Back in the day, employers would speed up assembly lines, raise their voices, provide bonuses, or threaten employees when they wanted to increase productivity. Those tactics didn’t work well then, and they certainly don’t work well now. In today’s economy, employee engagement is a key driver of productivity in every organization.
What Influences Employee Engagement?
The first step you should take to improve productivity is to understand the factors that influence employee engagement. What motivates your employees? What drives them to take certain actions? What physical and emotional components truly make a difference? When you understand the people that work for you, you can implement things that matter.
In the past, strategies for employee engagement focused on practical incentives like pay, bonuses, and flexible work hours. These are still important, but the workplace continues to evolve and so does its complexity.
Employees have choices in what they want to do with their time and where they want to work. Not only do they feel like it’s easier to get what they want by leaving their current workplace, but they also have more options than ever before. They want to feel invested in their place of work. After all, many employees spend at least 25% of their life thinking about, commuting to, and physically being in their place of work. They want to feel safe, valued, and appreciated.
As humans, while we would like to think we make rational decisions, the fact is that most of what we do is driven by emotions. This is no different with employee engagement. Research by Dale Carnegie suggests that it’s feeling-based relationships that have the most effective influence. Positive relationships lead to engaged employees who work effectively, remain with the company, and are happy to act as ambassadors.
What’s important to keep in mind is that negative emotions are far more contagious than positive emotions. Since they’re more apparent, they can end up spiraling out of control, with the unhappy employee impacting their co-workers and the company as a whole. This negativity can end up spreading beyond the workplace to prospects, clients and even future hires.
10 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged
Understanding physical and emotional drivers of employee engagement is important, and employee engagement surveys can provide valuable insights. But, it’s what you do with the survey results and the daily action you take that matters. Here are a few practices that successful employers use to boost employee engagement.
- Employees know the value of your organization and why they do what they do.
- Communication is planned, consistent and of value to employees.
- The organization has a focus on the health and wellness of its employees.
- All employees have a safe and healthy workspace and environment.
- The roles of the employees are well defined.
- Employees within the organization have healthy relationships with colleagues.
- The organization takes time to recognize and appreciate employees.
- The organization has incentives available to the employees.
- Overall, the organization has manager buy-in.
- There are opportunities available for personal growth and development.
The benefits of having engaged employees go beyond improving productivity. Performance, loyalty, and culture are also affected. Engaged employees come to work invested in the success of themselves, each other, and the organization as a whole. This, in turn, leads to less absenteeism, less negativity, more loyalty, increased productivity and higher profitability. To download our free Employee Engagement worksheet, click here.