11. Create a Unique Office Environment
Showing up to an office every day can be a trying experience after a while, especially if the environment isn’t altogether comforting.
No one wants to sit in a dimly lit cubicle between the hours of nine and five … yet this is, unfortunately, the way many people live their lives.
Managers, CEOs, and the “higher ups” shouldn’t settle for such a dull work environment, as it will do nothing to help push an organization in a forward direction or improvement engagement levels.
All this said, you should strive to do whatever you can to create an office environment that is unique, comfortable and reflective of your branding.
Creating culture within your office is something that is typically done one step at a time. Artwork, music, branded mugs/dishes, even an office pet are just a few things that can help to add character to your work environment, but this barely scratches the surface of what is possible. So long as you constantly keep in mind the notion that your office should be fun and inviting, you’ll be doing what it takes to improve employee engagement levels and make the workweek just a little bit less stressful.
Having a cheat sheet by your side can help to ensure things don’t ever get out of hand, especially if you’re managing a large staff. The more of the above ideas you can incorporate into your organization, the better. Just be sure to avoid overwhelming your employees, and all will be well.
12. Hire Based Upon Traits and Attitude
Every manager wants to have employees on-staff that have a great deal of experience and have incredible qualifications on their side. After all, these things do matter, and great experience can sometimes signify a great employee. Perhaps the most important thing to remember when it comes to hiring, however, is that traits and behaviors should be focused on above all else. Everyone can get ahead if they try hard enough, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be engaged in their work.
More often than not, you can spot the traits that might make a person a great candidate to join your team from miles away. Employees that are most likely to be engaged in their work are those who are excited, personable and not afraid to speak up. Typically, these traits will come out during the interview process; especially if you take the time to conduct a thorough interview with each and every candidate. A resume may be able to tell you what type of professional experience a potential employee has under their belt, but there’s no substitute for a face-to-face interview when it comes to getting a sense of someone’s attitude.
13. Hold Fun in High Regard
One of the most unfortunate aspects of modern office culture is that many people don’t associate the word “fun” with work.
It can seem at times as if the two are mutually exclusive, with fun being something experienced outside of work hours and the office.
The fact is, that there are a number of ways to incorporate fun into the workday, and the benefits that doing so can have on employee engagement levels within your organization are countless.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
You don’t necessarily need to disrupt your normal workweek in any way to incorporate fun into the office. Starting a company band and jamming on Fridays, holding contests within your organization, and taking a little bit of time out for some physical activity are just a few ways in which you can make the day a bit more fun for you and your employees … each of which can help to lower stress levels and serve as bonding activities for your workers.
As fun can help to break the monotony of the day, it can also help to improve employee engagement levels.
14. Let Your Employees Focus on What They Do Best
Employees want to know that the work they’re doing is being appreciated and meaningful … and if they do, they will be engaged.
They also want to be given the opportunity to shine, which means they have to have the ability to do what they do best as often as possible. The biggest mistake that a manager can make is assigning tasks to those who work under them that simply don’t match their skills … which is something that can not only lead to poor performance, but will no doubt have a negative impact on employee engagement.
If you want your employees to stay as engaged as possible, you have to allow them to focus on their skills.
First, ask them what they feel most comfortable taking on task-wise (which will help to let them know that you’re paying attention). They’ll most likely identify areas in which they have specialties that can also benefit your organization, so take this information and keep it top-of-mind when assigning tasks.
Over time, you’ll be building a team of individuals that are experts in their own right.
15. Encourage Networking
A great employee is one who is driven and focused on improving his or her own career as much as possible.
You don’t want a complacent … because even if they’re engaged in their work at the moment, this particular trait will no doubt lead to problems for your organization down the road.
Encouraging your employees to network with others (both inside and outside of your organization) is a great way to help them focus on building their careers, all the while helping them to be more engaged in their current roles.
There are so many ways to network in today’s world that it can be relatively head-spinning. Take a look at the popularity of social media and professional networks like LinkedIn, and it becomes quite clear just how much focus is placed on networking in modern society.
