5 Innovative Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
Updated: Feb 11
What conditions are necessary to create happy workplaces with a thriving community of employees? Every business leader and HR professional has their viewpoint on this topic, but happy workers are a must for a high productivity level.
The first sign of a dissatisfied staff is typically disengagement.
That points to low employee morale, lack of job satisfaction, and a negative attitude towards work. The aftermath can be devastating for a business, resulting in a turnover, absenteeism, poor work quality, and revenue losses.
Despite being among the critical factors for high-performing workplaces, employee engagement levels are the lowest in the UK and western Europe (11 per cent). Only 55 per cent of workers in this part of the world have high life evaluations.
The data implies that an insufficient number of people feels good in their workplace and enjoys their assignments. That also means that business leaders and HR departments should rethink their strategies and implement better solutions.
Otherwise, the consequences could be dire.
Understanding the Complexity of Employee Disengagement
Although most entrepreneurs think about how lack of employee engagement could affect business, it’s necessary to understand the bigger picture. Disengaged workers are rarely happy with their work, coworkers, or managers.
Something in their professional realm isn’t functioning well, and it could have long-lasting aftermaths on their health and motivation. Profitability and revenues might be among the victims of employee disengagement, but unhappiness tends to be contagious.
Employees who don’t find joy in their daily responsibilities and interaction with coworkers are stressed, lack motivation, and probably feel miserable about work. Because of that, they often do their bare minimum and feel no connection with their work environment.
Lack of happiness also causes employees to resent their jobs, drag down office morale, and gripe at their colleagues. That way, they spread their dissatisfaction and turn it into negative energy that becomes hard to subdue.
Moreover, disengagement can lead to unhealthy habits, such as drinking alcohol at the workplace, taking naps, checking social media, online shopping, playing pranks on colleagues, and watching Netflix. These activities hinder productivity but could also be potential safety hazards for other workers.
That means that disengaged employees not only feel demotivated but may also transfer their lack of energy to others in the work environment, creating an endless loop. Because of that, it’s crucial to think beyond profit-related issues.
One disengaged employee could affect the motivation and performance of everyone in the workplace, meaning that having an in-depth understanding of this problem is a must. Avoid thinking about the aftermaths only and how to implement adequate strategies.
If you want to address employee disengagement efficiently, you should understand what caused it in the first place. That way, you can adjust your efforts to the root of the problem and prevent it from happening again.
Here are a few things that could cause disengagement:
Lack of Meaning – Employees should feel that their work has a purpose and contributes to a higher vision. Otherwise, they might believe that there’s no meaning behind their actions and that what they do makes no difference. That could create a state of apathy and make workers uninterested in their tasks.
The Status-quo – Results and progress are the most intense motivation for most people. When in the same position for years, not getting a promotion or a raise, employees might start thinking that they will stagnate regardless of their effort.
Poor Upper Management – No leader wants to hear that, but inefficient managers are often the root of employee disengagement. For example, if favouritism is rampant in the workplace or workers receive little to no feedback, people will likely feel like another cog in the machine.
Inefficient Communication – Clear expectations are essential for collaboration. Employees should know what employers expect them to do, but they should also receive constructive feedback to adjust their efforts.
Inadequate Salary – Workers shouldn’t worry whether they’ll be able to pay the bills or get through the month. Their salaries should correspond to the effort they put in and motivate better performance.
Non-existent Employee training – Career development helps employees adopt new skills, improve the existing \ones, and have a sense of progress. Because of that, companies that offer no employee training or have an inefficient program will likely struggle to engage the staff and entice their productivity.
Work Overload – Regardless of how motivated and efficient they are, an excessive workload will exhaust every employee. No one should deal with more assignments than they can handle because that can cause burnout and resentment.
Lack of Recognition – Fifty-five per cent of employees are more engaged when their work receives recognition. People want to know that employers appreciate their effort and are willing to acknowledge them. Otherwise, they could think that their work is worthless, and they shouldn’t try that hard.
Understanding the complex nature of employee disengagement is critical to detect if something isn’t working well in your company. It also allows you to react to these challenges and find efficient solutions.
