who would like to move into a recruitment position. Now, it can be hard for someone who is already working a full time job to find the time to take courses to help them grow in their career, but there are recruiting certifications online that can make it a lot easier.

Mentorship Programs

Pair up seasoned vets with newbies. It’s a win-win. The rookies get guidance and the veterans get a fresh perspective. Plus, it builds a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Work-Life Balance

Alright, this one’s a biggie. Work-life balance isn’t just a fancy term HR folks throw around. It’s crucial. If your employees are burning the midnight oil every night, they’re gonna burn out. Respect their time. Encourage them to take breaks, use their vacation days, and not check emails at 3 AM.

Flexible Schedules

Life happens. Kids get sick, cars break down, and sometimes you just need a mental health day. Offering flexible schedules shows you get it. It’s a small change that can make a huge difference.

Remote Work

If you still think remote work is a temporary 2020 move, you’re wrong. It’s 2024, my friend, and remote work is here to stay. If you can swing it, offer remote work options. Not only does it give your employees more control over their workday, but it also shows you trust them to get the job done.

Foster a Positive Work Environment

No one wants to work in a toxic dump. Create a positive, inclusive, and welcoming workplace. Celebrate diversity, encourage collaboration, and make sure everyone feels valued.

Team Building Activities

Sure, some folks roll their eyes at team-building exercises, but when done right, they can be a blast. Think outside the box—escape rooms, cooking classes, or even just a casual Friday happy hour. The goal is to have fun and bond.

Open and Inclusive Culture

Create a culture where everyone feels comfortable being themselves. Encourage open dialogue and respect for different viewpoints. When employees feel safe and respected, they’re more likely to be engaged and productive.

Get Feedback and Act on It

Feedback isn’t a one-way street. Regularly ask your employees how you’re doing as a leader. Use surveys, suggestion boxes, or just good old-fashioned conversations. But words without actions mean nothing—-actually act on the feedback you get. If your team sees that their input leads to real changes, they’ll be more engaged and willing to share their thoughts.

Pulse Surveys

Quick, anonymous surveys can give you a snapshot of how your employees are feeling. They’re easy to do and can provide invaluable insights.

Suggestion Boxes

Sometimes, people feel more comfortable sharing ideas anonymously. A suggestion box can be a great way to gather feedback without putting anyone on the spot.

Leadership: Lead by Example

Last but definitely not least, be the leader you’d want to follow. Your actions set the tone for the entire company. If you’re engaged, positive, and proactive, your employees are more likely to be the same.

Be Approachable

Don’t be that boss who hides away in their office all day. Be visible, be approachable, and show your team that you’re in the trenches with them.

Show Integrity

Do what you say and say what you do. If you make a promise, keep it. Your integrity sets the standard for your team.

Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it. Improving employee engagement isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of effort and a lot of heart. Communicate openly, show appreciation, invest in your team’s growth, respect their work-life balance, foster a positive environment, seek feedback, and lead by example. Do all that, and you’ll have a team that’s not just working for a paycheck but is truly engaged and passionate about their work.

Remember, happy employees mean a happy company. So, get out there and start making those changes today. Your team will thank you for it!