“Achieving an engaged workforce is 20% inspiration, 30% collaboration & 50% perspiration” --David Tong
While companies are keen to retain their key talent, after a period of time, the talent find their work and work environment uninspiring, and, resort to job hunting since neither the job nor the work milieu appeal to them. Engagement is all about capturing employees' head and heart. Hence, the need of the hour is to keep them motivated and engaged.
The 3 C's of Employee Engagement
An organisation or its leaders need to primarily focus on the 3Cs of employee engagement to keep employees motivated and inspired.
Career: When an individual joins an organisation, he/she expects to build a career. If the immediate managers and top management commit themselves to carve out their employees' careers, there is a feeling of belongingness within the organisation. The guidance and support from the management in developing their careers is bound to make them feel engaged.
Competence: Competence is the aptitude to do something efficiently. Thus, consistent training sessions and workshops must be conducted in order to support employees acquire higher competencies and skills. Most employees look for opportunities to boost their competencies with the organisation after a few months in order to move to the next career level, and thereby experience growth.
Care: Care is seen as the best art of the managers by which they can make employees feel that they are a crucial part of the organisation. The managers need to be sensitive and empathetic towards people and should comprehend their personal problems. Thus, showing small day-to-day caring gestures concerning the employees makes them feel that the organisation belongs to them and vice versa.
Employee Engagement activities
It is important to note that culture is not all about being cool or about having happy employees. It is all about strengthening the key elements that stimulate the growth of the enterprise, and consequently being able to adopt the culture into both the internal and external dynamics. Employee engagement is the strongest motivating factor for every working individual that ultimately leads to a culture of growth, happiness, and success. The figure alongside indicates how employees in the same organisation are likely to behave on the basis of their level of engagements.
Happier employees make better brand ambassadors, and they will put in their best efforts for doing their job. Here are some thoughts and employee engagement ideas and practices for motivating and keeping people inspired at the workplace.
Having team images: Having team photographs clicked during special events including festivals and framing it in a select area in the office.
Start a learning club: Start a learning club where employees select books or videos related to your work for everyone to enjoy. Pick a day where everyone piles into a conference room to discuss the item and its implications for your work.
Health and wellness programme: These programmes are good at helping people adopt and maintain healthy behaviours in their personal as well as professional lives.
Celebrate employee's personal achievements: Find a purpose to rejoice an employee's personal achievements such as promotions, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Rewarding employees: Rewarding employees may not just be promotions or monetary gains. E.g., public appreciation, a word of encouragement, or giving them a gift voucher.
Flexible work timings: With the system and culture permitting, employees should be given the choice of flexible work timings or working from home.
Banning emails for a day: Work-related emails can be banned once in a while. And if someone has a query, they must talk to their seniors, co-workers, or juniors in person. Such face-to-face interactions, albeit for a few minutes, can make invaluable employee engagement moments.
Employee of the month Award: Conducting a small award ceremony every month where the best employee is appreciated and facilitated for all the hard work can give the necessary boost at work.
Office Breakfast/Lunch: Organising breakfast or lunch sessions once in six months could be an excellent employee engagement idea. It can give them a sense of rejoicing and belongingness.
Helping employees in career: Supporting employees to move forward in their career ladder and materialising their goals in terms of helping them with education/professional workshops, coaching and mentoring them, making them aware of different certifications, etc., can create an atmosphere of engagement.
Identify & Encourage innovation: It is imperative to inspire innovation in an organisation as it keeps employees motivated and engaged.
A "Vent" box: Employees must be encouraged to provide legitimate suggestions and complaints while ensuring secrecy at the same time. Employees' deepest frustrations might also be brilliant opportunities for learning and growth.
Office & Offsite picnics: Planning half-yearly or quarterly outdoor activities, office picnics, and off-sites to revitalise employees can help break the daily office routine boredom.
Introduce EVP programmes: Employees volunteering programmes can be a source of great engagement. Employees can be encouraged to participate in community services such as visiting orphanages or old age homes, donations, etc.
Game room: Game rooms allow employees to take small breaks and play games to keep them physically and mentally relaxed, and this can boost their enthusiasm for work.
Organising Talent hunts: Organising talent shows or hunts such as dancing, singing, cooking, painting, poetry, playing some kind of musical instruments, and hobby classes will help employees get motivated.
Sports Competitions: Present sports competitions to the employees such as inter-department hockey, badminton, football games, and cricket matches.
Welcome observance for new recruits: Giving new recruits a welcome party will increase their belief in the organisation and keep them engaged in the future.
Celebrating employees work anniversary: Celebration of employees' work anniversary by giving them a small gift after the completion of a year within the organisation is sure to enhance their keenness to work.
Bring in an Inspirational personality: Try to bring in a motivational personality/speaker to inspire and motivate the staff.
Organising yearly parties: Making it a point to organise at least one annual party in the organisation can help motivate employees. Including the employees' families can give them a feeling that the organisation is equally sensitive to the employees' families too.
Creating an internal newsletter: Circulating a monthly or quarterly internal newsletter among the employees is also helpful. The newsletter must be innovative and include the names of the employees talking about their success stories.
Set goals for the employees: Every organisation must set clear goals for all the employees so that they have comprehensive lucidity on what is expected from them and they can work accordingly.
Feedback from the employees: Accepting feedback from a current or past employee is vital for organisational change and growth.
Internal social media: An internal social networking site for the employees helps bridge a gap between the top management and the employees at junior positions.
Conducting surveys: Quarterly surveys can be conducted on job satisfaction.
Encouraging employees to take vacations: It is a known fact that vacations help employees to feel revitalised and increases productivity.
Have team meetings by different employees: Giving an opportunity to different employees to conduct team meetings, sharing responsibilities, and discussing the issues inspires employee empowerment, can help increase their engagement and confidence.
Buddy training: A Buddy programme is very significant for employee engagement activities with the top performers training new recruits.
Having casual Fridays or Saturdays: This is an outstanding idea to keep the workforce engaged, as the employees can work best when they are most comfortable and free to wear at work the clothing of their choice.
It has been found from Research that employees who do not feel recognised for doing a good job are twice as likely to be seeking opportunities outside, and 34% are likely to quit within a year. And it is easy to comprehend why even when one is relishing the job, the feeling that no one values his/her work can be discouraging, to say the least. Thus, leaders need to understand and find ways and means to help employees communicate, engage, and collaborate with a focus on making people deliver great results. At the same time, the management must emphasise on the intent over content, remain transparent, shape a culture of respect, acknowledge everyone individually, drive company values, ensure collaboration, and engage employees at every stage of the business life cycle. The fact that engaged employees are a company's major asset is undeniable. When employees feel motivated, energised, and inspired to give their best, the organisational outcomes become positive.
Down the line, appropriate employee engagement policies and approaches have proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, and enable more profits. Most significantly, engaged employees are happier, both in their lives and at work. When one is engaged, it infuses everything one does with purpose, energy, and enthusiasm.
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