Employee engagement is vital to the success of your company. Engaged employees work harder, stay with your company longer, and produce better results. It might cost you a little more money to create an environment that encourages strong employee engagement, but it’s well worth it in terms of the benefits it can have for your company culture and, yes, your bottom line.
But what exactly does it take to boost employee engagement in a meaningful way? You need to make sure you foster strong work-life balance among your employees, give them the tools they need to succeed in your company and in their careers, and give the recognition employees need to feel seen and heard.
1) Make Time Off Mandatory – And Give More of It
You might think that having employees at their work stations more often would result in more and better work. But the opposite is the case. Employees who slog through weeks and months without any time off get burnt out, and lose their enthusiasm for the work. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your employees have time for rest and self-care.
When employees have time to recharge, they’re 31 percent more productive at work and make 37 percent more sales. Revenues and creative output triple when employees are well-rested. That’s reason enough to make time off mandatory and give employees plenty of it – above and beyond the 10 days that the average employee gets. Work hours have been increasing over the past three decades, with many professionals feeling increasingly pinched for time in which to take vacations, handle family emergencies, attend to their mental health, and so on. Mandatory time off gives employees a much-needed sense of time affluence, and can ease feelings of burnout.
2) Recognize Achievements, Anniversaries, and Milestones
Who doesn’t want to be congratulated when they do well, or when they have an important milestone happen in their lives – including a work anniversary? Employee anniversary recognition helps employees feel seen, especially when deployed in connection with proud recognition of everything else an employee does to make the company a success. Recognizing employee achievements, anniversaries, and milestones (like births, marriages, or graduations) and employment anniversaries motivates your top employees and injects a fresh sense of engagement into the workforce as a whole.
3) Give Employees the Tools and Support They Need to Succeed
You can’t expect your employees to succeed at their tasks without the right tools and resources. In fact, if you don’t give employees what they need to do their jobs, they’re going to become resentful quickly. Engagement will plummet, and turnover will soar.
Your employees need modern, up-to-date software and hardware to do their jobs, and they need access to resources that will make their jobs easier – everything from office supplies to company cars and phones. Do your best to remove obstacles that might get in the way of employees’ ability to move agilely when doing their jobs. No one wants to navigate a complicated bureaucracy with lots of red tape in order to get something done at work.
4) Offer Some Scheduling Flexibility
Besides giving plenty of mandatory time off, you need to offer employees some scheduling flexibility to help them maintain a healthy sense of work-life balance. In the post-COVID world, maybe it’s appropriate to move to a work-from-home model, or a hybrid model in which employees spend some days at the office and some days at home.
Whether employees are working from the office or from home, give employees the option to flex their schedules so they can attend to family responsibilities, run important errands that can only take place during the day, care for their health, and so on.
5) Give Each Employee Individual Attention
Each of your employees needs individual attention from management to feel seen and heard. That means taking the time to check in with employees regularly – once a week or so, check in to see how their work is going, whether they need anything, and whether they have any complaints. You should also put the work into getting to know your employees as people. Take them out to lunch once in a while. Grab happy hour drinks together on a Friday. Ask about their families and pets. Employees will feel more loyal and committed when they feel like they have personal connections at work.
Are you looking for ways to make your company thrive? You need to encourage more employee engagement. You’ll be surprised at how much better everyone can do when they’re committed to doing the best job possible.