Employee Engagement Checklist – Are You Doing These 7 Things?
With 85% of employees globally not engaged in their work, it’s clear that we are in the midst of an employee engagement crisis. Not only is this a human issue, with the majority of people lacking enthusiasm in their professional lives, it’s also a disaster for business. Disengaged employees mean low productivity, poor performance, and high staff turnover.
But how do you go about fixing a problem that is so complex? While there’s no one answer or quick fix, here are some practical steps you can take to increase morale and boost engagement.
1. Build a workplace culture that attracts people
Why does company culture matter? Because it underpins everything you do. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. And, ultimately, it’s the reason why people want to come and work for you – or not.
Building a culture that attracts people takes time and planning. It involves defining what your business stands for, the values and attitudes that inform decisions and processes, and the impact you want to have on people, the community, and the world at large – and then putting it all into action.
Get this right and your business will develop a unique identity that both employees and customers are drawn to. After all, people want to be associated with businesses that are aligned with their own values. But for this to work, you have to walk the walk.
2. Understand the importance of good managers
Given that managers are often the biggest factor in whether people enjoy their jobs or not, getting the right people in managerial positions is one of the most important things you can do.
And at a time when employees expect human relationships at work, as well as continuous feedback and support, managers need to have the right people skills to handle an array of sensitive issues and personalities, while doubling as professional coaches and mentors.
This isn’t something you can simply ask traditional managers to do or be. Just like regular employees, they need help, support, and training to equip them with the skills needed to become inspirational people managers.
3. Provide real-time feedback and support
The shift away from annual appraisals and towards continuous real-time feedback is one of the most impactful changes you can make. Through regular check-ins, employees can discuss their performance, goals, learning and development, and their overall happiness in the role. Any issues they may be having can be addressed as they arise, allowing their experience of work to be improved and refined over time.
Check-ins also help to foster better relationships between managers and employees. The result is a more grown-up and collaborative approach to performance management.
4. Focus on continuous learning and development
The modern employee views their career as a journey; they want to feel like they are moving forward, not standing still. And given the ever-changing nature of work, continuous learning and development is not only a great way to engage employees; it’s essential to their and the company’s future as well.
By investing in your staff’s development, you let them know that they are valued beyond the current tasks they perform. You show them that they are in the right place to realize their ambitions, making them more likely to stick around.
5. Give your people as much flexibility and autonomy as possible
With technology making it possible to connect with colleagues and work systems anytime and anywhere, flexible and remote working is now an expectation among employees. There are huge benefits to it too – not only do many people prefer to work from the comfort and peace of home, but they are also more productive there too.
This makes total sense. Your employees are adults; they don’t want to be told where, when, and how they should do their jobs. By giving them the freedom to work in a way that suits them best, they are bound to feel better about their jobs and their employer.
Of course, trust plays a key role here. But if you don’t trust your employees to get the job done, why are you employing them in the first place? Ultimately, if your staff have clarity around goals and expectations, there should be no need to micromanage or monitor their every move.
6. Use technology that removes friction and boosts collaboration
The point of technology is to simplify our lives, not complicate them. A lot of the tech we use in the workplace is designed to do the former but ends up doing the latter. In many businesses, the sheer array of different software platforms, and the outdated and time-consuming processes that come with them makes technology one of the biggest barriers to productive work.
Workplace tech should allow employees to connect, communicate and collaborate across teams and locations, helping even remote workers feel part of a close-knit community. It should give employees instant access to the information they need – no matter where they are – and help them visualize progress and goals. And it should help them better understand their performance and the factors that drive it.
7. Allow everyone to give and receive recognition
Recognition is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to boost engagement. Too often, however, the process of recognizing achievement and effort is formalized, meaning most people never receive recognition, nor have the chance to give it.
Recognition should be something everyone can give – at any time and to anyone – using workplace tech. This allows employees to see the great work that is being done throughout the company, forms stronger bonds between colleagues, and builds a culture of positivity and community.
What are you doing to boost engagement?
So, how many items on this checklist can you tick off? And of those that you are not yet doing, how many do you plan to introduce? Employee engagement isn’t something you can achieve overnight; it’s the result of a cultural mindset that makes people feel valued, supported, and empowered to be their best.
It’s about give and take. Give your employees the tools and environment they need to thrive, and they will return the favor with enthusiasm, creativity, and drive.