5 Tips for Boosting Employee Engagement

ApplyDirect looks at 5 simple yet powerful tips at your disposal to boost employee engagement and ultimately improve the performance of your team.

Many employers will tell you their people are their greatest resource and for organisations in the service sector where intellectual capital is the product, this is especially the case. However for any organisation to perform well and ultimately turn a decent profit or in the case of non-profits, achieve its broader social objectives, keeping employee’s happy and engaged is crucial. With countless studies demonstrating a close relationship between staff morale and productivity; a good manager will regularly catch up with team members to gauge their overall satisfaction and identify any issues which might be holding them back from performing their job effectively. Thankfully, if morale is waning there are many simple yet powerful tools at a manager’s direct disposal to boost employee engagement and get their team back on track for sustained, effective performance. Here’s just 5 of the more obvious ones you might like to consider:

1. Employee Engagement Tip #1: Link their job to a higher purpose

Whilst we all need an income to get by in the modern world, most people would like a job for more than just the security a regular paycheque provides. Let’s not lie, money is definitely a motivating factor when it comes to seeking work and accepting a job offer, however for your employees to be truly engaged, they also require a sense of higher purpose. Whether it be helping customers achieve specific goals or helping their local community by providing a valuable service – as research by Adam Grant from Wharton University found, linking their job to tangible outcomes beyond their immediate role is a powerful tonic for boosting staff morale and helping your team weather the inevitable ups and downs of working life.

2. Employee Engagement Tip #2: Provide ample training & developing opportunities

Almost everyone wants to see progress in their careers, whether it’s learning how to effectively use a new online tool that’s relevant to their role or at a bigger picture scale, receiving promotion and pay rises as their skills and experience grow. For this reason, one of the most effective tools at a manager’s disposal to boost staff morale is to invest in high quality training and development (also known as ‘L&D’) initiatives for every employee. This could include anything from personal L&D plans, an annual sum (say $500) which employees are free to use towards any external career development initiatives that interest them and regular training sessions with suppliers or more experienced team members. Whilst a cost upfront, improving L&D for your team is ultimately setting them and your company up for long term success!

3. Employee Engagement Tip #3: Have regular one-on-one chats

Communication is king! More often than not, workplace conflict and disagreements come down to a simple case of miscommunication, which can be prevented by keeping those lines between you and your team members open and free of annoying obstacles. Whilst you can’t be at your team member’s side all the time, as a manager letting your staff know they can approach you for a one-on-one chat whenever they experience issues is invaluable in creating a high trust environment. Another approach which can yield equally impressive results for employee engagement is to hold regular, scheduled one-on-one catch up chats where both you and your team members can provide feedback in a timely manner, getting on top of any niggling concerns before they become a bigger issue!

4. Employee Engagement Tip #4: Celebrate the small wins

In the daily humdrum of the 9-5, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture and employees can often lose sight of the positive impact they’re having on not only their immediate workplace but the customers and clients they serve. For this reason, celebrating small wins on a regular basis is a great way to keep your team motivated and boost employee morale, by actively showing them the progress they’ve made. Whether it’s completing a key page on your website or successfully upselling a new service to one of your clients, taking the team out for a feed or a drink (or two) can pay dividends in the long run, by giving you a happier, more productive workforce.

5. Employee Engagement Tip #5: Take time out from the daily grind

Who doesn’t love a holiday? In Australia we’re blessed with 4 weeks annual leave for all full-time employees, which is more than double what workers in most other countries (including the United States) receive. Make use of it and encourage your employees to do the same – we all need a break from time to time after all! Well rested employees fresh from a recent trip are also more likely to jump straight into their working week with renewed vigour and do a better job as a result. One pro tip is to space annual leave throughout the year, rather than using it all up in one foul swoop! Keen for more tips on how to be a better manager or looking for new staff at the moment? Visit ApplyDirect today!

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