Employee satisfaction and feelings of self-worth are more important to the success of a business now more than ever before. But as American workers see good jobs continuing to be outsourced to foreign countries, a new air of uncertainty is developing in the workplace. And robots, once a fantasy of science fiction, are now a reality. Long used in automobile manufacturing to perform assembly-type work, companies are poised to place robots in white-collar jobs.
To overcome these fears, warranted or not, companies should work to make their employees feel more engaged in what they do and who they work for.
However, a recent Gallup poll showed that more than half of the employees across the country are not engaged with their work. That’s a warning flag all businesses should pay attention to. Why? Because poor employee engagement can negatively affect the bottom line by reducing productivity. Additionally, high employee turnover and low morale can eat away at a company’s reputation and standing in the business community.
If the lack of engagement and enthusiasm has become an issue with a company, there are steps that can be taken to reverse those feelings.
Make employees feel like owners.
This step doesn’t necessarily mean issuing stock options or other revenue sharing plans. Little things like company suggestion boxes with payment for good ideas, or encouraging employees to personalize their workspaces with family photos and allowing them to form teams to work in joined projects help install a psychological ownership that can translate to better employee engagement.
Companies willing to share information on their goals and future plans instill a sense of purpose employees want. This is especially true for younger generation workers. Let them in on the big picture and show them how their individual work performance and effort can help affect the outcome.
This is critical in developing an atmosphere where employees want to engage with their work. It’s fair to read between the lines to assume the employees who responded negatively felt they worked for uncaring, unengaged management. Much of the negative finger-pointing was because of a lack of communication from above and a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
Choice and collaboration.
If possible, give employees a chance to choose what programs they feel they can best participate in. Develop a system where the efforts of other team members are shared. If work can be done in a collaborative effort with co-workers on projects, encourage this by establishing teams. Introduce learning and collaborating in an engaging manner in order to entice more enthusiasm and involvement.
Effective payroll system.
Nothing can make an employee feel more disengaged with their job or company than a dysfunctional or inconsistent payroll system. People want to know they can depend on receiving their paychecks on schedule and for the correct amount. If a problem does come up, they want to feel it will be handled swiftly and efficiently in a courteous manner by their payroll management system.
Companies should strive to develop a positive corporate image by being involved with the community around them. Sponsoring youth sports leagues or charity drives utilizing volunteers from within the workforce is an excellent way to grow pride in the company the employee works for. Soliciting ideas from employees for community projects is a great way to get the employees more engaged in the company they work for and show pride in their work.
With these tips, employers should work with employees to improve engagement levels in order to keep retention levels high as well as business performance.
Written by: Malcolm Rowlings
Malcolm Rowlings spends his time elevating businesses through independent consultant work, with core focuses around; bigger ideas, bottom-lines and better business. When Malcolm isn’t writing, or meeting with a board, he’s gearing for the eventual ultra marathon he’s been planning for years.