Statistics say that only 15% of the world's one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. This is a staggeringly low percentage. It certainly sounds like employers are failing to keep their employees at their best capacity.
Disengaged employees cost businesses a lot. It's something worth exploring and giving some extra thought to.
Does this mean that the majority of employees are not happy at work? Well, yes and no. Only some employees are happy, but being happy at work isn't equal to being engaged and productive. Sometimes and for some people 'being happy at work' means not doing a lot and not caring enough.
So boosting engagement and productivity requires other methods than just making everyone satisfied in the workspace.
It's a true waste to have quality employees and let them be nonproductive or even lose them to another company. If your company isn't doing great it doesn't always mean that you don't have the right people. Most of the time it means that the people that you have are not motivated enough and don't use their full potential.
Involved employees who like and care about their job are likely to increase turnover and improve the business in general.
So how to do this? How to engage employees and create a win-win situation that benefits both the company and the employees? Stick with us to read about the latest innovative approaches to measure and boost employee productivity.
Employers that do their job well and inspire their employees to be the best, are the most successful. This is not always easy, certainly not now with the ever-developing tech world and all the distractions it brings. Plus keeping in touch with the latest HR trends is time-consuming.
To make all of this easier we created a list of the best approaches to increase employees' motivation and involvement. They include:
In the simplest terms, reverse mentoring is the concept of junior employees mentoring senior colleagues. It sounds a little bit unprecedented but it's a concept that is fully accepted in some of the best large companies.
The idea behind this is that everybody has some lack of skills and knowledge that needs to be filled. Nowadays this is more and more connected to technology and the digital world where younger colleagues can help older ones.
Of course, this process needs to be conducted carefully to be successful, taking into consideration the following:
This approach can create positive experiences for younger employees by making them feel empowered and giving them a platform to show what they're good at. Older colleagues, on the other hand, can finally have someone to rely on for skills they feel they lack. If reverse mentoring is done in a safe environment it can be greatly beneficial for both parties.
Setting up a professional development plan for employees can only lead to more engagement if it's done according to their actual professional needs and career goals. Otherwise, it can have the opposite effect.
Making workers attend hours-long professional training they couldn't care less about will only make them less productive and unhappy. We've all been there. Sitting throughout the training just because you have to.
But, if done right professional development should offer advancement and open new doors. To achieve this the training should be assigned in collaboration with the employees and should serve them in achieving their career goals.
If the employee is given the chance to set up their career path and pick and choose what potential professional development he/she needs to succeed, they'll take this more seriously and most importantly it will lead to more engagement.
Although they are employees and are managed by the company, a sense of some autonomy is always welcomed. Workers need to be delegated tasks and held accountable. However, this doesn't mean that their every step should be micromanaged.
Deadlines, directions, and reports all serve to help the manager control what is happening during the working process. But, nobody likes their boss breathing down their neck every day.
By leaving them some autonomy in the working process employees will feel trusted. This will eventually lead to the outcomes and results speaking for themselves. And that's how people start being more productive and efficient but on their terms.
This also leaves space for more work-life balance. We've seen in recent years that letting everybody work from home doesn't mean they're binge-watching Netflix all day. If trusted, people get the work done even when no one is watching them. Micromanagement can have a negative toll and won't help with engagement if practiced on regular bases.
The hiring and HR industry has become a universe of its own. It's very clear to successful companies that to find the right people they need to invest a lot in the recruitment process. This means
Investing in the hiring process means investing time, energy and, money. But, finding the right people in the beginning also saves a lot of these three things in the long run. If you have the team and tools that will choose the right people they will easily become engaged in a productive environment.
Teambuilding isn't a new concept in the HR industry. On the contrary, it's well-established and it's only taking new and better forms tailored to the needs of the staff.
The best way to create strong team connections is to let people get to know each other outside work. This can be done by doing away days usually outside the place of residence.
This gives people the chance to truly disconnect from their everyday routine and everything related to work and spend some relaxed and enjoyable moments together. These days should be planned out with activities that will make everybody work together and lift spirits.
However, team building requires spending quite a lot of money and investing time and energy in organizing them. So if this isn't something that's always on the menu for your company there are other ways to create connections.
• Themed days and meals These are usually aligned with some holidays but can also just be created by the employees (Burrito Friday for instance)
• Celebrating birthdays It doesn't sound very innovative but if forgotten, birthdays can become a big deal. It's not easy to remember everybody's birthday so having some kind of calendar and schedule helps.
Larger companies have one day a month where they honor everybody born that month. It's a small gesture but truly helps people feel special.
• Family gatherings and celebrations Bringing in the family and especially kids creates a new level of communication. It means we include your family in the company and want to know them. These can be in the form of Christmas kids' parties, Family branches or barbeques, etc.
Further connections created by spouses getting to know each other and the kids playing together will only deepen the relationship between employees.
Hopefully, the connections built throughout these gatherings will reflect in the workspace and will help employees see another more human side of themselves.
It's absolutely a difficult thing to measure and calculate but it's not impossible. It actually is needed in order to know where your company stands and if you need to change something. This is done by applying employee engagement metrics which should tell you how engaged your employees are.
Some metrics that will help you measure productivity are:
There are many more metrics to help you in this field, but they have to be chosen in accordance with your business model and type of work.
Now that you have all the best approaches regarding employee engagement and productivity it should be easier to locate the problems and match them with solutions. The worst thing to think about employees who don't give their best is that 'there's nothing that can be done, it's just who they are'.
Oh, there's plenty that can be done and most of these approaches don't take a lot to be implemented. So it's up to you to start applying them and start seeing results.
Iskra Stojanovska has been an English teacher for more than 13 years now. She is also a freelance translator, interpreter, and university professor for both. She’s currently looking for a career change and other ways in which she can make use of her knowledge of English. Content writing is a definite choice.