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Employee engagement best practices – 6 tips to boost engagement

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Employee engagement best practices

It’s a common phrase: people are an organization’s greatest asset, however, not all organizations take this on board.

As we march ever onwards into a tech-led environment, digitally innovating as we go, organizations can often make the costly mistake of neglecting their employees and not focusing on retaining key staff. So how can organizations reduce employee churn? Here are our top examples of employee engagement best practice that will help to keep employees engaged and productive, and importantly, in-house.

Did you know that losing an employee can have a dramatic impact on an organization’s bottom line? A report by the Huffington Post outlines the cost of replacing employees, and the figures are startling: from 1.5-2x an employee’s salary (according to Deloitte) to 213% the cost of one-year’s salary (according to the Center for American Progress).

Simply put, it pays to engage your employees to develop a workplace that inspires loyalty and ambition. Here are our 6 tips for boosting employee engagement.

Foster open communication

Open communication is the bedrock of an engaged workforce. Make every effort to encourage open communication at all levels: between employees, between employees and their managers, all the way up to board level. Consider an open-door policy or no doors at all! By prioritizing a culture of honest communication organizations can keep on top of any issues, no matter how small. This open communication will lead to employees feeling more comfortable in voicing their opinions and will ultimately lead to a more content workforce.

Operate a transparent workplace

Internal newsletters can be a useful way to keep staff up to date on what’s happening in an organization. Staff will feel more involved in an organization if they aren’t kept in the dark about important development or decisions. Use the newsletter to deliver messages from the CEO or top management about any pertinent news. Often organizations can focus too much on hiding information and details from employees and this can lead to rumors and a feeling of distrust in the workplace. By being transparent about what’s going on, organizations can develop a “we’re in this together” environment, which in turn can foster a greater sense of engagement and encourage employees to invest their future in a company.

Invest in your employees

Organizations should see investing in their staff as akin to investing in their business. It’s a vital part of any staff engagement strategy. Undervalued or under-challenged employees will eventually look further afield, so it’s important to commit to a program of staff development. Give your employees the opportunity to upskill or hone existing skills. They will thank you for it and are likely to feel more connected to the business, and more likely to engage in their daily work if they feel they’re learning or being challenged.  

Promote collaborative working

Feeling part of a team can also be a great way to encourage engagement at work. Where possible, promote and facilitate collaborative working practices. Organizations today have an increasing remote or home working workforce who may feel isolated and not part of the wider business. Introduce tools that allow for collaborative working such as a company intranet unified communications, or simple cloud solutions such as Google Docs and Hangouts. This will give your remote workers, and even staff who are based at different premises, the opportunity to foster closer relationships with workmates, which in turn could lead to higher engagement levels.

Focus on employee wellbeing

There are countless employee engagement strategies that work. One of the more recently successful ones is focusing on employee wellbeing and creating a healthier work environment. Today’s organizations are all vying for top talent, often luring them and retaining them with competitive salaries and eye-watering perks, however, in such a competitive workplace, the organizations that stand out are the ones who focus on employee wellbeing. Interestingly, a 2017 survey to coincide with National Workplace Wellbeing Day revealed that nearly half of the 1,000 Irish employees surveyed would leave a job where an employer doesn’t care about their wellbeing. So consider healthy options in the canteen, organizing health clinics or health experts to come on site, develop wellness programs and health screenings. These simple changes could make a huge difference to how your staff feels about your organization.

Don’t forget the fun element

A Gallup survey revealed that close friendships at work boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work. We’re not saying that organizations should play matchmaker with their employees, but there are simple ways you can encourage friendships to begin. Create a schedule of fun events and team-building days, start a sports team or teams, get people involved in charity work, or working together on organizing team days out. The goal is to create an environment where friendships develop naturally.

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