Successful organizations understand that having dedicated employees is vital to sustaining market leadership and growth. But according to Right Management, only 19% of workers are actually satisfied with their jobs. Meanwhile, a more in-depth study by Mercer found that approximately 32% of U.S. workers want to find a new job. Attracting, engaging and retaining the best talent should be a top priority for every business.
When it comes to retention, employers are recognizing that new approaches are increasingly required in order to keep top talent. Flexibility, communications and job satisfaction are as important to motivation and engagement as they are to turnover and retention. These things help to get your employees interested and excited about your business, while building organizational loyalty and pride of work.
But how do you make it all happen? Here are 10 ways to engage employees right now:
1. Lead by example.
Don’t just talk; act. If it’s an environmental initiative, for example, be the first to ride your bike, and pay close attention to how you pack your lunch. Leading by example has a positive impact on relations with employees, business partners, customers and the community, but it also helps to encourage and motivate employees in your company.
2. Start at the top.
If a project is important, make sure to include senior management. Even if hands-on participation isn’t possible, occasional briefings and updates can go a long ways to showing employees that their work has value.
3. Be socially responsible.
Corporate social responsibility is a commitment that businesses make to being shepherds of society and of the environment. It’s not just about PR exposure, but is core to how the business operates. When your employees are confident that their employer isn’t doing harm, they’ll also be confident and committed in their work.
4. Put it in writing.
Policies help make corporate values explicit, clarify expectations, and help employees make better decisions. Write out your company’s values, and be sure that they demonstrate your commitment to employee satisfaction and engagement. Share them with candidates, new employees, visitors, and the wider public.
5. Save energy when it saves money.
Adjust thermostats one degree closer to the outside temperature, reduce your paper consumption by printing less, and reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and electronic equipment when not in use (you can automate this). When employees see that your business’ resources are precious, they’ll treat them that way, too.
6. Create designated positions.
Who’s responsible for engaging employees? Add employee engagement to the job descriptions of members of your HR team, executives, managers, and even rank-and-file employees.
7. Offer training.
Employees can only be engaged with your organizational goals if they understand them, and managers can only help to engage employees if they understand what that entails.
8. Focus on empowerment.
Allow for changes in the workspace, and allow for employees to take the lead in developing and implementing them. Policies and procedures are important, but they shouldn’t be so rigid that it’s not possible for them to change organically.
9. Assemble a team of champions.
Mobilize employees with varying degrees of seniority and from all levels of the company to talk about engagement issues. Employees are more likely to join programs that do not originate only from the top. Find employees who are passionate about various causes or social goals, and encourage them to become involved.
10. Encourage experimentation.
Encourage your employees to understand how they can change things, and let them try new ideas. It’s okay to make mistakes. If someone has a new idea—even if it’s not necessarily a great one—give them the resources to follow it through to fruition.
Teams need a supportive environment in order to be engaged and to develop great solutions. Once you’ve built the infrastructure for such an environment, the rest will come with only a tiny bit of prompting.
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