One of the most costly challenges companies face is the constant struggle of employee turnover. In today’s economy, a majority of workers are open to new opportunities and some are even looking for a chance to jump ship should the right position become available. Between hiring, training, and loss in productivity, turnover can cost companies up to 150% of an employee’s salary. To address this issue, successful businesses are putting a higher emphasis on retaining personnel by focusing on engaging their workforce.
Are you looking for a quick fix that will lead to long-term engagement? Check out these five tips on boosting your employee engagement.
Allow flexibility to avoid burnout.
According to a FlexJobs survey, 74% of job seekers are looking for flexible work options for a better work-life balance. In fact, 88% said telecommuting instead of working in an office would reduce their overall stress levels. Your employees may want it more than you think—20% of respondents would be willing to take a 10% pay cut, 22% would forgo health benefits, and 18% would work more hours in exchange for flexible work options. Allowing flexible hours or telecommuting may not be an option for every job, but for those who can, these options are a great way to reduce stress, raise productivity, and increase overall job satisfaction.
Promote continuing education.
According to a whitepaper from Grovo—The Disappearing Act: Why Millennials Leave Companies—turnover’s expensive revolving door is more prevalent with the Millennial generation as 60% of Gen Yers stay in each job position for less than three years. However, the whitepaper also provided a solution to stop the exodus—learning and development. According to the whitepaper, training and development was the number one perk Millennials considered when deciding on a new job position, beating out cash bonuses and 401(k) programs. Focusing on employee development can include mentoring programs, cross-training, paying for professional club memberships, sending employees to job-related conferences, and even offering subsidized post-graduate courses.
Software company Adobe did a global study on creativity and found that in the U.S., seven out of 10 people believe being creative is valuable to the overall economy, but only 25% feel they are living up to their full creative potential. Being creative is vital to an employee’s overall job satisfaction and can help release positive, mood-altering brain chemicals. Encouraging creativity not only helps employees in their own work, but can also lead to epiphanies for the company. For example, when a group is faced with a problem, before a solution presents itself, people reach an impasse. The right side of the brain thinks logically and doesn’t see a solution—causing frustration. Brainstorming with others and thinking outside of the box makes the brain switch to the creative left side to find a solution, achieving a eureka effect. Offering creative outlets like brainstorming sessions or freedom in project choices, may help your employees tap into their creative side.
Work hard, play hard together.
Your employees spend most of their time with each other over the course of a week. Building camaraderie between co-workers is one of the easiest ways to build employee engagement, but with companies doing more with less these days, the second part of the idiom work hard, play hard is often overlooked. It’s important for your employees to interact outside of a work environment in order to cultivate a strong company culture. If possible, plan a half-day each month for your team to get away from the grind and celebrate your accomplishments. This could be a department meeting that turns to a happy hour or a company mini-retreat. What you do is less important than spending time together without the stress of the office.
Be open to the needs of your employees.
The final tip to help boost employee engagement is a quasi-summation of the other ideas presented in this article. Studies have shown that the number one reason employees leave is because of their direct relationship to their supervisors. Open the channel of communication between you and your teammates. Ask what they are looking for within their job and be open to what they want. Instead of offering programs you think will help boost their engagement, find out what they actually want first, whether it’s flexible work options, continuing education, creative outlets, or networking opportunities. Not every employee wants or needs the same thing, so be open to differing ideas. If possible, consider what works best for each employee. It may be the difference between an engaged staff and a revolving door.
Some companies already have in-depth engagement plans in place, while others are just now dealing with disengagement. Whichever camp you may be in, you can still learn from the principles addressed here. By focusing on the wants and needs of your staff, you will be well along your way to engaging your employees.
What do you do to ensure your employees are fully engaged? How have you boosted engagement in your office? Let us know in the comments section below!
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