4 Strategies to Increase Employee Engagement

iStock_000060246640_SmallIf you put stock in statistics, we’re not doing a very good job when it comes to engaging employees:

  • According to Quantum Workplace’s 2015 Employee Engagement Trends Report, employee engagement declined to its lowest point in eight years – despite an improving economy.
  • Research from Gallup indicates that less than one-third (a mere 31.5%) of U.S. employees are engaged in their jobs.
  • Millennials are the least engaged generation (28.9%) and are particularly less likely to say they “have the opportunity to do what they do best.” (Gallup)

What’s standing in our way? Here are a few of the prime culprits hampering engagement:

  • Poor leadership. Insufficient guidance, performance feedback and management interaction can leave employees confused, frustrated and distrustful.
  • Lack of direction. If employees don’t have a clear sense of purpose, or understand how their own roles fit into the organization’s big picture, they’re less likely to stay committed to achieving overarching goals.
  • Overwork. We all know that impossible workloads contribute to high stress, absenteeism and turnover. What’s more, overwhelming amounts of work undermine the fundamental mutual respect employees need to feel to remain engaged.

Increasing employee engagement creates huge potential advantages for your organization in terms of retention, growth, productivity and innovation. Today, Corps Team explains how to become a best place to work by fostering engagement:

Improve performance management systems. Rethink the way your managers measure performance and reward employees. Ensure that they:

  • properly take into account everything from goal setting through rewards;
  • incorporate career development discussions; and
  • provide ongoing performance feedback. 

Focus on flexibility. Creating a culture that promotes work flexibility is a great way to engage employees, and research supports this notion. WorldatWork’s 2013 Survey on Workplace Flexibility shows that 85 percent of organizations describing themselves as having a “flexibility culture” say that it positively impacts employee engagement.

Consider offering “flex time” arrangements – things like flexible start/stop times, compressed work weeks and telecommuting – to reduce commute times, improve job satisfaction and reduce work/life conflicts for employees.

Prioritize career development. Hold periodic one-on-one meetings to determine employees’ interest in growth and learning opportunities. Help each individual develop a three-to-five year career-development plan that provides the challenge and clear direction he needs. Another way to show that you’re committed to helping employees achieve professional goals is by implementing a formal mentoring program.

Create processes for preventing overwork.  Build a system of “checks and balances” into your culture and work processes to guard against overwork – and help employees achieve an optimal work/life mix:

  • Check in regularly with employees to ensure their workload is manageable, and that they have the resources and support to achieve key objectives.
  • Keep an eye on current and future business to prevent overwork. Corps Team provides flexible, professional support services for projects and short-term needs, so you can access additional support when employees need it.
  • Encourage employees to take frequent breaks, as well as their earned vacation time.

Corps Team provides talented contract professionals and executives who can aid your efforts to create a more engaged workforce. Contact your local Corps Team office to learn more.

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