29 Jun 2020
Four key ways to cultivate engaged employees
Cultivating engaged employees through motivation and recognition should be a key part of your workplace culture. After all, engaged teams show 24% to 59% less churn than disengaged teams, 41% less absenteeism and a staggering 70% fewer safety incidents.
Trying to improve poor staff morale with ad hoc, quick fix strategies will only ever be a temporary solution, and employees will see through token attempts to get them on side. The trick is to align your engagement and motivation initiatives with the rest of your business strategy and weave them thoroughly and consistently into your workplace culture.
Supporting employees to be engaged and motivated isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good business. Research shows companies that take employee engagement seriously see improved attraction and retention rates, better team performance, better customer service and higher profitability. Indeed, engaged teams demonstrate 17% more productivity and 21% greater profitability than disengaged teams.
There are myriad ways to cultivate engaged and motivated employees but we’re going to give you the top four techniques you can start today:
Offer ongoing flexibility. Many employees in recent months will have discovered that working from home suits them just fine. It’s reduced their commute time and expense, increased the amount of time they can spend with family or exercising and it’s made them more efficient and productive. With 31% of LinkedIn users saying flexible work conditions are very important to job choice, businesses must find ways to meet that demand for flexibility. Those that do will reap the rewards of loyal and productive employees.
Make regular, meaningful and personalised gestures in ways that count. Gifts are an important part of a recognition-rich culture with 33% of employees choosing gifts as their preferred means of appreciation, closely followed by words of affirmation at 32%. The same survey showed that, from options including a tropical holiday with their team, dinner at a top restaurant with the CEO, a dedicated intern for two months, and a $600 gift card to a store of the employees choice, 44% strongly preferred the gift card option. The upshot? Don’t undo the impact of celebrating success by giving a dud gift.
eGift Cards make recognition easy to deliver and delightful to receive as well as offering the employee their choice of retailer or brand. Businesses can have a supply of eGift Cards at hand ready to distribute in appreciation of professional goals reached or birthdays and other special occasions. With seamless, personalised and immediate delivery, you can be sure no such moment goes unnoticed, no effort feels taken for granted and no gift goes to waste.
Build trust. Many employees will respond positively to the opportunity to take ownership of their role and be responsible for taking initiative. Similarly, teams often work most effectively when they are given autonomy. Demonstrating trust is a very powerful way to show how much you value your employees and will (mostly) be rewarded with their hard work and loyalty. An employee who is personally invested in their job will always go the extra mile.
Check out the now iconic Netflix culture deck developed by Patty McCord which gave employees the freedom to decide when they’d take holiday leave and the responsibility to use company funds correctly. Or look at Spotify’s culture of excellence in which “leaders provide direction and guidance and GET OUT OF THE WAY”.
Empower your employees to keep learning and give them room to grow. You know what the company’s vision is and how you want your teams to align with it but what is their vision? Where do they see themselves in a year or five years? What would they like to be doing more of? What untapped passions or skills do they have that could benefit the business? Get to know your employees. Find out what makes them tick. Then figure out ways to encourage their growth and development. Talent development is key to successful employee engagement with 74% of employees wanting to learn during their spare time at work and 94% say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
Everyone wants to be seen, heard, acknowledged and appreciated. And even the most dedicated and devoted employee needs a little extra motivation from time to time. Given the benefits associated with engaged and enthusiastic teams, making sure that need is met should be a priority for every business leader.
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