Employee engagement: 15 Best Practices for Improving Your CultureSam Bahreini
Employee engagement: 15 Best Practices for Improving Your Culture
One of the keys to growing as an organization is retaining employees that add value to your organization. To retain their most valuable employees, organizations need to create a culture that promotes employee engagement.
Organizations are quickly starting to catch on to the importance of employee engagement. If the organization doesn’t stimulate and properly motivate the employees, they’re more likely to leave and join another organization.
While organizations are definitely starting to understand the role of a culture that promotes employees’ engagement, there’s still a lot of confusion regarding how to implement the culture properly.
To that case, here are 15 practices that organizations can adopt to improve their culture.
1. Get The Managers And Leaders On Board
It’s common practice for companies that focus on employee engagement to start with the leadership team. Employee engagement doesn’t just work from the bottom to the top. It’s a two-way street. Unless the leaders prioritize employee engagement, the rest of the employees won’t follow suit.
That’ll ultimately create a disconnect between the culture that the organization wants to embody and the actual culture of the office. Therefore, organizations must get their managers to buy into the employee engagement strategy.
Business owners need to understand that managers are crucial to the implementation of the organizational culture. Managers are the ones that are dealing with employees at almost every level. That puts them in the ideal position to monitor employee engagement and identify potential issues early.
However, if the managers aren’t engaged, any attempts at implementing a culture that promotes employee engagement will fail. Therefore, to stand any chance of successfully implementing an effective organizational culture, focus on getting the most engagement from managers and employees.
2. Promote A Culture Of Collaboration
Too often in a workplace, employees will try to handle too great of a burden to prove themselves and stand aside from the pack. However, while sometimes, this strategy can pay off. It can often lead to employees isolating themselves and not being in sync with the culture.
Organizations should look to implement a culture where employees are free to leave their desks or cabins and interact with one another. By getting around and interacting with each other, employee engagement will increase. It’ll also make it easier to identify any potential issues that may arise.
If employees begin to feel like the workplace is an environment that promotes collaboration, they’ll feel more at ease. That’ll help them perform better and even discuss issues that might adversely affect their performance and decrease engagement.
3. Host Team Building Activities for Employee Engagement
Promoting collaboration becomes easy once your employees are able to work well together. A key way to do this and improve your work culture is by hosting team-building activities.
Activities such as these foster strong working relationships. They can also help employees share skillsets and learn from each other. This is vital for their own professional growth.
When employees work well together, they build a positive work environment. This helps productivity and employee satisfaction. Good host team-building activities can include office trips or fun day activities, like a sports day.
4. Host Weekly Meetings
It’s important to be up to date about how your employees are doing and whether they face problems in the office. Employees will not always be willing to come forward with complaints.
So, ask managers to organize regular meetings where employees are free to discuss any issues they might encounter in the workplace. Have a weekly suggestion book where employees can write down stuff that will help improve their performance.
5. Respect Should Be A Central Theme
No matter what industry an organization operates in, there’s one common thing that all employees want, respect. Employee engagement increases significantly if they feel as if they’re being respected for the input and any ideas that they propose. When respect becomes a central theme, there’s a lot more dialogue and openness inside the organization.
Any organization that excels at employee engagement is one that manages to embody an employee-centric culture. Modern-day workers value being in workplaces that are diverse and inclusive. Rather than the individual’s age, religion, or gender, it’s their input to the organization that matters the most.
To ensure that the organizational culture is one of respect, business owners must analyze the top-level executives to determine whether they’re acting on values that embody respect and diversity. It’s crucial to teach managers how to deal with unconscious bias as well.
6. Encourage Active Communication
Organizations that boast high levels of employee engagement are also ones that boast the most active and open channels of communication. The ability to freely communicate with one another plays a significant role in ensuring the employee’s engagement is at a maximum and they’re satisfied.
There are multiple channels that organizations can use to encourage active communication. Here are a few examples of techniques that organizations can use to improve employee engagement through active communication.
- All-Company Meeting
- A meeting that involves every single member of the organization. These are great for encouraging two-way communication.
- Leadership Emails
- These serve as key motivators to employees that join the organization and help improve employee engagement as well.
- Performance Reviews
- Feedback is a very valuable communication tool, and by giving reviews, organizations can provide employees with a greater sense of direction.
- One-On-One Meetings
- A one-on-one meeting schedule is a great way of ensuring that employees interact with one another. It can also turn out to be a fun activity.
7. Feedback Is Everything
One of the best ways to identify employee disengagement is going straight to the root cause of the problem. If the business owners fail to understand what the employees need, they’ll fail to provide them with the experience they want from the organization.
