Two-thirds of Americans are disengaged at work. This leads to increased sick days, reduced productivity and higher turnover. It’s also rather expensive. According to research by Deloitte, federal agencies lose as much as $68 billion a year due to lackluster employee engagement.
You may not have the budget to build a gym for your staff, offer free massages or pay six-figure salaries, but here are five easy ways to increase employee engagement:
1. Create a Positive Working Environment
Nothing fuels disengagement more than an uncomfortable or toxic working environment. Physical premises matter, but more important than hanging new curtains or giving the walls a lick of paint is a commitment to fostering a positive working environment. Ask your employees what they would like to see, whether it’s an open door policy, team bonding efforts or greater support from management.
2. Give Credit Where It’s Due
While many of us are motivated by money, that’s not the only thing keeping your employees in their seats. Humans like to be praised for their work, so give credit where it’s due. Start with a simple “thank you,” and work up to a more personalized experience. Rackspace Hosting co-founder, Graham Weston, lets his best performing staff take his BMW home for a week. Driving a “Bimmer” is something his employees never forget!
3. Encourage Free Exchange of Ideas
Free discussion sessions allow everyone’s ideas to be heard. You can organize these through weekly meetings, an online chat group or by holding special events. Once you listen to and accept an employee’s input, follow through. Assign them the task and make them accountable. They’ll enjoy rising to the challenge.
4. Provide On-the-Job Learning
Seventy-five percent of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025. And with millennials known as the job-hopping generation, a great way to increase employee engagement is by offering continued learning. When your employees know that they can grow within your company, they’re more likely to stick around than if you show them a glass ceiling.
5. Be Flexible With Your Time Off
Trying new ideas like a flexible time off (FTO) policy can have a direct effect on employee engagement. When employees are trusted to manage their own free time and can go to a friend’s wedding, make their child’s soccer game or visit an ailing relative, they’ll feel like their personal lives matter, and be more willing to give their all in return.
Make a commitment to the happiness of your employees this year. The results will shine through in more ways than one.