Discovering ways to improve employee engagement is a high priority for companies across all industries. There are limitless benefits to making your team feel appreciated, valued, and well-compensated, and all of this leads to a happy, sustainable working environment.
Aside from the benefits for your team, your company as a whole can thrive with an engaged workforce. That extra motivation means your employees will take pride in their work and be more willing to find solutions and go the extra mile.
1. Be transparent with your staff from day one
A key part of good leadership, transparency builds trust between you and your staff. For example, if you offer a bonus structure and follow through with it, your employees will know they can trust what you say. However, if you fail to deliver, the trust you once earned will be quickly eroded. This also means you can’t always give people what they want. Offering empty promises, or giving preferential treatment to one person over another will cause your team to feel suspicious and undervalued.
Transparency also includes sharing relevant information about the company as a whole too. If senior management is going to make drastic changes, it is only fair that your team knows about them in advance. Failure to communicate such changes can be surprising in the best case scenario and can cause people to feel suspicious and undervalued in the worst cases. To improve employee engagement, make transparency one of your key priorities from day one and continue it throughout your working relationship.
2. Improve employee engagement with competitive benefits
As much as finance departments may want to keep costs to a minimum, it is becoming increasingly hard to attract the best talent without offering competitive payment and extra benefits such as health care. One of the most critical employee engagement strategies is to reward your team at a level that reflects their value to you. This doesn’t just mean offering an attractive starting salary, but increasing it in return for loyalty and high performance.
While praise and words of encouragement certainly play their role, if your staff feel they aren’t being sufficiently compensated for their efforts, they will quickly become disengaged. Start by analyzing what your competitors offer for similar roles to make sure you aren’t an outlier in what you offer. Then think about how each employee’s salary compares to others within the company; two people doing similar roles for vastly different salaries is a big demotivator. If your budget is tight, you can offer non-monetary benefits to improve employee engagement, but modern workers aren’t stupid — if they feel undervalued, they will soon start to look elsewhere.
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3. Invest in your team
As we mentioned before, most companies don’t have the resources to put everybody on a six-figure salary. However, one way to improve employee engagement is by investing in their professional development. There are all kinds of courses out there that can help people learn new skills, and supporting staff in taking these programs keeps their working day fresh, while demonstrating how much you value your team.
Professional development doesn’t just benefit your employees. For example, you can train your social media staff in how to use your CRM to streamline your day-to-day processes. With a dynamic group of individuals capable of working in many areas, you can reduce the size of your team and offer them better payment conditions in the process.
4. Respect your team’s work-life balance
One of the most talked-about terms of recent times, a healthy work-life balance is crucial to avoiding burnout and keeping your team engaged. It’s so important that many countries have even begun outlawing bosses messaging their employees outside of working hours to reduce the stress and frustration that high-pressure micromanagement can cause. Recognizing that your employees have priorities outside of work and respecting their work schedule is a big motivator for staff across all industries and is a great way of retaining your best talent. If you neglect this area, you will quickly find that your team becomes disaffected and even resentful, which can severely impact office morale and performance.
Be open to requests for flexible schedules. Some parents will be happier in every aspect of their life if they’re allowed to start early and pick up their kids from school. Sure, you can’t say yes to everything, but leave aside the rigid rulebook and cut your staff some slack.
5. Be realistic about the goals you set
We all want to aim for ambitious KPIs, and your team will certainly be motivated by rewards in recognition of their efforts, but with unachievable targets, nobody wins. Employees with unrealistic expectations have very little motivation to put in extra effort when they know they can't achieve their targets. They can feel cheated and, going back to the point on transparency, that the reward for reaching targets is insincere.
Therefore, one easy way to improve employee engagement and get maximum performance is to set realistic goals. Make sure the goals are appropriate for each individual by taking into account their experience and the job they’re doing, rather than setting blanket goals across the board. With the targets agreed upon, you can monitor each worker's progress and work with them to achieve their KPIs.
6. Offer structured support to your staff
As a leader, a few words of encouragement here and there don't cut the mustard when it comes to motivating your team. You need to offer concrete solutions that are both understandable and achievable. This means digging deep into the causes of underperformance and creating a workable plan to improve it.
For example, if one of your team is falling behind on their expected deals per month, take a look at your CRM analysis and identify exactly where the issue is. If, for example, they consistently lose deals after phone calls with leads, provide training in calls, get them to shadow your top agent, or both. If a stitch in time saves nine, then careful, considered support for your team helps to improve employee engagement and results.
7. Be approachable with your communication
When it comes to communication with your team, remember that what you say is only half the battle. Another key factor is how you say it. Don't point out failures in large meetings — the best way to address issues is in a one-to-one setting that has the added benefit of showing you are invested in their development.
Emails and instant messengers can come across as quite cold for many conversations, so opt for face-to-face meetings if you're in the office or video calls for remote teams. Similarly, communication is a two-way street, so make it clear that you are available to help your staff when they need it. Consider setting aside a few hours a week to deal with any issues your team would like to raise with you in private. This will leave your staff feeling you’re on their side and grease the wheels of a high-functioning team.
8. Recognize good work to improve employee engagement
Most workers will start a new job with a lot of energy, but it's up to you as a manager to keep that motivation going. One of the easiest ways to improve employee engagement in this regard is praise. As we said before, criticism is for one-to-one settings, but praise should be showered in public.
Many companies now have internal social media platforms where you can announce achievements for all to see, and a series of likes underneath can go a long way. By letting your staff know you appreciate their work, you give them a boost in motivation and a desire to repeat their behavior. On the contrary, if you overlook efforts — or worse, take credit for them yourself — you will breed bitterness throughout your team and find your staff aren’t willing to continue putting in effort.
9. Allow for internal mobility — even if it isn't a promotion
Recognizing your team's efforts can equally be combined with advancing their professional development. It’s only fair that consistent good work results in a tangible reward that goes beyond praise and congratulations.
The most obvious way to show solid recognition is with a promotion. Advancing to another position not only shows those in the company that a worker has earned a move up in the world, it is also a valuable learning curve at a different level.But let's be honest, a good programmer doesn't always make a good manager (and vice versa). More and more companies are deciding against promotion for promotion's sake and instead offering pay rises within the same role.
Internal promotion and pay rises are among your best employee engagement strategies as you can retain your top performers who know your business inside out. When employees join a company known for offering new opportunities for existing staff, they feel as if they can visualize their future within said company.
Now you’ve answered those key questions: “what is employee engagement” and “how can I improve engagement in my business”. As you can see, an enthusiastic team creates an enjoyable workplace and sets the stage for great results. By introducing our nine ways to improve employee engagement, you can improve performance, lower turnover, and create an enjoyable workplace for you and your team.
However, all of these new processes can take up a lot of time and effort, so why not register for Bitrix24 today to give yourself the best shot at success? You get all the business tools you could need for a smooth running operation, from a powerful CRM with analytics and HR solutions, to a full range of communications tools that will keep you connected whether you're on your desktop or mobile.