Are you doing enough to engage your employees?
Employees are the lifeblood of your company. Recruiting top talent is key, but employees have taken the wheel in this changing landscape where turnover rates are increasing. Thus, finding ways to retain your employees is now more important than ever.
“Prevention is better than cure.” We’ve all had those days when we’re sick in bed with a stuffy nose and sore throat, thinking, “I will never take my clear nasal passageways for granted ever again.” In hindsight, we realise that we should have taken taken better care of ourselves instead of suffering and looking for medications only when we fall sick. The same goes for your employees. It is far better to invest in getting your good employees to stay than to search for new ones when they’re gone.
One of the key factors in retaining employees is employee engagement: An individual’s involvement, satisfaction and enthusiasm for work. Naturally, as people change, the things that engage them at work change as well. If you have yet to get your head in the employee engagement game, here are 5 key employee engagement trends of 2018 to get you started on improving employee engagement:
1. Acknowledge and reward your employees consistently.
Imagine putting your back into your work day in, day out, only to be met with nothing but yet another assignment as soon as you turn in your current one. A lack of acknowledgement from managers can be a huge source of demoralisation for employees.
Studies have shown that employees who did not receive feedback for their work were disengaged and even had lower levels of productivity. Employers should give consistent feedback, even in the form of (constructive) criticism in order to ensure that their employees feel acknowledged for their work.
Rewarding employees is also vitally important. When you provide your employees with recognition-based incentives, they tie results to reward and become that much more motivated to do better at work. However, while monetary bonuses may seem like the best and most convenient form of reward, you may want to consider alternative forms of reward that your employees will appreciate just as much, if not even more.
Take paid work trips overseas for example. Your employees will not only appreciate the change in environment, but the support you give them to do meaningful work for the community will also lead to greater enthusiasm for, and commitment to their work and your company. This pays off in the form of increased productivity and better quality work.
2. Provide your employees with the right tools.
Are you providing employees with the tools they need to do their jobs? Employees who do not the right tools to work with are often frustrated. They are unnecessarily inefficient as they have to do extra work which employees in other companies (that provide the right tools) do not have to deal with.
Companies need to identify and invest in tools that will make their employees’ lives easier. Employees will not only be able to work better, but are more likely to enjoy their work as well.
3. Work-life balance
Millennials now make up a third of the workforce, and they are demanding work-life balance. Work-life balance is old news that has been taken the wrong way by many companies. Many try to emulate the immensely successful company culture at Google by introducing “fun” elements to the office to make work feel more like home. However, what Google is doing right for their employees isn’t just making their workplace feel like home- they are being flexible.
In this case, being flexible refers to giving your employees the freedom to work in an environment that they feel suits them best. Many individuals who are unable to find that in a company turn to working as consultants or working freelance in order to gain their own freedom. These are self-motivated and highly-skilled individuals who would most definitely be invaluable assets to your company. In order to retain such employees, it is imperative for employers to incorporate flexibility into their employees’ work lives.
Some ways to do so include allowing employees to work from home, having flexible working hours and even unlimited paid time off (and you may be pleasantly surprised by how much dedication your employees show in return for this display of trust in them).
4. Lay out a career development plan
According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association’s Centre for Organizational Excellence, nearly 50% of employees were worried about the changing nature of their job, and support for career development was linked to significantly lower motivation to do their best at work. Employees who feel like they are stagnating at work are likely to look for growth and development opportunities elsewhere- those who know that there is a clear career path ahead of them are more likely to be engaged at work.
By ensuring employees of advancements opportunities in your company, employees are more likely to be happier and less likely to leave. Work on pinpointing your employees’ career goals and seeing how you can fit them with your company’s needs. Think of ways for your employees to grow even within their current positions at your company, and various different learning opportunities that you can offer your employees.
When your employees know where their work is leading them and feel that they are developing their career, they will become more engaged at work.
5. Get ahead of the employee experience game.
Arguably one of the biggest employee engagement trends in 2018, employee experiences, may be the next big thing in the employment landscape.
There are many different takes on what employee experience is - some say that employee experience is a means to an end (employee engagement), while others say that employee experience is a take on employee engagement that is fundamentally much more employee-centric and requires much more flexibility from employers.
There are various other opinions about what employee experience encompasses, but they all agree on one thing - we should treat employees like we treat our customers. Gone are the days when bosses ruled the workplace. As mentioned at the start of the article, employees have taken the wheel, and for employers to keep their best workers engaged, a lot of effort will have to go into finding and providing the things that drive and motivate their employees.
A stellar example of a company that is putting employee experience into practice is Facebook. One glance at how the company operates is all it takes to see how employee-centric the company is: 21 days of paid vacation, four months of paid leave for new parents, free meals and snacks, on-site health care, financial aid for fertility treatments, and so many more, it almost seems too good to be true. But of course, not all companies are multi-billion dollar conglomerates. For companies that are more than willing to go the extra mile for their employees, an alternative would be having company trips overseas to work remotely. Not only would this help to spice things up and engage your employees, a company trip abroad with your fellow co-workers would also build stronger and better relationships, which is one of the key factors of employee satisfaction (which incidentally, is also is linked to employee engagement).
In this shifting landscape where more and more companies are recognising the importance and benefits of focusing on their employees, making sure that your employees are engaged and stay engaged at work is of paramount importance. Customer is King? Well now, employees are Kings too. The returns on investing in your employees are higher than ever, so if you haven’t started to do so, it is time to treat your employees right.
If you are just getting into the employee engagement game, Venture With Impact offers corporate programs for your employees to work remotely while volunteering at local organisations abroad. The choice of the local organisation is catered to your employees’ specific skill sets, to ensure that both parties (the local organisation and your employees) have as meaningful an experience as possible. If your company is thinking about allowing your employees to work remotely, do get in touch with us to find out more.