Bethany’s note: One of the most challenging aspects of being a small business owner is finding quality employees who will love, respect and grow your business in alignment with your vision and values. Emily Steves hits several key points right on the head on how to engage your employees in this guest post.
Getting employees engaged is crucial to company productivity. Having an engaged workforce means that you have a more open dialogue between managers and staff, and employees that are more prepared to take on new challenges, while displaying personal initiative. In order to encourage engagement amongst your employees, you should consider approaches like offering incentives, providing training sessions, having one on one sessions, and carrying out employee surveys.
1 – Offer Incentives
You can potentially make your employees work harder, and be more committed to their work, by offering regular incentives; these might take the form of bonuses, or performance related pay. Employees are more likely to be engaged if they have clear short term goals to work towards beyond their wages.
2 – Provide Training Sessions
It’s also possible to boost engagement levels by offering consistent training sessions; employees that have access to continuing education about their work and promotion opportunities will be more motivated to improve their current performance.
3 – Maintain Clear Communication Channels
Some employees may be unsure about which channels to go through when dealing with a problem, or when airing a grievance; making sure that employees are aware of who to speak to, and how, can speed up a dialogue between staff and managers.
4 – Use Surveys
Investing in employee surveys can be an excellent way of boosting engagement – feedback can help you to identify where problems are occurring, and can give staff the opportunity to open up a clearer conversation with managers – anonymous surveys can also give staff more confidence to complain about their lack of engagement, and what should be done about it.
5 – Have One on One Sessions
Committing to your employees’ ongoing development can involve regular one on one interview sessions; depending on the size of your business and practicality, these can be short sessions every few weeks, and can be used to identify any problems with individuals.
6 – Use an Intranet Properly
Take the time to make your staff intranet as appealing as possible, and ensure that it runs fast enough to not frustrate employees; again, having more lines of communication can help staff to be more engaged and able to discuss ideas.
7 – Identify Problem Areas
If employee morale is lagging, think about specific solutions for problems; keeping track of general employee problems through surveys can mean that you can decide how to invest more resources into your staffing.
8 – Away Days
Employee trips and team away days can represent a good break from the daily grind, and can help staff to gain a different perspective on their work – this might take the form of a business conference, or even just a team bonding day.
9 – Encourage a Strong Social Culture
Businesses are more likely to have an engaged staff if individuals have a personal connection to the work they do; encouraging a strong social culture within a company, and investing in regular parties and dinners can help staff to achieve this sense of belonging.
10 – Create the Right Work Environment
Office layout is important to creating a strong sense of engagement within a company – open plan offices with good lighting and a well stocked kitchen can make an office more comfortable, while asking for input from staff on their work stations can allow them to work harder by being more relaxed.
Emily Steves is a successful entrepreneur and has found that with 360 degree feedback she is able to accurately judge how her employees are performing. After having set up several business and seen them flourish she now is looking to share what she has learnt over time with others.
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