One of the important factors involved in running a business is finding and retaining good employees. Yet, employees choosing to leave a job due to a lack of connection and engagement has increased.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March 2022. Known as the “Great Resignation,” this trend has caught the attention of CEOs, upper-level management, and HR professionals. So why are these workers leaving, and what can you do as a business owner to improve retention?
Let’s explore how you can improve employee engagement within your organization and hold onto the valuable members of your team.
How to Improve Employee Engagement
The key to success is to motivate and engage your team. A team that is passionate about their work and empowered to make strategic choices will achieve greater success.
If you have noticed the level of engagement in your organization has dropped, don’t be alarmed. While the current situation is less than ideal, there are steps you can take to improve upon it.
Below are six ways you can effectively re-engage your team.
1. Leverage Your Team’s Strengths and Passions
When considering the roles performed by your team members, pay attention to their strengths and areas of interest. For example, employees who are truly passionate about their work are more dedicated and happier to return to the workplace every day.
This alignment is also a great way to reduce stress levels among team members. While some members may thrive when faced with the demands of high-profile or VIP clients, others may be better suited for work behind the scenes.
Identifying the strengths of each team member will not only create a happier, more engaged work environment but will also improve productivity. Support this by backing your employees with the necessary budget to complete their projects. This allowance will provide more interest and variety in the workplace by preventing them from feeling stuck on any one task for an extended time.
2. Trust the Decision-Making Abilities of Your Team
When you empower your employees to make their own decisions throughout the workday, you demonstrate you value their work and abilities. Building trust is an important step in creating a workplace where your team can thrive. It builds confidence and encourages each team member to work to their full potential.
Rather than outlining strict operating procedures with no room for personalization, allow your employees to make their best judgment in situations that don’t fit inside the box. Eliminate potential barriers, such as access to funding or tools when needed. You may discover more effective ways to solve problems by equipping staff to tap into their unique skillsets.
3. Regularly Check-In with Your Team
A way to show employees they are an important part of the team is to show them their opinions matter. Take the time to check in with team members regularly. This check-in includes offering clear feedback and opportunities for improvement, opening the door for them to communicate their concerns and ideas.
Employees want direction. Many companies still use the traditional annual review, but this isn’t frequent enough to help your team improve. Instead, try offering a brief weekly update to each team member. Take this time to highlight ways they have performed skillfully and to identify actionable ways they can improve.
4. Allow for Open Communication Both Ways
This improved level of communication also needs to go in both directions. First, make it easy for your team to provide their feedback, including any concerns they may have and ideas for the future. You can encourage this by implementing an open-door policy within the workplace, offering time for your employees to speak up during their weekly check-in, or providing the opportunity for anonymous feedback with employee satisfaction surveys.
Make sure you are following through on the information that you are given. Advocate for their ideas. If they continually offer their feedback and nothing changes, it will only create frustration. The goal is for your team to feel heard and appreciated, which means considering their suggestions.
5. Offer Training and Learning Opportunities
Another way you can help your team grow and improve in their career goals is to offer skill development and ongoing education opportunities. By supporting your team in advancing their career, you will show them that the company is invested in their future. This continued investment of time and resources fosters an environment of dedication and loyalty.
Knowledge and education come in many forms, including:
- Formal education (College and University)
- On-the-Job skills training
- Virtual learning opportunities
When many industries are experiencing skill shortages, investing in your team is a way to benefit both your company and all who work for it.
6. Show Employees You Care About Their Health
In recent years, there has been a growing focus on mental health in all areas of our lives. This renewed focus includes the workplace. Not only will access to better mental health support help to boost work performance and satisfaction, but it will also help to improve the lives of your team outside of work.
There are many ways you can make the mental health of your team a priority. This focus ranges from providing better mental health care in your company’s health benefit plan to allowing for more flexible work hours, paid time off, and “mental health days.”
Prioritizing mental health is more than just providing care for mental illness. It also means encouraging a healthy work/life balance and providing opportunities to relieve workplace stress.
Improve Employee Engagement by Creating an Employee-Centric Work Environment
By creating a work environment focused on empowering and supporting your team, you open the door for your employees to perform to their full potential. It encourages trust, increases productivity, and boosts employee retention. Build a culture that leverages your team’s strengths, trusts their decision-making abilities, encourages communication, and supports the health of all employees. Taking these steps will inspire a healthy, balanced workplace for all.