Did you know that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work?  Or that 79% of workers feel that they are not managed in a motivating way?

Those numbers by Gallup Polls (http://news.gallup.com/topic/employee_engagement.aspx) translate into more than just a shortage of smiles around the lunchroom.  Engagement correlates with productivity, customer service and profitability.  But in these days of austerity and tight budgets, how can we stimulate engagement when we can’t afford those ping-pong rooms and paternal leave that Google has?

Here’s 5 tips from the Society for Human Resource Management on some simple, no-cost things you can do to increase engagement.  Remember, just focus on helping employees to feel valued and emotionally connected to their work and you’ll see productivity soar!

1. Remove Daily Frustrations

One of the most important drivers of employee engagement may also be one of the most overlooked: making sure employees have all the tools they need to succeed in their roles and it is easy for them to get things done.   Carry out a review of your operating processes and look at removing or reducing the ones causing frustration.

For instance, if security protocols require people to remember four or five different passwords to log in to the software they need to do their jobs, workers can become frustrated.  They—and the company—likely would benefit from simpler procedures.

2. Give Individual Attention

One challenge to boosting employee engagement is figuring out which approach will work best in a diverse workforce. The answer could well be different for each person.

Go on the internet and get a free test that analyses individual preferences.   You can then use the results to match workers with the tasks they feel most comfortable doing. For instance, a salesman may thrive when, as a break from his day-to-day desk job, he was given a role training new employees.

The survey results also help you to hire people who are well-suited to particular jobs, which leads to higher engagement.    In addition, the results help managers better understand their own communication styles and what motivates their teams

3. Allow Employees to Participate in Decisions

High-engagement entities pay close attention to what workers have to say and then act on the feedback.   That’s one of the reasons annual employee surveys are being increasingly replaced or augmented by quarterly or monthly pulse surveys and performance conversations are occurring more frequently.   Not only does a comprehensive approach to listening help an organization pinpoint and quickly address problems, it makes people feel valued.

For example, entire teams may get a say in whether to hire new workers at the end of their probationary period. This approach communicates to employees that their views are important.  In addition, managers get valuable insights about the worker who is being assessed.

4. Recognize Proudly and Loudly

It’s no secret that rewards and recognition can increase engagement.  To that end, organizations need to clearly broadcast the meaning of the company’s work, because that message gives people a clearer idea of how they fit into the mission of the company and what kinds of behavior will be rewarded.

For instance, if you work at a hotel, workers should know that the customer experience is paramount and they should be recognized for creating a magical atmosphere. That, in turn, helps them connect to their jobs.

5. Encourage greater social interaction between staff

A simple way to help employees care more about their workplace is to foster closer connections to colleagues. In a workplace where teams are increasingly important, healthy personal relationships are a key ingredient.

There are many no- or low-cost options that often involve asking employees to contribute their own time or talent to make the overall work environment more friendly. As long as workers are approached in the right way, taking this tack can help people feel valued and appreciated for what they bring to the company.

For example, staff that love to build things may be asked to build a game for employees to use during company parties.   Employees that like to cook may be asked to cook a company-donated turkey for the same party.

Service projects may be another opportunity to help workers cultivate closer relationships.  We all want meaning in our lives and want to work for an organization that’s contributing to the community and is socially responsible   More important, service projects fulfill a central need among employees: finding purpose through work. That’s a top driver of engagement

Next SHRM-SCP course starts March 23, 2018!  Want to develop your expertise in Engagement by getting the SHRM-SCP (the world’s #1 professional HRM qualification) or an internationally-recognised certificate in HRM?  Call Sean or Phoebe NOW at 908-4810 and register for a HRM course that can take your career to the next level!  See the attached brochure for the development options available – from our one-day SHRM seminar in Improving your Strategic Impact on April 7, to the 3-month course in Engagement starting February 24, to the 4 month SHRM-SCP exam-review starting March 23.  Space is limited, so send in your application NOW!