You can encourage your employees to utilize these services for outside networking and implement social intranet software for internal networking. Send your employees to tradeshows, conferences, workshops, educational talks … send them to events where they can learn something!
The possibilities are endless, and the more your employees focus on building their networks, the more your business will benefit in the end.
16. Create a Truly Authentic Mission Statement
The popularity of the “mission statement” in today’s business culture is difficult to ignore. It seems as if every company has their own statement to the public, some of which can be extremely well-composed and honest … to those that are being pushed out by the best marketing-manipulation-seduction teams in the world.
What often goes overlooked when creating a mission statement, is authenticity.
A simple, to-the-point phrase may have quite a bit of impact when properly presented, but this isn’t to say that it actually means something to your employees. Or anyone else.
Your employees want to know that they are part of a greater good, which is why it’s so important to ensure that the mission statement you end up drafting is one that everyone on your team can get on-board with.
Ideally, you want employees to view your company as an entity that takes action towards reaching important goals and finding solutions that will benefit the community as a whole. This is only possible when a true, proper mission statement is created, which can take quite a bit of time and brainstorming.
Getting your employees involved in the process is a great way to ensure that you’re not missing the mark.
17. Make Use of Philanthropy
The best businesses are those that place focus on giving back to the community.
Many employees will be quick to say that they’d prefer to work for a business that places some focus on philanthropy … as this not only looks good on their resume … but allows them to go home at the end of the day knowing that they’re doing a good thing.
Philanthropic organizations tend to have high levels of employee engagement.
As anyone who is experienced in philanthropy knows that there are many more ways to get involved in the community than could ever be listed in a single space.
You can donate money to help fund a local non-profit, for example, or pay for renovations of historic buildings in your area. Make a list of different angles you might wish to take, and don’t hesitate to ask your employees for feedback and ideas of their own. If as many people in the organization as possible have interest in a single form of philanthropy, engagement levels will surely rise.
18. Don’t Just Use Money as a Reward
No employee is going to turn down a raise … and there are plenty of reasons for giving one … you can throw money at any problem. Sometime people aren’t looking for money. Maybe they’re looking for something else?
This being said, there are other ways to reward your employees for a job well done than giving them money … some of which can be even more effective when it comes to improving employee engagement.
As far as rewards go, you may want to consider giving extra time-off to employees that have done well on a project, or perhaps tickets to go see their favorite band or sports team. If they go eat chinese food next door everyday, get them a gift card. Write them a handwritten thank you card, something they can hang at their desk. Ask them if there’s a book that they’ve been wanting to read, and get it for them.
This will help to clarify that you truly care about your staff, and it doesn’t have to cost you nearly as much as increasing their salaries might.
19. Give Your Employees Visibility
If there’s an employee engagement idea that practically every employee can attest to, it’s wanting to be given credit for the hard work they’ve done.
Giving your employees visibility within your company can have a huge impact on their levels of engagement … and it’s often exactly what it takes to help someone feel more in-touch with their job.
Sometimes, all it takes to give visibility to an employee is to put their name in or on something that other people will see.
If someone had a huge part in spearheading a campaign for a new product or service, give them credit in a press release or mention them in the company newsletter. @Mention them in your Intranet (where other people can see it) and thank them for a job well done.
The more you can give them visibility, the more likely they’ll be engaged.
20. Allow Time During the Day for Personal Enrichment & Development
The workday can be long at times, and it can be difficult for some employees to get the time they need to work on personal enrichment.
Most people want to learn something! So give them time to learn it and better themselves.
The weekend is only so long, and many people are exhausted at the end of the workday. If you want to improve engagement levels, you may want to allow time throughout the day for people explore something new.
Each day, allow your employees to take a half hour or so to work on something they’re passionate about, even if it isn’t work-related. It may seem as if you’re losing time doing this, but in the end, you’ll actually be making the environment more comfortable for you employees, which will lead to a more engaged staff.