Creating a fun, motivating, and intellectually nurturing work environment is pivotal to having productive and engaged employees. When people no longer feel satisfied in their professional setting, productivity and overall morale drops. For managers and other higher ups, employee engagement usually boils down to how efficiently employees are meeting quotas and employee retention. However, to get to the heart of the matter, it is best to go to the source, as Perdie Alder did, asking the employees she motivates what they think employee engagement is. In response, Alder found that most employees consider engaging companies to be ones that listen to and value their opinions, invite a sense of obligation to one’s position in the office, and foster participation in office happenings. Based on this, here are a few tips to keep your employees engaged and company morale high.
- Have employees contribute new ideas. Your employees are the ones who are the most knowledgeable about your brand, product, and company goals. They know what your company does well, and what it can improve- and because they deal with your product and administration most, they often have great, innovative ideas on improvements that could be made. Take employee suggestions and let them lead projects to implement their ideas. Another good way to get employees more involved is through social media posts. Have employees come up with creative company posts for Facebook and Twitter pages. Maureen Hochdorf notes that employees feel a stronger connection to the company and will gain more company wide traction for social posts because they are deriving from employees.
- Communicate. Make sure that there are open lines of communication across all facets of the company. This can be done through internal company messaging board etc. Open channels of communication foster a stronger sense of community among employees. This communal feeling will translate into greater dedication, teamwork, and team led initiatives.
- A popular and fun way to motivate your employees is through gamification i.e. making a contest out of regular office work and offering some sort of reward incentive. Many people, especially in sales, have competitive personalities. If you make a challenge out of a sales initiative, employees are bound to take notice and rise to the occasion. Fun challenges not only boost productivity, but also the team camaraderie that comes from playing a game. Additionally, as this blog points out, if one employee seems particularly skilled in an area and demonstrates it through the games and challenges, he or she may be a good resource for other employees to pick their brain for good techniques.
Keeping company morale high is important. To minimize employee loss, and maximize both your productivity and employee experience, make sure your employees are happy and enjoy being a part of your business. By listening to your employees and valuing their contributions, encouraging cross company communication, and implementing fun, creative team building strategies, you stand to gain a business comprised of happy, highly motivated people. This can only benefit your company and long term goals.
1. Have employees contribute new ideas. This shows respect and openness. Employees don’t feel trapped in a system that values security over innovation.
2. Communicate. It’s easy to slip into patterns of putting out lots of information that fails to connect. Employees need context that shows the value of their work, that pays respect to desired behaviors, and that values their humanity. Less communication of the right information is better than more communication of pointless works.
3. Gamification. Competition has to be used with a thoughtful, delicate touch. Sure, you can spot high-[name your attribute] people, but you can also discourage those who don’t win. What league pits heavyweight champions against novices and featherweights or pits wrestlers against gymnasts? But some bosses think nothing of pitting the worker with no family and a five minute commute against the single parent with a 90-minute commute each way. It’s better to pit people against themselves. “Who can do 15% better this year?”