Did you know that just 29% of US milennials claim to feel “engaged in their jobs”. In August 2016, the Gallup How Millennials Work & Live report revealed that 71% of the American millennial work force feels either “not engaged” or actively disengaged in their professional lives.
But it’s not just young people who feel disconnected and under-stimulated by their work. Further Gallup surveys point to the average level of workplace engagement in the States sitting at around 32%, with worldwide professional engagement at an even more dismal 13%. Given that most US workers will spend around 30% of their entire lives at work, this low level of engagement is troubling both socially and economically.
A workplace which actively engages its employees has huge gains to make. From lower staff turnover and better talent retention, to higher levels of productivity, reduced sick leave and a positive, vibrant business, taking steps to engage your staff can prove to be a massive boon.
Here are a few ideas to help you beat the national average…
- Focus on fitness
Healthy bodies provide an excellent foundation for healthy minds, which is one reason why finding a way to offer fitness-related perks for staff is a smart engagement booster. Whether you offer free or subsidised gym membership, take part in a bicycle scheme or arrange a weekly fitness class, providing fitness benefits helps staff feel looked after and more energetic. Research suggests that regular exercise can boost concentration, improve memory, enhance creativity and even improve mental health across the board.
- Let the light in
The spaces we occupy have more of an impact on our mood and our outlook than we typically realise. From minimising migraine-inducing fluorescent lighting and welcoming in more mood-boosting natural light, to investing in ergonomic furniture which ensures your staff feel comfortable and cared for, there are many ways to redesign your workplace to improve employee engagement. After all, happy, comfortable workers who feel their needs are being met work both harder and happier.
- Inspire staff with satsumas
An office fruit delivery service may not sound like the answer to your employee engagement quandary, but a simple apple-a-day can make a surprising difference to how staff view your business. Fruitful Office’s “Great Fruit Experiment” case study recently revealed that 79% staff felt more valued by their employer when free fruit was made available. A further 80% claimed their quality of life at work had improved with the introduction of office fruit deliveries, while the businesses themselves measured an 11% increase in productivity.
- Keep tabs on your team
No, we don’t mean in a creepy, “inbox sneaking” way – we’re talking about regularly measuring employee happiness and engagement with a helpful tool like VibeCatch. Frequent measurement of employee outlook doesn’t just offer insights into how well you are engaging your team and into areas in which you need to improve, it also sends a clear message to your staff that their feelings and happiness matter – after all, who knows more about employee engagement than your employees themselves?Regularly soliciting their opinion with this type of software ensures staff feel like their voices and opinions are being heard – just make sure you follow through with improvements based on their feedback to demonstrate you are truly listening.
- Try creative team-building
The thought of another dry seminar on “collaboration” or session of “team-building games” may fill the hearts and souls of your staff members with dread, but there is more than one way to bring your employees together.Positive, productive, professional and enjoyable workplace relationships can be a huge engagement booster, as staff begin to care more about fulfilling their role within the team and about supporting their co-workers. To help your staff feel more connected, there’s no need to subject them to “trust falls” in a crummy seminar room. Why not make the experience fun?Escape rooms are one of the latest trends in corporate team-building, trapping employees in a mysterious space filled with puzzles or clues they must solve together in order to win their freedom. A fantastic co-operative team-building activity, this is probably the only situation in which imprisoning your employees is actually a good idea.
- Provide perks
Everybody loves a perk. From at-desk massages once a month and cinema vouchers for employees who have achieved their personal targets, to free pizza when staff have to pull a late one and a nice cold beer on a Friday – there are lots of small ways to reward staff, make them feel special and win their loyalty and engagement as a result. Take time to talk to your team to discover what type of treats they would value, then find a way to make their work lives better.
What employee engagement techniques have you used to boost staff well-being and productivity? Share your stories and your experiences with other readers below.