Employee engagement is something that can take a workplace from ‘okay’ to ‘excellent.’ Your efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction often directly correlate to your employee engagement. To boil it down to the simplest terms, if your staff wants to be there, they’ll be more engaged. Take a look at these simple workplace changes that boost employee engagement.
Serve Your Staff
Servant leadership is a leadership model that focuses on making sure the needs of your team are met firsthand. If your staff see you jumping in to help out wherever necessary, they’re more likely to follow your lead and respect you as a leader too. Remember that your team is watching and learning from your work ethic and attitude.
“Being a leader doesn’t mean you get to delegate and shirk the boring responsibilities,” says Chris Gadek, Head of Growth at AdQuick. “If this has been your previous practice, drop that attitude. Instead, get into the midst of things by taking on those tasks that nobody really wants to do and allowing your staff to see your willingness to be a team player and maintain a positive outlook even during the boring parts of the job. Employee engagement often mirrors the examples being set by the leader.”
Provide The Tools and Technology
While what you have may have worked for a while, it’s always nice to look at potential updates and upgrades to technology that could help boost your employee engagement. If people are equipped with the things they need to succeed, they’ll be more excited to come to work each day and are more likely to engage regularly.
“Talk to your staff about the tools and technology that they’re using,” says Kyle Clements, CEO of Quipli. “If they feel they don’t have the right tools and technology to do their job well or to compete against other brands in the industry, they’re less likely to be engaged and proactive in their work. Providing tools and technology to help them engage and show you appreciate their work can be a great way to boost employee engagement.”
There’s a big difference between frequent check-ins and micromanaging. Make sure you’re not crossing that boundary, but doing a few laps through the office each week to check in on your staff or holding weekly meetings can help you better gauge where your employees are at. If they feel you care about them as a person as well as an employee, they’re more likely to open up during these check-ins.
“Floating through the office to chat and check in with your staff might seem like a distraction to them, but in reality, this can be a great way to boost employee engagement,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce Luggage Storage. “Brainstorming sessions where you boost their self-esteem by supporting their ideas are a great way to boost employee engagement. If it’s not a formal meeting, people are more likely to be open about ideas and what they’d like to do on a project because the conversation is less stiff and formal. They don’t feel like they have to have a full pitch ready.”
Showing appreciation is a simple and free or low-cost way of encouraging your staff to continue with good attitudes. Employees who feel their work is appreciated by their employers are more likely to engage more frequently because they have more confidence and pride in their accomplishments.
“Think about it: are you more likely to do a good job and go the extra mile for someone who ignores your efforts or someone who shows they appreciate it?” says Jesse DeBear, Fractional CMO of Renew Anchored Dentures. “Showing appreciation through words, an email of appreciation, or even a small gift can be a great way to boost future employee engagement and excellence.”
Make Meetings Exciting
Meetings can be a drag. Shake things up by prompting conversation before the meeting even starts by throwing out some icebreakers or encouraging a few minutes of mingling and conversation before getting started. Incorporate engaging videos and interactive segments into meetings to keep your staff alert and engaged.
“You can communicate efficiently during a professional meeting without putting your staff to sleep,” says Nick Allen, Founder of SportsLingo.com. “Keep your meetings exciting by incorporating activities, discussion topics, and competitions among your staff to keep things interesting and boost the room’s energy. You’re more likely to see engagement from your employees if there is an exciting agenda.”
Facilitate Fun Days
When you think of a ‘fun day,’ your mind might go back to elementary school field days, but having time to decompress and enjoy time with the people you spend most of your day with shouldn’t end in primary school. Host a company picnic or food truck lunch event – whatever you think your staff would enjoy. These fun days help show appreciation, increase motivation, and boost engagement.
“Company banquets are stuffy and often too formal for your staff to let their guards down and enjoy themselves,” says Dr. Minhas, Founder and CEO of GerdLi. “Instead, host a cookout at a local park, meet at an amusement park with your staff and their families, or hold a good old-fashioned field day with yard games, food, and time to relax. Letting your staff blow off some steam after a challenging season or a huge success can help motivate them to stay engaged in the future and also foster healthy work relationships within the office.”
Shake Up Routine
Rather than facilitating all of your meetings with a standard agenda, look at what you could do to shake things up and make them more interesting. Incorporating engaging material, as mentioned above, is one option, but there are also other ways to avoid monotony which can cause your staff to disengage.
“While there are essential elements of regular meetings that you need to hit, try to shake things up or make meetings more exciting by adding themes, activities, or interactive games to the schedule to make things more engaging,” says Sumeer Kaur, CEO of Lashkaraa. “While it may be more efficient for you to have everyone sit there and listen to your main points and updates, they’re less likely to engage if it feels the same every week and they’re not able to contribute.”
Does your office provide coffee or tea for your staff? If not, this is a simple way to wake up your staff in the morning or provide that afternoon boost of energy they need to engage better. Show your appreciation by providing an office coffee machine for your staff to keep them energized throughout the day.
“That after-lunch crash is real,” says Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You. “Even if your staff bring in coffee for the morning, they’re likely feeling less energized by mid-afternoon. Providing a coffee and tea station as well as a water cooler can help keep your staff hydrated and energized for the day to promote engagement.”
Look at Your Layout
If you’re struggling with ideas on how to get your staff to engage with each other, look at how your office is laid out. Do you have your staff separated by office walls or cubicles, or are they able to use collaborative spaces? What type of seating do you provide for meetings and group projects?
“Something as simple as changing your seating arrangement can dramatically improve your employee engagement,” says Patricio Paucar, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Navi. “People are obviously more likely to engage if they see each other more often. If you’re separating everyone into cubicles and offices they’re less likely to bump into each other and brainstorm or work together. Providing open, collaborative spaces and ditching the long table format in meeting spaces can help you boost employee engagement.”
Review Your Training
What impression are you giving new employees when it comes to engaging with others? If your training sessions aren’t emphasizing the importance of collaboration, your staff simply may not understand the importance. Review your training materials and brief your staff on any changes that might be made.
“It’s important that new hires are immediately made aware of the engagement expectations of a workplace,” says Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research. “Furthermore, your staff should be showing them what engaging in the workplace looks like by welcoming them onto the team and engaging with them as well. Encourage your staff to be intentional about their interactions with new hires so you can create a culture within the workplace that promotes engagement.”
In conclusion, boosting employee engagement doesn’t have to be a major undertaking or break the bank. There are a ton of simple things that you can do to boost employee engagement within the workplace. From rearranging your current seating to showing appreciation and updating policies, engagement can be boosted with minimal changes. However, if you’re really committed to a drastic change, you’ll want to look at yourself and your staff to determine how you’re going to engage better as a team. Their ideas can be the best inspiration for simple workplace changes to boost employee engagement for your company.
Gleeson, B. (2021, December 10). 5 powerful steps to improve employee engagement. Forbes. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2017/10/15/5-powerful-steps-to-improve-employee-engagement/?sh=5d1a3fcc341d
Lytle, T. (2019, August 16). 7 tips to increase employee engagement without spending a dime. SHRM. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/1016/pages/7-tips-to-increase-employee-engagement-without-spending-a-dime.aspx