There’s been no shortage of tough times over the last few years, and it’s taken its toll on employee engagement.
As the post-COVID era scrambles to work itself out, UK engagement levels are at a historic low. According to research from Gallup, only 9% of people feel enthused by their work and workplace in 2022, so what’s the key to fixing it?
There’s no magical medicine that works the same for everyone, but there are some fundamentals worth thinking about.
Better employee engagement levels enrich the business at every level. From increased production and profitability to greater morale and a good reputation, it’s your people that power the business, so taking care of their needs is a must.
If you don’t know where to start looking, here are 5 steps you can take today to help you keep your employees engaged in tough times.
1. Leaders Need to Facilitate Personal Growth
Employee engagement often starts and ends with leadership. The best leaders facilitate their team’s personal growth rather than hinder it.
Positive language, clear communication, transparency, and feedback all make a world of difference. Leadership needs to set an example, and this should be an example of support, empathy, and understanding.
Top tip: Update and Circulate Your Own PDP (Personal Development Plan). This is a great way of setting an example, showing vulnerability, and encouraging continuous growth.
2. Create a Culture That Works for Everyone
A good culture needs to be able to work for everyone. If employees are able to engage with the culture that surrounds them, you’ll have a much easier time building that all-important sense of inclusivity and belonging.
Company culture is a bit of a buzzword, but in today’s hybrid era, it’s more important than ever. A rotten company culture migrates to the digital world too.
Top Tip: Send out regular short surveys (that you acknowledge and drive action from). This can give your employees the opportunity to voice thoughts, share concerns and suggest changes, engaging them in the curation of your culture.
3. Empower, Trust, and Discover Your Talent
Often, empowered employees are engaged employees. Leaders need to trust their people with responsibility and place them in positions of influence.
Ignite ownership and real investment in work by trusting employees to take the reins of their projects.
An added bonus of empowered people is that you tend to unlock and discover their talents. In a candidate-driven market, employees have more options than ever before. Why should they choose you?
Top tip: Encourage Ownership of Employee Projects
Look at your projects and see where you can give ownership across your team – You could use a strength matrix to give people tasks that play into their strengths and passion.
4. Communication is Key
Clear communication is vital. For many businesses, COVID spotlighted the critical need for communication, and it’s a need that’s proved incredibly difficult to fulfill. High engagement and good communication go hand in hand.
It can be extremely tough to pinpoint what’s not working in your company culture without the right perspective. Equally, great communication is the foundation of setting clear expectations that will drive energy and excitement for their work.
Top tip: Establish Communication handrails. Provide a framework for using different platforms, set expectations on response times, and support on how to structure feedback.
5. Recognise, praise and celebrate together
A culture that recognises a job well done is rarer than it should be. Ten million people, or one third of all UK employees feel undervalued at work, according to a study from Appreciate.
If employees aren’t able to see that their company values them, why should they value the company? Besides, getting recognised for doing a good job feels good.
Kindness will prevail!
It’s worth noting that some people need the social side of work to stay engaged, whereas others would rather evaporate at the thought of an after-work drink with the team. People need to feel connected in different ways.
Team-building exercises can be important tools in the employee engagement mission, but they need to suit your team’s needs.
Top tip: Set up a calendar of team events. These should be designed to celebrate and recognise all the good work your team are doing and offer an opportunity to develop how the team works together to achieve great things.
How Equiris Consulting Helps
At Equiris consulting, we can run a deep-dive diagnosis of your business, enabling us to get to the root cause of your employee engagement challenges. By conducting a culture capture, we can leverage your unique business data to develop a solution that works for your specific needs.
If you have any questions about our products or processes, please get in touch with the team at Equiris today, we’d love to be a part of your journey.