As a business owner or manager, you undoubtedly rely on your employees significantly to help you keep your venture running smoothly and growing over time. However, do you put as much thought into keeping your team engaged and productive as you do other areas of your organization?
If not, it’s time to change your mindset and focus more on keeping the integral parts of your operation happy. Here are some tips to keep employees engaged and productive for the long term, no matter what kind of business you’re in.
Offer Learning and Development Opportunities
People like to keep growing and learning new things professionally and personally and look to obtain relevant opportunities to do this in the workplace. If you want your team to be committed to your organization long-term, find ways to help them challenge themselves and grow. There are all sorts of ways you can do this.
For example, bring in professional speakers or arrange for employees to attend workshops, courses, training programs, and the like. You could send people off to participate in big industry events such as tradeshows and conferences or get them to speak on behalf of the company in some capacity.
You might tee personnel up with mentorship programs, either internally with someone high up in the company or externally with someone who previously worked in the industry or even a leader at another firm. Another option is to move people around your organization over time to learn new roles and push themselves to try new things.
Continue to Recognize and Reward Workers
Another part of keeping employees engaged is showing them that you notice their efforts and their results. It’s crucial to continue recognizing and rewarding workers over the years so they know they’re a valued part of the team and not just a cog in the machine. A great way to do this is to set up structured employee recognition programs in the workplace so you prioritize acknowledgments and don’t keep pushing this management area further and further down your to-do list.
To give a shout-out to personnel who are doing a great job, you might send a thank you note or say thank you with some meaningful words in person, whether one-on-one or even in a group setting. If you have a good employee recognition system like the kudos app, it’ll be easier to say, “thank you.” It’ll enable you to provide positive feedback as you align your goals with team values.
You could set up an Employee of the Month program, hand out awards, acknowledge people on social media, company intranets, or public newsletters, or otherwise let people know you’ve noticed their ideas or initiative. It’s helpful, too, to allow colleagues to applaud each other with praise as peer support and encouragement have a positive impact.
You might hand out gifts such as bottles of wine, flowers, gift vouchers, hampers, and other items to give people a boost, or provide perks such as extra days off work, free lunches or massages in the office, parking or gym privileges, and so on.
Create a Positive Company Culture
It’s also vital to do whatever you can to create a positive company culture. People are much more likely to be engaged and productive and stay with the firm if they enjoy coming to work and interacting with their peers and managers. An organization’s culture starts from the top, so you and other managers must lead by example.
Be respectful at all times and avoid language, tone, or actions that might be hurtful and offend others. Try to nip too much office gossip in the bud because it can quickly turn toxic, and look for ways to engage in team-building activities such as eating lunch together, doing fun activities outside of work as a group, and celebrating special occasions with office parties.
Make sure you’re clear on the principles and values the company is founded upon. Do everything you can to ensure the culture of the business reflects these. Be transparent and honest where possible about issues in the workplace, too, and regularly ask employees to offer up their ideas for how to solve problems or make improvements.
Act on as many of these suggestions as possible since people want to feel a part of the team and see their ideas get taken seriously. All these things can help build a positive company culture that will encourage and uplift workers and thus boost their happiness on the job.
Some other ways to keep personnel engaged include giving them a chance to give back in some way, such as volunteering some time during office hours, and being flexible regarding work hours and locations.
These are just some strategies to motivate and inspire your team throughout the year and enjoy improved business results in turn.