How to keep your best employees engaged

happy employees

High employee engagement is vital in order for your business to run smoothly, otherwise your team may not work as hard, meet deadlines, or feel motivated to succeed.

In fact, only 8% of workers felt engaged in 2017, according to the most recent Gallup statistics. The reasons behind this shocking statistic included a lack of training, issues around workload, and a lack of incentives. However, the proof is in the pudding — engaged employees are 20% more likely to outperform those who are unengaged, and are more likely to stay at their organisation, according to the Institute for Employment Studies.

If you feel like your best employees aren’t performing well, or have seen an influx of notices being handed in, it may well be due to low engagement. But what can you do to ensure your team members are motivated to keep working? Here are five things you can do to boost your employees’ engagement levels.

1.   Offer training opportunities

Providing training opportunities to employees can be highly motivating and engaging. Considering over 70% of staff leave their roles because they see no future career advancements, it’s a no-brainer that you offer possibilities for further development. By enhancing their current skills and teaching them new ones, you’ll retain your staff and boost their engagement with their role. What’s more, offering career development opportunities enables workers to feel more valued, and, as a result, more engaged.

This could be done through an exciting course, webinar, or coaching session delivered by an expert on your team. Your training should also be offered to your management department, as they’re responsible for providing these opportunities in the first place. For example, management training specialists MTD Training provide courses for managers of all levels, which will help boost their leadership, delegation, coaching, and communication skills — all of which facilitate in generating the highest levels of employee engagement.

2.   Strengthen your work culture

Your company culture can refer to the environment where your team works, its values and behaviours, and even office rituals like eating lunch together and socialising. Improving your work culture will help to increase employee engagement, as it shows staff what they are working towards, while also making them feel connected and involved with the business. It can also significantly impact your business’s revenue, with highly engaged workforces leading to 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability. There are many ways to strengthen your corporate culture, including enabling professional development, creating a company DNA, and improving communication with employees.

3.   Promote a healthy work-life balance

A good work-life balance enables employees to feel happy at work, which in turn boosts engagement. However, it’s not as easy as simply offering flexi-time, and it can be especially difficult to achieve the perfect balance when it’s so easy to access work emails outside of office hours. As such, it’s essential that managers are doing their best to ensure staff are not overworked and neglecting their personal life as a result.

To achieve a healthy balance, aim to identify every employee’s needs so that you can tailor your policies to support them. For example, if several members of staff are juggling childcare alongside their work, offering flexible hours is a great way of solving the problem. Other things you can do include offering career breaks for study and travel reasons, health and wellbeing perks like insurance and fitness classes, and improving workplace efficiency to ensure tasks are properly organised to prevent unfeasible workloads.

4.   Be communicative and give feedback

Boosting your employees’ engagement levels can be as simple as communicating with them. Managers have a responsibility to listen to their staff, encouraging everyone to input their ideas, thoughts and concerns, and acting upon them accordingly. This shows your workers that you care and that their voices are being heard, which can also help build trust. To foster effective communication, you should give performance reviews, hand out employee surveys, and offer mentoring. Another important engagement metric is feedback. By providing constructive comments about employee performance, your staff will feel increasingly valued, less stressed, and more confident. It’s therefore important to start a feedback loop as soon as possible, and make it a constant part of your workplace’s culture.

5.   Recognise performance

Recognising the efforts of your team is one of the most motivational tools in your arsenal. There’s no doubt that your employees will react positively when they know that their achievements are being acknowledged. Rewards for excellent performance can naturally boost engagement levels, and help encourage staff to succeed, while also promoting personal growth and development, improving engagement even further.

For these benefits alone, you should be introducing reward and recognition programmes, and in fact, recent statistics show that 90% of employees believe these impact their engagement and motivation levels positively. Even just praising staff or saying thank you can go a long way. To really show your recognition, you could also offer tangible benefits, including bonuses, salary increases, and non-monetary perks.