Forget awards and bonuses when it comes to employee engagement. Yes, those two things will help a company to attract top talent, but if that’s your only tactic to keep employees interested in their roles, then think again.
According to research by the Gallup Organization, 70% of workers are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. This also has an adverse effect on a company’s bottom line. It is estimated that companies lose around $500 billion due to lost productivity.
Clearly engagement is an issue, and one the needs to be addressed. So if money is not the answer, then what is? Here are five things that a manager can do that will increase engagement all without spending a dime.
1. Assign Interesting Work
Doing the same thing day in and day out without any variation is not only boring, but a sure way to cause disengagement. Instead create some variability by assigning different types of tasks that have various degrees of difficulty. This way, they can use different skills and tactics as well as develop new abilities while staying engaged.
Few, if any, employees want their manager hovering over them with every task they execute. Trust that your employees know what they are doing, and let them know that they can come to you if they do need help. Feel free to check in on them every now and then to make sure they aren’t floundering. Having independence will not only keep employees engaged, but will also lead to increased energy, initiative, and ideas.
3. Keep Employees Involved
With more and more things on the go, it’s becoming hard to find the time needed to properly make a decision. Bringing in employees to help with the process, especially when the outcome affects them, is smart and practical. They will bring insight and knowledge since they are closest to the problem and will know it best, while taking some of your workload. Being entrusted with that authority builds their confidence and they will be committed to implementing new ideas.
4. Give Credit
Every single person enjoys getting recognition for their efforts. Recognizing your employees’ contributions – no matter how large or small - shows that you care and that the company appreciates them. Want to see your employees become more productive and engaged? Give them new challenges based off their previously recognized successes. They will be more than willing to rise to the challenge.
5. Access to Information
Providing employees access to info that will allow them to be more effective and efficient empowers them to work smarter. This doesn’t mean sharing something highly confidential that they will never need, it means opening up the lines of communication between management and staff.
6. Provide Feedback
Giving employees feedback on different projects or how they are doing in general is a great way to keep them engaged. Even if it’s negative, providing feedback indicates to the employee that you are vested in how they perform. One way that we do this is by sitting down and coming up with a mutually agreed upon scorecard for the employee that measures success.
Engagement is a two way street. Provide employees the opportunity to be involved and they will take it.
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