Guest post by Daniel Pawlak
A version of this post originally appeared on the Snacknation website.
Employee engagement and retention are at the top of the priority list for modern day HR managers. Of course, every company wants to attract and KEEP the best talent.
We see so many employees in the job market today becoming uninspired and bored of their work, just to quit their job and begin the job hunt after less than two years.
We decided to speak with some of the best HR professionals all across the country to discover their very own employee engagement strategies.
Below are 9 of the best employee engagement ideas you should be applying in your office.
1. Get your health and wellness program in order.
Kevin Sheridan, New York Times best-selling author of Building a Magnetic Culture, has helped the world’s largest corporations improve and cultivate productive work environments.
We asked Kevin what he thought companies should be doing to improve workplace engagement:
“The bottom line is that anyone who knows about employee engagement is also a firm believer in instituting health and wellness programs. There have been multiple scientific studies proving that health and wellness efforts not only yield higher productivity and engagement in the workplace but will also help reduce turnover, as job stress is the #1 reason people quit (along with a lack of work-life balance which is related to wellness as well).”
2. Align your company with a purpose
Snacknation CEO Sean Kelly recently gave a presentation at HR Star Conference to over 850 human resource professionals. In his presentation, titled “Millennials in the Workplace,” he discussed the importance of aligning your company with a purpose. He emphasized that it’s not about focusing on “what” you do, so much as “why” you do it.
3. Emphasize work-life balance.
We hear the term “work-life balance” all the time, and in theory it seems pretty straightforward. However, finding an optimal work-life balance can seem like an impossible struggle for some. It can be challenging to find the right balance between work life, and personal life, without neglecting one or the other.
Blake McCammon from Blogging4Jobs, a popular HR blog, shared his thoughts about the role of work-life balance in employee engagement.
“Work-life balance is one of the most important things employers can do to help employees not only stay healthy and fit, but keep them engaged day by day. Provide a work from home scenario and flexible hours where employees with children or adults with hobbies are allowed the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest, but still get their work done.”
4. Stand for something your team can be proud of.
We asked Irene Becker, voted as one of the top 100 Employee Engagement Experts Online, to answer the question of how companies implement and sustain employee engagement activities when engagement is at an all time low.
“By showing our employees that we care, that we stand for something they can be proud of, and that we offer them meaningful, purposeful work and an opportunity to grow, learn, contribute and succeed because we know that success is a me to WE equation that starts with:
- Personal, professional development and a structure for growth and recognition are alive in the organization.
- Managers, mentors and trainers that are equipped to coach, inspire and bring out the best in their people.
- Communities of purpose; groups that are centered around a purpose driven business, CSR or community activity are alive, aligning shared values and mission with collaboration.
- Transparency of communication and the integrity of the organizations commitment to growth, recognition and the optimization of individual and collective potential is mirrored in new ways of developing team spirit and vertical/horizontal collaboration.
- Human interaction, social activities that engage our people as human beings in the human side of being part of a vibrant, growing, thriving culture.”
5. Promote perks that boost mental and physical well being.
Perks are a great way to make your office a more fun place to work and keep employees happy. JellyVision Interactive Marketing, for example, offers some unique perks for their employees:
- Unlimited vacation days (with the assumption this privilege won’t be abused)
- The ability to work from home whenever necessary or work out an unconventional schedule
- On-site yoga and a free healthy catered lunches every week
- Company refrigerators and cupboards stocked with fruit and healthy snacks
- A yearly Wellness Day featuring free 15-minute back massages for every employee and a taste test of unusual, healthy juices
- Mustache Day (a sort of mustache-themed Halloween that culminates in a fancy lunch out)
- Frequent company-wide involvement in charity fun runs
6. Provide ongoing coaching and training.
A study done by Deloitte in 2012 found that employee retention is 25% higher for employees who had participated in company-sponsored mentorship.
Coaching and mentorship should be an ongoing process that doesn’t end after the employee’s initial on-boarding. Although some people in your organization will proactively seek mentorship, others may not be as forward about it. Offering an optional weekly coaching session to discuss strategies and ideas to help different members of your organization improve can make a huge difference.
7. Open consistent lines of communication.
Asking for feedback from workers can help you learn about issues and resolve problems before they escalate. Some of your employees may have helpful ideas about improving workplace efficiency, but you’ll never hear them unless you establish open communication with your staff.
Ask managers of your organization to setup weekly meetings to see where their direct reports need resources, and any new ideas they may have. You’ll quickly discover that both managers and direct reports look forward to these meetings, and strategically use them to improve their departments on a weekly basis.
8. Offer healthier options at your workplace.
We spoke with Jason Lauritsen, Director of Best Places to Work at Quantum Workplace, about how to increase employee engagement by making healthier foods available on site.
“Three-fourths of employees want access to a healthy cafeteria or vending options at their workplace, but less than half of employers actually offer it as a benefit. This creates a great opportunity. Not only will providing this benefit help organizations play a role in boosting productivity, increasing performance, and lowering healthcare costs, but we’ve also found that employees who work at organizations that provide healthy cafeteria or vending options are 10 percent more likely to be engaged.”
9. Encourage volunteering
Most people want to feel that they are contributing to a greater cause in their lives.
Committing to one’s work and becoming involved in a cause gives employees a greater sense of purpose. 71% of employees who participated in an LGB Associates survey about employee volunteer programs indicated that they felt more positive about their company as a result of these programs. Purpose driven work through a cause is linked to improved productivity and morale, which can make a huge impact of your company’s bottom line.
Focusing your attention on engaging employees results in higher productivity, better retention rates and improvements in organizational success. Now it’s your turn to take these ideas and apply them in your office.
If you liked these tips, please share your thoughts! For more easy and actionable tips to increase engagement at your workplace, check out Snacknation.com.
About this author: Daniel Pawlak is the Marketing Coordinator at Snacknation. His goal is to help companies become incredible places to work by improving employee health, productivity and engagement.