A disengaged workforce costs you money. Not only are disengaged employees unproductive and costly, they also have a ripple-on effect. Low workplace morale spreads like wildfire and is bad news for any business.

Also, an employee who finds no joy in their work is quite likely to look for other employment, meaning more cost and lost time spent recruiting, training and attempting to retain new staff. Let’s take a look at a simple, five-step formula to building a highly engaged workforce who are productive and happy in their jobs.

1. Reassess your work environment

Does your office space inspire productivity and innovation? If you pause and think about this question then there’s a chance that it might not. Office ergonomics are important. A well-designed and plotted office can boost your workforce’s productivity. It may be worth investing in commercial office fitouts. One option is to install skylights to allow more natural light in. Vitamin D levels are essential for overall wellbeing. Another option is potted plants.

2. Employee recognition and rewards

Your employees need to know that their work is making a difference. After all, their job is the reason they get out of bed each and every morning. It is worth developing a system for employee recognition and rewards. There are many ways to go about this. You can begin with informal recognition. A simple congratulations on a job well done or a bottle of wine at the end of the week is a great place to start.

Other, more formal ways are worth a go too. An employee of the month system is a tried and tested favourite. Another way to show your workforce they are valued is to host an end-of-month wrap party at a bar or other entertaining venue. Free drinks and food always go a long way to boosting morale and productivity!

3. Allow freedom of thought and expression

Creativity flourishes in an environment of freedom. This doesn’t mean that you should allow your employees to do whatever they want with your time. After all, they’re there to do a job. Rather, you should allow for free and lateral thinking within the boundaries of their roles.

Allow them the opportunity to think outside the box and experiment with different ways of doing things. This freedom is like a breath of fresh air, and chances are you’ll get some innovation happening along the way.

4. Develop a performance feedback system

Let your staff know how they’re tracking, without putting them down or comparing them to their colleagues. Encourage open and honest dialogue about the areas where improvement or skill development are needed.

And do everything in your power to help your workforce reach those targets and beat their own personal best. You can even create a coaching system where the more productive and creative employees can coach those who are lagging behind.

5. Invest in good management

Good managers are one of the most vital keys to an engaged workforce. Your managers are the bridge between you and your staff, and that bridge needs to be strong and stable as well as flexible.

Your managers need to be able to inspire and motivate your employees while also providing direction, drive and discipline where required. You may even consider investing in leadership training courses for your management.

Key takeaways

To sum up, an engaged workforce is one that works in an inspiring space, is recognised and rewarded, has freedom of thought and creativity and has an effective and efficient performance management system.

Also, the importance of good managers is one thing that cannot be understated! Hopefully you’re about to embark on the journey of developing a highly engaged workforce.