8 ways to increase employee engagement
As expectations about work shift, employers may need to rethink how they create engaged employees. From personalization to being smarter about technology, these employee engagement tactics can help..
Engaging employees in the coming years might mean rethinking job descriptions and worker development. Employees are living and working longer, using technology differently and following less linear career paths. Here are eight employee engagement tactics for the changing workplace.
1. Personalize job descriptions
As workplaces become increasingly diverse, a one-size-fits-all approach to managing employees is no longer practical. According to the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM), giving employees tasks that suit their interests is a simple way to boost engagement.
For instance, if an employee likes mentoring others, consider having them train new employees once a quarter. To figure out employees’ interests, you can use a formal approach, like a personality assessment, or simply ask them if they have a preference.
2. Create dynamic career paths
It’s no surprise that fostering development helps engage employees. But there’s more to it than just education and training.
According to research by Deloitte, employees now prefer to create careers around their experiences — not the other way around: “Leading organizations are shifting toward a model that empowers individuals to acquire valuable experiences, explore new roles and continually reinvent themselves.”
3. Focus attention on all age groups
People are living — and working — longer, giving employers an opportunity to engage with older workers to develop new career models.
This does more than motivate skilled and experienced workers to contribute. It also shows younger employees that there is a path forward that extends beyond a five-year plan.
4. Pair words with action
Rewarding good work is one of the basic tenets of improving employee engagement. But often employers hand out bonuses or praise in private.
According to SHRM, public praise can help engagement. Start by discussing the company’s overall vision with employees, then, publicly acknowledge employees who help you achieve that vision.
5. Serve the community
How a company interacts with and serves the community is an increasingly large part of its identity, according to Deloitte. This can extend to how companies interact with their employees.
SHRM says service projects help employees find meaning through their work, which is a top driver of engagement. Charitable events can also break up daily tasks, and employees may feel comfortable going beyond the limits of their job descriptions when it’s for a good cause.
6. Foster friendship
When employees are emotionally invested in their jobs, they tend to be more engaged. Creating a strong team dynamic can be one of the easiest ways to get employees invested. Fostering friendship amongst employees can be as simple as an HR sponsored potluck or an office happy hour.
7. Keep humans in the loop
Automated intelligence and robotics are constantly lauded as the future of work, which can cause employees to fear for their jobs and disengage.
Focusing on people, whether it’s through retraining initiatives, or rearranging how they fit into the organization, can help employees stay plugged in to their work, according to Deloitte.
8. Think about UX
You might spend a lot of time thinking about the customer user experience, but what about improving the employee user experience? If your company requires employees to log in to multiple applications with different passwords, it could lead to frustration and disengagement, according to SHRM.
Deloitte takes it one step further, reminding businesses that being hyper-connected doesn’t necessarily mean being hyper-productive. Collaborative platforms only boost engagement when they fit in a broader organizational structure.
Ready to learn more? Read how rewarding employees and teams who perform well can help them stay engaged.