Among U.S. employees, only 31 percent are actively engaged at work. This means over 50 percent of employees are showing up to work, accomplishing the bare minimum and checking out at 5:00. When a workplace operates under these conditions, productivity, motivation, and morale drop. To help you avoid this lackluster culture, we’ve gathered a few tips for engaging and motivating your employees in the new year.
When employees feel stagnant in their role it can contribute to a lack of motivation and boredom. BY encouraging your employees to utilize their individual skills in their roles by granting them a bit of creative of freedom, it can produce a more self-driven workplace. When people feel a sense purpose and personal interest in their work, naturally they’ll be more engaged and productive.
Open Lines of Communication
When employees feel they can’t voice their opinions, whether it be for an idea they have or problem, grievances and disengagement tend to occur and eventually build up over time. Employee’s may not feel comfortable approaching an authority figure when there is an issue, so it’s important for managers to seek feedback from their direct reports and assure them that their voices matter. This can be as focused as organizing quick chats with individuals asking for honest feedback on their job, or as broad as company wide forums where people can share their thoughts on company strategies.
Create Good Company Culture
Happiness drives productivity in the workplace. Creating a fun and engaging work environment has been proven time and time again to improve employees’ satisfaction levels in their jobs. Taking the offices at Google for example, employees are provided with entertainment and gaming areas, exercise facilities, snacks and beverages, even massage chairs for them to utilize at their leisure. This is of course extreme, but the idea is there. Utilizing the resources you have at your disposal to foster an enjoyable environment can make all the difference in culture.
A few more attainable ideas that can produce a positive impact include:
- Flexible work hours or work-from-home policies?
- Casual dress Fridays?
- Organized company lunches or happy hours?
- Provided snacks and beverages?
Boredom strikes when employees run out of things to do. To keep your team engaged and productive, eliminate downtime as much as possible. By ensuring that all employees have something to do throughout the day, they will feel they’re contributing something to the team and are therefore valued.
Recognize & Appreciate
Showing employees that you recognize and appreciate them can go a long way in employee satisfaction. Without recognition for their hard work, employees will likely lose motivation to achieve more than the bare minimum at their job. Fortunately, showing appreciation for your employees can be done in several simple ways. Initiating one-on-one meetings with individuals to share your praise for their work and listen to any feedback or ideas they have reassures employees that their efforts do not go unnoticed.
Encouraging engagement and motivation is not strictly up to the leadership team, employees can and should work to engage one another. Here are a few best practices we recommend in this case.
Peer Mentor Program
Whether it’s sharing ideas amongst your own department or shadowing a colleague from another can be a great way to build up each others skills and get to know your coworkers.
Lunch and Learn
Organizing volunteer opportunities for employees to demonstrate a new technique or lessons beyond the day-to-day can provide insight on the people you work with and a chance to learn something.
Open yourself up to building lasting friendships at work, whether that be through lunches or after work happy hours. It’s worth your while as Gallup found that workplace friendships yield more productive employees.
The new year always ignites a feeling of refreshment and improvement. Heading into 2019, we hope these tips contribute to your year being more engaged and motivated than ever!
About the Author
Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.