Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction.
Satisfaction only tells how content your staff is. It does not involve factors such as motivation, contribution, or morale. For some team members, being satisfied means receiving a paycheck regularly.
Employee engagement goes beyond ping pong tables, social events, and large salaries. It drives employee performance, self-affirmation, and decision-making. As such, it is a key differentiator when it comes to SMB growth.
In this article, you learn how small businesses can improve employee engagement.
Build a Great Company Culture
While healthy snacks and foosball tables are fun, employees will soon want to know where the company is going.
People will want to understand how their actions, attitudes, and values impact the company’s growth. Without a clearly defined company culture, your staff members get disengaged.
The first step is reassessing your existing company culture. If you believe you do not have one, you are wrong. Your culture started with the first person you hired.
Therefore, once you pick a perfect business structure, it is time to define company values, goals, and missions. Do not just hang them on your walls. Keep your employees aligned with them. Think about the actions and behaviors that will help workers stay true to company values.
Consider establishing a culture committee. These employees will be your cultural ambassadors. They will onboard new employees, direct corporate events, celebrate coworkers’ milestones, and inject company values into every business area.
Promote Employee Health and Safety
The link between health and employee performance is scientifically proven and well-documented.
That is why you should encourage employees to live more healthily. Here are a few wellness tactics to apply in the workplace:
- Write a monthly workplace wellness ideas newsletter. Highlight simple fitness and nutrition tips for your staff members.
- Offer healthy snacks.
- Install standing desks.
- Encourage employees to exercise more and provide them with free gym memberships.
- Provide your employees with a car insurance policy like this to ensure their safety on the road.
Do not forget about the importance of mental health. Motivate employees to balance their private and professional lives more successfully. Always encourage them to talk about their problems, voice their ideas, and collaborate with colleagues. Most importantly, they should speak openly about their mental health issues, knowing no one will judge them.
Career Advancement and Professional Growth
One of the simplest ways to keep employees engaged is through professional growth opportunities. If you neglect career growth, you risk lowering employee engagement and productivity. Your top performers will feel like they are not appreciated enough.
In the long run, that means you may face a high employee turnover. Your dispirited employees would start looking for new career opportunities. No one wants to feel like they are stagnating in their careers.
Here is how to encourage career advancement:
- Provide employees with continued training and education.
- Give staff members more responsibilities.
- Allow employees to attend conferences on your behalf.
Motivate Employees’ Personal Development
If you want to build a truly engaged workforce, you will encourage them to develop on a personal level, as well.
To motivate your employees to invest in themselves, talk to them. Ask what skills outside their work they would like to develop.
Encourage employees to set clear personal goals alongside professional ones. Help them reach these objectives. If your budget allows, provide tuition reimbursement for your employees.
Above all, prove that you value personal development. Give each employee a specific amount of time each day to invest in themselves. When an employee achieves a personal goal, make sure you celebrate it.
Teamwork improves employee engagement.
Employees should always have the autonomy to work independently. However, they should never feel isolated. They should have an opportunity to collaborate with their peers, share ideas, express dissatisfaction, and seek help.
To increase teamwork, invest in the right team collaboration tools. For example, Slack helps teams check-in and interact more naturally. Most importantly, they can break conversations down into multiple channels based on their purpose.
Use these tools to encourage employees to collaborate beyond their departments. Only by eliminating the silo mentality in the workplace can you enhance employee performance and satisfaction.
You can also use collaborative tools for team building. You can throw virtual pizza parties or celebrate remote employees’ birthdays.
Measure Employee Engagement
Once you implement your employee engagement strategy, you need to measure it. Instead of taking a gut approach, analyze employee engagement strategically. Here is how:
Employee Feedback Surveys
Why are people leaving your small business? Are there any workplace issues you are not aware of? Most employees do not feel comfortable talking about their satisfaction publicly.
That is where employee feedback surveys help. They help you detect the issues that are hindering employee engagement and increasing turnover rates.
The goal is to set clear survey goals and adapt your questions accordingly. To keep your survey organized, break it up into several sections. To measure survey results, consider writing easy-to-understand statements. Employees should rate them on a 0-10 scale.
Here are several question types you may want to include:
- Leadership: “Managers communicate the company’s goals and values transparently.”
- Planning: “The company provides clear objectives for employees to follow.”
- Management: “I receive the support I need from a manager.”
- Job satisfaction: “I like the job I do.”
- Career development: “I receive the professional growth opportunities that align with my goals.”
Additionally, there is a wide range of tools that let businesses create custom surveys and monitor results.
Employee Net Promoter Score
Employee Net Promoter Scores are faster than traditional employee feedback surveys. They ask employees questions that are measured on a 0-10 scale.
The major benefit of NPS surveys is that they are brief and to the point. They encourage employee participation and honesty.
The results further translate into measurable employee engagement metrics. The goal is to add up the promoters and detractors to calculate the score.
For example, one of the most common questions to ask is: On a 0-10 scale, how likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?”
Over to You
The use of employee engagement tactics depends on multiple factors, such as your company’s goals, team size, and budget. The tips mentioned above can serve as your solid starting point. Adapt them to your working environment and keep measuring their results.