An astounding 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace, and that can cost companies over $400 billion a year. Knowing these employee engagement strategies can improve morale, productivity, and profitability.
A happier employee is a better worker. There is plenty of data to support that assertation, yet there’s less data on how to make workers happy. An obvious answer would be money, but the truth is that it often isn’t quite that straightforward.
While money is a useful tool, it’s not actually the best motivator, and it certainly isn’t the key to employee happiness. Money can be a limiting factor if your employees aren’t getting enough of it, or if they’re being paid less than they feel they deserve – but throwing more money at well-paid workers does not make them more efficient, or more engaging.
To facilitate employee engagement strategies that actually work, it’s critical to identify what engagement actually means, and how to define it. This is especially important in shared office spaces, where it’s harder to identify with an employer or a company, and where finding and developing a cohesive bond between employer and employee is critical.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is best described as the enthusiasm a worker shows for their work and contributions, and the organization or company they work for. Employee enthusiasm is being attentive at work, putting in extra time here and there to deliver a project early, brainstorming and showing initiative, and caring about the future of the company.
Engagement is when a worker works not only to further their own career path, but because they believe in their offer to the client or consumer, and because they feel their effort is worth something. An engaged employee is someone who can feel that their contribution is making a difference, someone who feels valued, someone who feels that they belong to something greater than just a job description.
It can be measured with a few simple questions, like:
- Do you like your work?
- Do you feel valuable to the organization?
- Are you proud of your accomplishments at the company?
- Do you feel that people listen to you?
- Have you improved as a result of your time at this company?
Employee Engagement Strategies
An engaged employee will typically be a happier employee, and as a result, a more productive one. It’s clear that there are many factors influencing employee engagement, but it is ultimately a combination of two major underlying considerations:
- The personality of the employee and their synergy with the company culture.
- The way employees and workers integrate into their role at the company.
1. Improve the Role of the Workplace
Coworking spaces can be a great way to improve worker productivity through an open, cooperative environment that emphasizes a more casual and creative approach to work. But a shared workspace doesn’t guarantee a job well done, and it can make the bond between company and workers less tangible, and more difficult to define.
A shared workspace does not have a unique culture for each individual or group, but possesses a shared, general, and cooperative culture. This is the best kind of culture to have to help welcome newcomers and foster healthy relationships, but it doesn’t leave any room for the development of a unique company culture.
You need other ways to help your workers identify with their roles in the company and feel part of something bigger.
2. Understand Personality Differences
Some people are just more optimistic, more conscientious, and more loyal. They’re the ones most likely to show high engagement and identify more easily with their colleagues and workspace. They develop a stronger bond with those they work with and are easier to engage with.
Those with a more pessimistic attitude are less likely to feel positive about their work or their company and are less likely to display high levels of engagement.
It’s impossible to please everyone. You shouldn’t expect 100 percent engagement, but you can watch out for people who are generally more positive and glass-half-full during the hiring process.
3. Ask the Employees
Employee engagement strategies that work are more complex than just paying more. One of the best ways to figure out where to start is to ask your own people. Start a worker committee, remember that engagement begins with the employees, and ask them what it is they feel the company should be doing to improve its direction and provide a better service.
By turning around and asking your workers what they think, you’re giving them a chance to influence the course of the company and wield power. Suggestions are suggestions, not orders, but it can also be a good opportunity to collect great ideas.
4. Show that Work Is a Learning Opportunity
The opportunity to improve is something many workers relish, once a job fulfills the basic need of providing a livable income and a realistic future. It’s great for workers to know that they have places to go, but cerebral challenges and interesting situations at work can offer more than just recognition, but personal growth and achievement. Employee engagement strategies begin with the opportunity to become a better professional.
If you want an employee investment in their position at a company to be geniune, then you need to make them feel like the relationship they have with your company is not one-sided. Some workers feel like they give, give, and give, and receive nothing past the bare minimum (money).
A good salary is important, but key to helping someone feel like they’re in a healthy relationship with their employer is through opportunities that represent a chance to improve drastically.
Employee engagement strategies can be utilized from many different avenues, even in coworking spaces. Key to it all is remembering that employees want reasons to be proud of their work, and they need to tie those reasons to the company or space they work in.
If you can prove to your workers that they’re benefitting in more ways than one from working with you, they’ll be more engaged in their own work, and much more motivated to continue improving over the long term.