One of the hallmarks of a positive workplace culture is that staff are engaged—and often noticeably so. You’re apt to see people greet one another in the hallways or intently conversing with one another at their work stations. Everyone has a certain bounce in their step and there’s a tangible optimistic energy in the air.
Strong staff engagement promotes a great working culture. Would you believe only 15% of workers around the world feel engaged in their jobs? This is from a 2022 report by Gallup called State of the Global Workplace. From this remarkably low bar, there’s much to be gained by encouraging staff engagement. Here’s how to start.
Have you ever started in a new position with very little guidance? Maybe you’ve just been given an employee handbook, your job description and instructions for your first assignment.
Onboarding needs to include a proper plan with timelines for review of specific material like the firm’s purpose, mission, vision, goals, reporting structure and more. New employees should be introduced to the colleagues they’ll be working with and taken on a tour of the operation. This process takes time, and new hires should be allowed to ask questions along the way.
Pairing new staff with a more experienced employee can supplement the orientation their direct supervisor provides. Help people to feel engaged from day one to signal that their contribution is important and the experience they bring to the job is valued and welcomed.
This is also the time when the new team member can learn about the company’s culture. How the enterprise began and its founding principles are important to know. Beyond this, a person starting out should understand how these principles are demonstrated through the daily cultural experience. Armed with this knowledge, they’re more ready to follow suit.
Match staff to the right role
Recruitment is a whole other endeavor entirely. However, if you’ve done your due diligence with a solid hiring procedure and checked references, chances are you’ve hired the best candidate for the job. With that in mind, you need to make sure that your new employee has the requisite on-the-job training to really show their stuff. By checking in with the employee regularly you can assess whether supplementary training might be helpful, such as a course or time to job shadow a seasoned staff.
After acquiring the talent that you need and nurturing the individual’s development in their role, you should be thinking ahead to make sure you retain your best people. Individuals need to grow and be stimulated at work. This ensures that they continue to feel engaged in their responsibilities. Granted, some staff will be perfectly happy staying in a job for many years, but you can’t assume that this will be the situation for others. Keeping people committed to your firm involves supporting them to build the competencies required for higher-level positions.
Invest in your business
When your workers are confident that you’re bringing in the latest technology and doing away with inefficient practices, they’ll be excited to come to work. Involved team members want to know that they have the right tools to do a first-rate job. If they’re frustrated trying to use outdated systems or processes that waste time, their job engagement will quickly plummet.
What’s more, they’ll get the message that what they do isn’t important enough or that they don’t count. Feeling this sort of disrespect will not predispose staff to bring forth a good effort in completing tasks or working closely with coworkers.
If you’re unsure about where to invest in your business, there are many things you can do. Networking with others in the industry, hiring a consultant, or asking your employees what they think are all good courses of action to generate some great ideas. Even if you believe you’ve got a good plan, ask your staff for their opinion anyway. You may discover some novel approaches and you’ll definitely fuel employee engagement.
An engaged workforce is one where individuals collaborate and enjoy working towards a common goal. Teamwork can take many forms. Staff might work together on a special project with each team member taking on a specific role based on their training or expertise. Other work teams may happen across departments and be more long-standing due to the organizational structure.
There should also be an opportunity to build relationships outside daily professional responsibilities. It’s not uncommon for companies to organize events to support the local community where people can experience a different kind of teamwork. This is characterized by collaborating simply as individuals representing the employer and can really boost engagement back at the office afterwards.
These four simple steps—prioritizing onboarding, matching staff to the right role, investing in the business, and supporting teamwork—can yield some amazing results when it comes to an engaged workforce.