It’s no secret that keeping employees happy is essential to reducing turnover. However, employee satisfaction is only part of the explanation as to why employees stay at their workplace; an employee can be content with their job without feeling engaged.
Employee engagement is more than an employee being content or satisfied with their job. Employee engagement measures the extent to which an employee feels passionate about their job, committed to the organization’s goals, and lends themselves to their work [i]. They are motivated to work beyond the status quo in order to keep their job or move within their job.
Fostering employee engagement is what defines the difference between a good business and a truly great one. At Zappos, employees can shadow other employees from different departments for a few hours, helping them learn the ins and outs of the organization while building connections across the company[ii]. In fact, businesses have reported higher engagement results in 51% higher productivity [iii]. Moreover, increasing employee engagement has significant impacts on workplace morale, employee retention, and alignment to the company’s mission.
Here are four ideas to increase employee engagement in an organization:
1. Start from Day One
From day one, an on-boarding program creates a space for new hires to be oriented into the organization’s vision and mission, and to understand where their role fits into the organization’s work. By allocating budget to a new hires lunch and spending time introducing new employees to people within their workplace, is a start of a positive and rewarding relationship within an organization.
2. Get Social
Make it easy for colleagues to get to know each other by scheduling social outings such as monthly parties. This helps establish a fun work environment. By forming friendships, collaboration and communication is fostered among team members.
3. Encourage volunteering
Ask employees what organization(s) they are passionate about, then set aside time to give back through volunteer work. Getting involved in the community strengthens employee relationships and morale, while building other expertise and skills.
4. Celebrate achievements and people
Acknowledging employee milestones and goals reached can provide a sense of accomplishment by making employees feel valued for their work. This can range from public recognition, private one-on-one recognition, or promotion to increasing their role in scope and responsibility. It can lead to increased productivity and higher retention.
It’s a great idea to not only acknowledge work related milestones, but personal ones as well. Taking time out of the day to hold a celebration for events such as birthdays and marriages is an excellent way to boost engagement and satisfaction of your employees.