Three low cost ways to increase employee engagement

Employee engagement is regularly cited as the solution to all people management issues but what is it and how can you try to create an engaged team in your workplace?

Employee engagement strategies are designed to create environments where people can reach their potential and be their best self at work. Research has shown that by providing people with the skills they need to do their role, the motivation to do a good job and the opportunity to participate in the success of the business then they are more likely to give an employee their ‘discretionary effort’. Discretionary effort is when someone goes above and beyond what is expected of them as part of their role. High performers tend to contribute this type of effort the most within a business.

In addition to this, engaged employees tend to be more productive, innovative and committed to achieving business goals (Gallup 2019). This in turn often results in a decrease in staff turnover and absenteeism.

This all sounds great but what can you do to increase employee engagement on a small budget.

Here are three low cost ways to increase employee engagement:

1. Developing your team

It is difficult for people to feel truly engaged with an organisation if they feel that they lack the skills to do their role well. If you want to encourage a high-performance culture then you need to be willing to develop people and provide them with the training, they need to do their role to the best of their ability. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to ring fence a huge training budget (although that would also be a winner if you have the finances to support it). Instead you can look at more cost-effective, organic ways to increase the skills in your organisation. Perhaps you could introduce a mentoring programme to utilise the existing skills you have. Knowledge sharing like this is a great way to future proof your organisation as knowledge isn’t locked in the heads of one or two key individuals. Reverse mentoring (where less experienced individuals provide a different view point and sounding board to more senior ones) is also a fantastic way to encourage intergenerational collaboration.

2. Feedback & Recognition

We understand that engagement is more likely if people are motivated to do a good job but how can you encourage your people to become more motivated? A very simple way is to offer them regular feedback and recognition when they’ve done a good job to ensure that they know that they are on the right track. Holding regular one-to-ones where you focus on the individual’s morale and development goes a long way to connecting with your team and also understanding what you can do to better support and develop their career aspirations. As part of the one-to-ones you can also highlight recent successes and congratulate them on a job well done. As important as financial recognition is, it is important to also focus on non-financial recognition initiatives such as thank you emails or even a thank you sticky note and an inexpensive treat as these go a long way to creating a genuine feedback culture.

3. Contributing to organisational success

The 2017 CIPD Employee Outlook Report found that two-fifth of the employees questioned as part of the study felt that they receive either limited information or worse when it came to their organisation’s strategy. One of the simplest ways to increase engagement is to provide an environment where your people feel that the work they are doing is contributing to the overall success of the organisation. If your people don’t know what the organisational strategy is, then how can they know if what they do each day contributes towards the strategic objectives? A quick win is to always ensure that your organisational strategy is made available to your people either via internal communications or even better, on your website. The next step is to think about how everyone can contribute to the company strategy. A simple and cost-effective way to do this is to cascade down your objectives from the leadership through to the rest of your people. For example, your strategic objective might be to move into a new market. You can then cascade this objective to the relevant teams or departments and their objectives then act as the building blocks needed to make this happen i.e. research new areas (sales), develop new products (tech), market new products (marketing), recruit specialist talent (hr) etc. Before you know it, you have an organisation all pulling in the same direction with engagement on the increase.

Do you need some help to shape improve your employee engagement strategies? Green Jay is a strategic HR consultancy that can help you to recruit, retain and develop top talent. Get in touch today for a free consultation and we’ll help you with all aspects of your people management. #Bath #Bristol #HR #talent #talentmanagement #startup #scaleup