With Millennials stepping in the workplace in greater numbers than ever before, many companies are going through a major transition. Old policies are either being scrapped or revamped to suit the needs of the current generation. Unlike previous generations, millennials look beyond attractive salaries and brand names. The need of the hour is to focus on increasing employee engagement in the organization.
Today Glassdoor reviews (or similar platforms) are the first things that candidates check before applying for a job or accepting an offer letter. Employees are the best brand ambassadors when it comes to spreading a positive word about the company. It is easier to believe their words rather than any advertisement or press release.
The question that plagues many companies is, “How can we increase employee engagement?” Some focus on increasing the number of team outings while others increase the benefits and perks. Such initiatives may increase employee involvement but they are not 100% foolproof.
“Customers will never love your company until the employees love it first.”
The management needs to realize that perks or higher salaries alone do not guarantee higher engagement. It is often the lack of guidance or inefficient processes that make employees unhappy. They have to meet unrealistic expectations with minimal direction. It puts pressure on them. Most struggle for a while before eventually giving up.
How to increase employee engagement
Make sure leaders walk the talk:
The old adage, “Practice what you preach” holds true to this day. Employees are hardly impressed by their CEO’s eloquent speeches about radical changes that could transform their organisation. Instead they want their leaders to lead and show them how to walk the talk. Leaders need to understand that it is very easy to advise others on how to perform their job efficiently. But it takes a considerable amount of efforts to actually get the job done. If there are any changes that need to be made, they should start from the top management. The rest of the organisation will automatically follow once it realizes the importance
Instead of pushing employees to work harder, take efforts to focus on inspiring and motivating them to increase their efforts voluntarily. Inspiration and motivation are like catalysts that help employees unleash their hidden potential and redouble their efforts. Their ability to deliver on their tasks rises manifold. Leaders need to also create a positive work environment that encourages employees to be passionate and enthusiastic about coming to work and giving their best every single time.
Importance of development:
Employee who have been working in the organization for long, usually perform the same set of activities with the same set of skills. With the rapid advancement of technology, these skills can be become obsolete and thus need to be regularly updated. Instead of hiring newer individuals who are equipped with modern skills, it is better to develop existing employees as it is less cumbersome as well as more practical.
Eliminate complicated processes:
Employees are expected to perform at their best. But if they are not given clear and precise guidelines, they will find it hard to perform some of the basic tasks. Complicating things more than they already are is one of the worst things that organizational processes can do. It slows everyone down often leading to bad decision making. Focus on first simplifying complicated processes which lead to increased effectiveness and efficiency.
Balance work and play:
Playing games will teach your co-workers to make compromises, to satisfy each other’s needs and work together as a team. You can diffuse a competitive environment by incorporating play and humor. Add a gaming arcade or some indoor games such as foosball. You can even encourage a group of employees to participate in corporate tournaments. There are great benefits to companies who are promoting fitness and healthy living in their workplace. A better sense of personal well-being and bigger energy levels will make employees more focused on their work and have better concentration.
For many there are two ends of the spectrum – on one side is driving efforts to increase productivity at all costs and on the other is taking steps to increase employee engagement. It is very important to maintain a fine balance between the two i.e. drive efforts as well as increase employee engagement at the same time.