Your business is only ever as strong as its weakest link. And while you may keep up to date with the latest tech, the latest SEO trends and the latest digital marketing strategies, you’ll never be able to achieve your true potential in business performance if you neglect the element that holds your business together… your staff. Their hard work, effort, endeavour and all-round good work help to ensure excellence in your day to day operations and keep your business profitable.
Businesses that invest their time and efforts in helping their workforce feel engaged, happy and motivated at work get more done. This means their employers enjoy a 22% increase in profitability. Can you afford not to be one of those businesses?
Here we’ll look at some staff engagement and motivation tips that can make your workforce more productive and profitable.
Find ways to gamify the working day
Gamification is an extremely useful tool. Not only can it be used to incentivise customers to buy, it can be used in a number of ways to improve employee engagement.
It can be used to increase brand and product knowledge, and allow employees to continually test their skills. This is a great way for them to “level up” in their downtime — and when it comes with tangible recognition and the potential for rewards (more on that later), it can help employees feel like they are more empowered and more like an active contributor to your success.
It could also give employees working in potentially repetitive jobs a greater sense of achievement at work. We all desire a challenge, just as we all have a sense of healthy competition with our colleagues. The right gamification strategies can not only help members of your team get more done but also help them to feel more accomplished and recognised while doing it.
Have a great onboarding process… but don’t neglect further training
If you want your employees to feel engaged, motivated and happy to work for you from day one, a comprehensive onboarding strategy is absolutely essential. It gives employees the skills they need to do their jobs with confidence. No matter how hard you try to find the most skilled and innately talented people for your team, they can always feel like a fish out of water when they first start working with you unless they have an onboarding process that familiarises them with how to do things your way.
A strong start is integral to a satisfying employee experience and that goes beyond employees learning how to do their jobs well. It also entails employees feeling like they’re part of the social fabric of the workforce, and that they start out feeling like a valued member of the team rather than “the newbie”. This is something that’s not baked into the onboarding process so much as it is a reflection of your workplace culture. And it’s something that’s growing increasingly important to employees.
But learning and development should not end at onboarding
One Gallup poll found that 87% of millennials (and 69% of non-millennials) see development as an important part of their working lives. And if you’re only investing in training and development at the point of onboarding, you’re potentially bottlenecking your workforce’s performance and their workplace engagement.
Each individual employee needs an ongoing programme of continuing professional development which helps them to identify their job and career goals. This will help to give them an infrastructure through which to achieve them.
This allows them to see that you value them outside of the discrete function they perform within their current job role and want to see them progress within your organisation.
Help them to stay healthy and happy at work
Employee wellbeing is intrinsically tied to how engaged and motivated employees feel at work. If they feel that you’re protecting their wellbeing, it stands to reason that they’ll feel much more inclined to engage with their work and your business in more meaningful ways.
There are a number of ways in which you can help to keep your employees happy and healthy at work. Ensure that they have easy access to drinking water and are encouraged to remain hydrated throughout the day. Give them access to healthy foods rather than stuffing your vending machines and canteen with processed junk. Actively encourage regular breaks and ensure that employees get out of their chairs for at least a few minutes every hour to mitigate the health dangers of spending the whole day sitting.
Make sure that employees are also free to engage with one another socially while still remaining on task. Nobody wants to feel like they’re back at school and in an environment where talking amongst themselves is banned.
Flexibility and work/life balance
One of the most profound and meaningful ways in which you can safeguard the wellbeing of your workforce is by trying to be as flexible as possible for them. Consider allowing them to work remotely on the odd day or give them the flexibility to start their day half an hour later to pick their kids up from school. Simple things like this can go a long way towards reducing employee stress which can be a barrier to engagement, motivation and productivity.
Implement an employee recognition programme
Finally, if you’re serious about improving employee engagement and increasing motivation in the workplace, a workplace recognition programme can be an extremely powerful tool. These programmes take many forms which are easy to enfold into your daily operations. For example, there are employee recognition platforms which look and feel just like the social platforms your employees use every day.
These platforms allow management to share and celebrate the achievements of individual employees and their colleagues can like, comment and share just like any other social post. However, while 28% of the most memorable recognition comes from an employee’s manager, peer-to-peer recognition is also essential. These platforms allow employees to nominate one another for awards or tag them in posts congratulating them on a job well done or a sterling team effort.
Recognition programmes can also be used in conjunction with rewards platforms to help employees earn tangible rewards for a job well done. In most cases, however, sincere congratulations are actually more meaningful than tokens like gift cards or vouchers.
Do employee recognition programmes work?
Absolutely! In fact, businesses that use employee recognition programmes enjoy a 31% lower rate of voluntary turnover. While cost-conscious entrepreneurs might see such programmes as potentially costly and disruptive, there are few things that are more costly and disruptive than losing an employee and having to recruit, train and onboard their replacement. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
In an era where 85% of employees either don’t feel engaged or are actively disengaged at work, can you afford not to take steps to help boost your employee recognition, motivation and productivity?