Here are a few innovative ideas for boosting employee engagement.
Top 5 Innovative Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
1. Induce the Flow
The flow is a term that originates from positive psychology, and it’s the Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi who made it well-known in 1975. According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is a mental state of an utter focus, making people forget about time and space and immerse themselves in an activity.
When in this state of mind, persons no longer pay attention to hunger, thirst, or any other discomfort they might experience. The only thing that exists in them and their work.
It is as if one action flows from the other, encouraging a complete immersion in the experience. The most significant about the flow is that people can reach it when they enjoy the process itself.
Hence, they don’t focus on an activity due to external rewards or fear of sanctions. As a result, people can improve their emotional regulation, feel more fulfilled, boost their intrinsic motivation, and be happier.
In the last few decades, psychologists have often associated the flow with employee engagement. Csíkszentmihályi believed that the best way to induce this mental state is to choose tasks that align with one’s abilities, eliminate distractions, and remove the fear of failure.
If you want to think beyond the usual methods employers use to increase employee engagement, start by inducing flow. Foster happy workplaces with a thriving community, make workers feel safe and comfortable.
Reduce the external noise, provide adequate lighting, and allow people to personalise their working space. Moreover, ensure that everyone gets assignments that are neither too challenging nor too easy. Every task should match the employees’ skillset.
2. Fair and Transparent Upper Management
If your employees are disengaged, that’s a sign you should assess the leadership and upper management conduct. Although that’s not always the case, it might be that the staff believes not everyone is getting the same treatment and opportunities.
Or it could be that they don’t understand what their managers and supervisors expect from them due to a lack of efficient communication. Consider organising regular meetings with the leadership team to ensure you’re on the same page.
Encourage engagement reports and identify metrics you could track and measure to understand how to improve the workplace. Run weekly employee surveys to discover how satisfied they are with their supervisors and how they treat them.
You could also organise staff-management brainstorming sessions to source new ideas on improving engagement and boosting the sense of community.
3. Avoid Micromanagement at All Costs
Constructive feedback is one thing, but continuous supervision of employees and criticism is another. Have more faith in your staff and allow them to complete tasks at their own pace.
Avoid micromanaging their time and controlling their schedules. Instead, set clear objectives, explain your expectations, and provide the necessary support.
If you constantly monitor employees, you could cause a stressful atmosphere and make people dread how they’ll do their assignments. That can often result in procrastination or rushing out the results.
4. Implement an Efficient Recognition Program
Everyone likes to know that their work makes a difference, and they aren’t doing something in vain. The same applies to employees – they feel more confident and appreciated when their employers acknowledge their input.
Because of that, introduce an efficient recognition program that tracks employee performance, workload, and results. That would help you ensure no one is left out or handling more assignments than they should.
But it would also allow you to reward employees who go the extra mile and achieve stellar results. Be proactive and recognise hard work right away instead of waiting for weeks.
5. Ensure Stellar Communication
Efficient communication is a must in every high-performing workplace with a thriving community. That includes constructive feedback, regular check-ups, and transparency.
Supervisors and managers should communicate with the staff openly and set clear expectations and goals. However, the leadership team should also participate in collaboration channels and provide feedback.
It’s recommendable to leverage technology and apps that allow seamless communication and various features that entice conversations. Seek collaborative platforms that enable your teams to talk about work-related issues, share ideas, and help each other.
Open communication, tight-knit collaboration, and recognition are the pillars of employee engagement. Assess the work environment in your company and evaluate whether the management sets concise expectations and avoids micromanagement.
Teach your teams how to induce the flow and enable employees to immerse themselves in their activities. You’ll entice engagement that relies on intrinsic motivation instead of on pressure and fear of punishment.
Finally, establish efficient collaborative channels that allow everyone to communicate swiftly and without disruptions. The Shoogle app is a great way to provide your employees with a platform that enables them to connect, motivate each other, and feel more engaged.
Try Shoogle now and increase employee engagement through workplace connections and seamless communication.