Is it possible to stimulate authentic employee engagement without throwing promotions, salary increases or costly incentives at the problem? Read on to find out more.

By now you’ve read the numbers. You know that employee engagement is directly associated with productivity, customer service and profitability. To recap, here are a few of the most vital crib notes.

Bottom-line benefits of employee engagement include:

  • Lower staff turnover
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • Organisational stability

Things that stand in the way of meaningful engagement include:

  • Poor communication
  • Distrust of managers
  • Job market instability
  • Insufficient cohesion among workers & teams

KEY TAKEOUT

Trying to buy an employee’s enthusiasm and commitment to the company will not succeed. Higher pay and/or incentives will improve overall job satisfaction but has little impact on driving engagement and stimulating innate effort. The most effective way to promote engagement is to pay more attention, make employees feel valued and create a platform for individuals to connect with their work on an emotional level. The good news? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

HOW TO GET IT DONE

Here are a few ways to stimulate authentic engagement without sending your accounting personal into a budget-related flat spin:

  1. Talk purpose and impact: Employees today want to feel that their jobs have meaning. Help them see how their role contributes to the greater purpose of the company and society
  2. Give your guys the right tools. Make sure everyone has the things they need to get their job done well. Sometimes this means simplifying processes to alleviate frustration, rather than adding something new.
  3. Schedule one-on-one time. The best way to find out what your employees want is simply to ask them. It could be more autonomy, public recognition or a slight change of responsibility.
  4. Invite and follow through on feedback. If your employees feel that there are is no substantial follow-through on their suggestions, they are unlikely to share their opinions again. It doesn’t have to be immediate but keep them apprised of progress.
  5. Develop potential. Create a culture rooted in continuous skills development. No training budget? Arrange for cross-training among departments, or match mentors and mentees within the company.
  6. Create relevant, to-the-point communication. Target and segment internal messages and communication according to relevance. Employees will hit ‘delete’ if it’s not instantly clear how the information impacts them.
  7. Reward and Recognise. Develop a culture of reward and recognition – top-down and peer to peer. In most companies, acknowledgment is only reserved for when employees go beyond the call of duty. What these companies are missing out on is the improved performance that comes from regularly praising employees for simply doing their jobs.

Remember though that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every company has its own way of doing things. What works for a large corporate might not be suitable in a fin-tech start-up. Play around until you find your formula. Or ask us to help you find your formula!

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