Employee engagement is extremely important – engaged employees show up more often, stay longer, and are more productive overall. However, a study by Gallup revealed that only a third of the American workforce feels engaged, leading to lost employee productivity. Moreover, employee disengagement is estimated to cost American employers over 400 billion dollars. Here we list several key initiatives that are vital to maximize employee engagement and productivity.
1) Equip your team with the right tools
Workers will get frustrated if they don’t have the right technology or do not have the right training on the software to deliver what their managers want. Ensure that your employees have the correct tools to make them do a successful job.
2) Improve skills with proper training
Skill development allows employees do their jobs efficiently, ensures that employees have the skills to support future business growth, and keeps them motivated. Also, for many employees, skill development is one of the biggest drivers of retention. Asking simple questions to identify and improve skills such as:
- Are there any challenges that you are facing? How can I help?
- What resources help you the most in your daily work? Is there anything missing?
- Which new responsibilities would you like to take on in the next few months and years?
- Are there any learning opportunities you’d like to pursue?
Ensure that you are asking these questions (particularly to your underperforming employees) regularly to help maximize employee engagement and development.
3) Set clear goals
Goals are paramount to engaging employees, measuring progress, and making sure that your employees are “rowing in the same direction”. When setting objectives, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound). Another tip for effective goal sitting is to involve employees in the goal setting process! Employees that are involved in the goal setting process are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged than employees that are not. For more goal setting tips, check out our blog for 3 tips for effective goal setting.
We recommend having an easy way to set and track employee goals. There are many goal alignment softwares (check out Pavestep)!
4) Provide effective feedback
Feedback is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase employee engagement and productivity. One study found that managers that received feedback had 12.5% greater productivity post-intervention than teams with managers who received no feedback. But it’s important to remember that feedback is a double edge sword. Bad feedback can actually cause people to dread feedback. Regardless of the setting of the feedback (casual conversation, check-in, or formal review), feedback has to be effective.
5) Recognize employee efforts
There are many benefits to recognizing and acknowledging employees’ efforts including increased productivity. One survey found that 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Remember that it is the little things such as showing appreciation to your employees that increase employee productivity. Take it a step further and praise employees in company publications – this will send a positive message to employees about what contributions and behavior the employer wishes to see more of in the workplace.
6) Implement flexible working hours and remote work
People are different and they have different work styles. It is important to understand what motivates your employees to perform at their best. Working from home once a week could help boost productivity by allowing individuals to have some freedom in their work schedules. In fact, one survey found that remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than those who worked in an office on average. Check out our article on How to Make Remote Working Work for Your Team.
7) Provide incentives
Incentives are a great way to promote a particular behavior or performance that you believe is necessary for the organization’s success. Rewards incentives can include items such as extra days off, the opportunity to broaden job responsibility, monetary rewards, and gifts such as gift certificates. Ensure that incentives are distributed appropriately and in a transparent manner that employees understand.
8) Find out what makes your employees happy
Happy workers are productive workers. Check out this article, What Makes Employees Happy, to learn about some incentives to increase workplace happiness at your company.
Let us know your thoughts! How do you maximize employee’s productivity?