Engagement is the solution to a lot of issues all over the world. It may even help countries recover from the Great Recession faster. That’s why ElevatePoint has easy employee engagement ideas.
First, an outline of what’s at stake and why engagement is such a big issue.
Problem 1: Slow economic growth, slow wage growth and low unemployment
Competition among great candidates is up as unemployment remains low. Wages are struggling to rise even as growth is sluggish. In other words, you want your best people to stay, but you may not be able to afford additional salary. If you can’t pay employees more, what may help keep them?
Problem 2: Productivity is down
Some economists are wondering why there’s also lower productivity worldwide. We’re automating more, but seeing fewer results for that automation. It’s a trend that, for many countries, has lasted longer than the Great Recession. Although economists disagree why the issue exists, there’s an easy solution to improve productivity.
Problem 3: Engagement is low
The biggest issues are that worldwide engagement is about 15%. That makes it more difficult to keep good employees, grow organizations, or even meet organizational goals.
Quick fixes to improve engagement
Those three problems together are inter-related. If you solve productivity through engagement, economic growth may increase. After growth increases, wage may also rise.
It’s why Human Resource professionals see engagement as one of the biggest issues to address this year. Many are looking at creative solutions to engage employees given limited budgets.
Although employee engagement should be reviewed systematically to improve engagement, we have five easy things you can do today. We also have more ideas in our free engagement eBook that assists with systematic opportunities you can tackle.
1. Say thanks
Saying thanks is completely underrated. It’s easy to do and it takes little time. Best of all, most employees simply want “thanks” verbally. A written note or being called out in a team meeting may be overkill.
Also, anyone can do it. Managers, leaders, executives and even teammates can participate. The more people who say thanks, the more it becomes company culture.
What are the consequences to not saying thanks? Forbes indicates that 66% of employees will quit when they feel unappreciated, and that statistic jumps to 76% for just Millennials.
2. Offer flexibility
Flexibility, for many workers, is more important than additional salary. HR typically leaves flexibility options up to managers – who gets to telecommute, how often they need to work in the office, whether they can work earlier or later, etc.
Make sure flexibility is used generously, rather than stingily. Communicate the policy out through your intranet news and ask your executives to mention it at the next all-hands meeting. Also, have tools, such as mobile intranets, available so that employees can work remotely.
3. Spotlight employees
Communications professionals sometimes struggle for stories that are interesting, increase business acumen and improve or reflect company culture. Stories about employees typically solve all three, especially if the spotlight is on something an employee has done for a customer or the company.
4. Give time off
Although a little more expensive than just verbally saying thanks, giving time off is a way to show you appreciate your employees. It doesn’t have to be a day; it can be a couple of hours.
Giving immediate vacation can be used as thanks for completing a difficult project or a reward for the entire company meeting an important milestone or organizational goal.
Make sure, though, that staffing can handle customers and requests that come in.
5. Provide opportunities to give
Giving time and/or money motivates many employees. Enabling time to give is especially important if caring is one of the values of your organization. For example, many healthcare organizations include giving as part of their culture.
Sanction employees to spend time with their teams volunteering to build camaraderie while helping the community. Not only will they have fun, build relationships with peers and help others, but they may learn additional skills – such as leadership.
True employee engagement — including training managers, introducing rewards and recognition programs and ensuring employees have career opportunities — takes time. But at least you have some ideas of “low-hanging fruit” you can implement today. And if there’s engagement, productivity, economic growth and wage growth await.
If you’re looking for more than a quick fix, which we recommend, we have systematic and programmatic ideas to improve employee engagement.