As a manager, it’s important to be able to get the best out of all of the employees within an organisation. Failing to do so can have a hugely detrimental effect on profits, and see productivity levels plummet. A workplace where employees are engaged, on the other hand, fosters a vibrant and creative culture, where collaboration and innovation is in good supply. This article discusses how managers can help employees feel engaged and happy at work, something that will ultimately generate benefits for the entire organisation.
Building engagement at work
The key factor in building engagement is to create an environment where employees care about their work, their role within the organisation, and their colleagues. Simply put, their work needs to have meaning. This can be a challenge, but is easily achievable in most companies, simply by making a few alterations to business practices. Communication can play an important role in this. Employees in all office jobs like to know that their ideas and thoughts will be considered before any decisions are made. This is especially important if changes are being considered that will affect them directly.
If employees feel like they are part of the decision making process, they will have a vested interest in seeing changes through successfully, and so engage with the challenges ahead. Holding regular meetings where all employees – including call centre staff, receptionists and secretaries – can air their opinions, and make any suggestions,isalso an effective way to build a collaborative, engaged workforce. This needs to be more than an empty gesture, however, and some ideas and feedback suggestions should be be visibly implemented.
The importance of social integration
Countless studies have shown that employees work harder when they feel happier and more fulfilled. As an example, researchers at the University of Warwick found that happy employees were 12% more effective, and unhappy ones were 10% less productive. This shows that keeping employees happy is part of the challenge of building engagement. Happiness in the workplace is heavily influenced by an individual’s colleagues, and how well integrated they are. Staff bonding sessions can be a good way to increase interaction, as can after work social events. The aim is to create a workplace where employees can trust and rely on each other. In this kind of environment, employees will be able to air their creative ideas without fear of judgement. Building a team where individuals trust each other also adds meaning to work, as everyone works hard for their colleagues, and understands that they affect people they care about if they choose to ignore the team’s ethos.
Benefits engaged employees provide
Building an engaged workforce will provide a variety of significant benefits. As a starting point, employees are likely to work harder and produce better results. Higher engagement levels can also play a role in lowering staff turnover, as employees feel valued, and enjoy what they are doing. This makes retaining high value individuals easier. A strategy to increase employee engagement is cheap to implement and – done well – can lead to a huge return on investment.