Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Every company has various kinds of employees: the leader, the sincere follower, the workaholic and finally the mere spectator. Even the most motivated of employees are susceptible to becoming disengaged at some point in his/her work life, which can be a great threat to a company’s progress. A company’s name and fame are ultimately built on how efficient its employees are. According to Forbes, Google, Unisys, Ernst and Young rank amongst the top 10 companies that demonstrate high employee engagement. This doesn’t mean that these companies don’t struggle with employee engagement. Indeed, leading organisations ensure they keep re-engaging their employees so they keep bouncing back with renewed energy to deliver on the company’s vision.
There are numerous things a company can do to keep its employees up on their toes. Let us consider some of them that may be commonly applied.
There is no denying that accolades and rewards go a long way in enhancing employee engagement. Rewards can be in any form: a public recognition for some and a timely raise for others. Never underestimate the gesture of a pat on the back. The company must make it a point to talk to their employees and reward them for a job well done. The company may also put into action, programs like ESOP which nurture a sense of commitment. Spot awards are yet another way of engaging them by creating healthy competition.
Be it newly introduced facilities or a future plan for the company’s growth, it is essential that each employee is intimated. They inevitably engage more when treated as family rather than as a worker. It is crucial for a company to get an employee’s buy-in and that can be accomplished only by being transparent to them.
It is a common practice to implement grading systems in a company that assesses their employees’ performances and eventually get rid of those who fall into the lowest category. Such acts make the employees pit against each other which creates a very negative work atmosphere. Famous companies like Yahoo and Microsoft confessed to having fallen victims of such management techniques, which have resulted in unhappy employees. New approaches need to designed to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Assigning responsibilities to each employee in a team or allowing an employee to mentor a team gives them a sense of responsibility which in turn nurtures the value of commitment.
Remember, in each other’s strengths lies the fate of the company.
The physical space where employees work has a huge impact on their mental space. Spice up the office by including open spaces, natural lighting, and hangout nooks to unwind between deadlines. Allow them to customise their workspaces with things that they know will keep them refreshed. Do not allow them to work beyond office hours. Facilities like indoor sports and gym help them shed their stress in a healthy way. Alexander Den Heijer rightly said,
“When a flower does not bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows and not the flower.”
Off late, many companies are open to the idea of work from home on certain days of a month, reasons ranging from cost considerations to flexibility in childcare to saving hours in senseless commuting. Software Advice, a consulting firm for software buyers gives their employees the option to spend one month working from any location in the world — as long as they have access to a reliable Internet connection.
The era of dictatorship has been replaced by the era of freedom, even in the business world. When employees are treated as more than mere staff, their giving capacity grows by many folds. Connecting with the employees at a personal level, knowing their passions, and designing a work culture that helps them balance work and personal life is easily the best way to boost their productivity. So engage them, not just with work but also with what they love. Remember employee engagement = customer engagement!
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