In America, only 32 percent of employees are engaged at work, and it’s costing businesses billions of dollars a year in lost revenue, from the cost of employee turnover to lost productivity and poor customer satisfaction ratings. The answer: If you want to increase profits, keep your team happy.
Find Your Baseline To Increase Employee Engagement
Before you can focus on improvement, you need to know where you stand. You’ll get a pretty good idea of how engaged your employees are by looking at productivity, turnover and absenteeism, but survey data can provide unbiased information you can use to align your staff with corporate goals. Once you know what you’re working with, you can craft a strategy to get the staff engaged and happy to be working with you.
Remember, Your Employees Are Assets
Research shows the biggest drivers of employee engagement are belief in management and growth and development. Build strong relationships with your team and provide opportunities for advancement. Focus on creating a positive work environment with emphasis on employee well-being.
While an employee benefits package may go a long way in helping you attract top talent, it won’t necessarily translate to top performance. Incentives, particularly those that help improve work-life balance, however, can make a difference. Talk to your team to learn what incentive programs they’d be most interested in to ensure your investment is well spent.
Consider offering flex-time, with clear guidelines as to who is eligible for what, and when, so employees have the option of working a more flexible schedule. Though it seems counterintuitive, giving your employees ample time off helps productivity. Seventy-seven percent of HR managers say employees who take their vacation time are more productive than the employees who do not, and 75 percent say this leads to higher performance while 78 percent say it leads to higher job satisfaction.
Adjust Your Processes
How are you currently tracking your employee productivity and performance? If you’re micromanaging, your employees are feeling it — and chances are they’re not too happy about it. Consider changing how you track these things to better allow employees to maintain control. There are many tools available online that make it easy for you to keep tabs on how your staff is doing, without breathing down their neck as you do it.
What else can you do to simplify everything — not just for your team, but for you as well? With the variety of cloud-based software options on the market, many integrate to streamline workflow and processes, thus creating more efficient use of time, allowing for productivity increases elsewhere.
For example, integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) software into your website’s lead capture form could automatically send the contact information to the CRM, so a staff member doesn’t have to manually enter all the data. Instead, they can focus on following up on those leads and nurturing them through the funnel.
Learn the Power of Praise
Whenever and wherever possible, praise your team for a job well done. A 2013 study showed 83 percent of employees believe recognition was better than any gift or reward. The study also said 88 percent found managerial praise either “very” or “extremely” motivating while 76 percent said the same of peer praise.
It’s worth noting that employees who have tenure, are engaged and are working a position where their talents shine have an average of 18 percent higher productivity rate than average employees, and 35 percent higher than someone who doesn’t have tenure, isn’t engaged and is working in a position where their talents aren’t highlighted. Spend time making sure your staff is in the right job and creating a work environment that keeps them engaged, so they want to stay and build tenure. In the end, you’ll boost employee performance and profit. You could see an increase of $6 million or more per 1,000 workers, and even more when working with highly educated professionals.
Work for your employees, and they’ll work for you.
Teamwork Photo via Shutterstock