However, by making constant feedback a priority, organizations can significantly improve their employee engagement activities. There are a few interesting tools that organizations use to make feedback a crucial part of their structure. Here’s an example of a few tools that business owners can expect:
- Continuous Listening Strategy
- Taking surveys is one way that organizations can get feedback directly from their employees. Usually, organizations conduct these surveys annually. However, those business owners that want to see results sooner can even take monthly or weekly surveys.
- Performance Management Programs
- Aside from the surveys, performance conversations are an excellent tool for employee feedback. These include performance reviews, one-on-one meetings, and informal check-ins. This form of feedback is great for identifying any potential obstacles and opportunities to improve.
8. Implement Recognition Programs
A recognition program that gives employees credits for their wins and milestones. The rewards can be both formal and informal. It’s become common practice in organizations to add formal recognition software.
By demonstrating appreciation for employee performance and their achievements, companies will be more successful at improving employee engagement.
9. Follow-Up And Share Feedback
While collecting feedback is a very important job, it’s something that can’t just sit still forever. An HR job is very challenging, and modern-day employees in HR need to worry about other duties as well. However, when done correctly, it’s one of the most effective ways of improving employee engagement.
Without the proper feedback and follow-up procedure, it won’t be possible for the organization’s employees to grow past a certain point. However, suppose the proper feedback mechanisms are in place. In that case, it’ll definitely be possible for employees to surpass their limits and prove even better results.
The most important thing about an effective feedback system is ensuring that it’s always honest. Without honesty, there’s no point in implementing any sort of feedback. Employees should be able to handle the truth and accept defeat.
A good idea to improve the feedback follow-up is to have regular discussions about the survey results. For example, talk to the whole team about everything that was a part of the survey, and ask why they incline towards a certain thing.
Gathering information is always the easy bit. But, it’s what you do after receiving the education that matters the most.
10. Make Engagement A Priority
Companies that boast the most engaged employees are often ones that are holding employee engagement events and make it a priority. That’s another reason why so many employees prefer a continuous listening strategy over surveys or performance reviews. Getting healthy feedback from your peers is crucial and can definitely help improve performance.
An organization that struggles with engagement is one that’s only able to focus on engagement projects for a short period. When addressing engagement policies only once a year, employees can feel a sense of disconnect and a clear lack of motivation. That leads to them feeling insecure about their future with the organization.
Organizations that only focus on employee engagement activities once a year put themselves at a serious disadvantage. Those that engage in regular employee engagement activities are capable of being more receptive towards coaching and growth. For the organization’s future, ensuring that employee engagement is an active part of the culture will only help improve the performance.
11. Encourage Immediate Recognition
Instead of waiting for the appropriate moment to appreciate employees and provide them with feedback. Another option available to organizations is to start trying to implement a culture of immediate recognition.
When working in an organization, one of the goals of an employee is to receive recognition for the work that they perform. If an employee is consistently providing good results, then they’re in a position where a lack of recognition will be discouraging. Employees can often spend their time waiting to see how well they did on a task.
There’s been a significant shift in the mentality of workers, and today’s workers really appreciate the ability to work and receive on-sport recognition. Even if organizations don’t have fancy reward systems or a program, even instant verbal rewards can significantly positively impact employee engagement.
12. Lead By Example
As a leader, the best thing you can do is sent an example for your employees. It’s as simple as practice what you preach. If you don’t already, start to incorporate everything you promote into your own work style.
This way, you become the standard that your employees aspire to reach. Leading by example also keeps your employees motivated because they’ll have someone to look up to in the office.
13. Ensure Transparency In The Office
Many leaders think that it’s essential to hide any mistakes from their employees. They want to present this image of a perfect leader to their subordinates, but that is a huge mistake.
When you are looking to improve your workplace culture, you need to build trust between employees and employers. Employee engagement and productivity rise in the presence of this trust. The key to building this trust is transparency.
So, keep employees updated about what is happening in the company – the good and the bad. Doing so will increase employee satisfaction and keep them happy.
14. Give Freedom To Make Choices
The worst thing you can do for your workplace culture is to have employees feel trapped. If your employees feel like they have no control at work, it will directly affect productivity in the office. Employees that have freedom at work are happier and more productive.
An excellent way to do this is to give employees a choice over what projects they want to work on instead of a top-down approach of just assigning work to them. Allowing employees to choose their own projects also instills more responsibility in them.
15. Prioritize Employee Well-Being
The healthier and happier your employees are, the better your workplace will be. Healthy employees are more productive and more engaged in the office, so they are essentially your biggest asset.
Hence, it’s important to prioritize employee health and wellness. This includes having a good health insurance program for your employees and offering paid sick leaves.
Implementing these 15 best practices will take some time and effort, but it will be worth it. Employee engagement is key to improving your workplace culture, and these 15 ways will get you on the right track!