It may seem like common sense that an engaging workplace leads to a successful organization. But, according to a 2017 Gallup poll, 70 percent of the U.S. workforce say that they are NOT engaged at work. Technology is making it too easy for companies to simply focus on measuring engagement with annual surveys instead of actually taking a couple simple steps to improving it (Gallup, 2017).
So, how do you improve engagement? It’s not as hard as it may seem. Instead of focusing all your time on figuring out how to make your company successful, focus on how to make your people successful. Because that is your secret to success.
Every organization has a different culture and will use different strategies to be more engaging. At C3/CustomerContactChannels, we created four levels of bands with a clear focus on supporting our front-line employees or “The Experience Champions.” Instead of having multiple levels of titles and positions, we transformed C3 into a flatter organization where escalations can be quickly resolved and our people can feel the most support.
Overall, it comes down to having your own specific strategy. Below are some tips on what to include:
Listening to your employees is easily the most important component in creating a workplace where people enjoy working. It shows that you care about them as a person, not just an employee. Listening will generate strong relationships and inspire better performance. Some examples on how to better listen to your employees are:
- Allow an comfortable environment for them to give feedback
- Create open communication with leaders of the company
- Be understanding and empathetic
- Don’t assume that you already know everything
Recognize your Employees
Celebrate their successes! People like to feel special and that they are appreciated in the workplace. Whether it be a handwritten thank you note or an e-blast to the entire company, gratitude is extremely important. When people feel like they have been awarded for a job well done, they will continue to work hard and others will follow suit.
For example, at C3 we are focusing on building a FAN way of life. Every week, we recognize an employee on our social media who went beyond our expectations. We want to create a culture where our people can grow and thrive.
Get to know your employees on an individual level. Take them out to lunch or have a quick chat with them in the morning. Make sure that you and your fellow leaders are not isolating yourselves in an office. You should create a comfortable environment and real relationships among your workforce. This will improve the workplace engagement and build trust between the staff and management.
Walk the Walk
Don’t just say that you’re going to do something, do it. If you are telling employees that they need to work harder and be engaged, but your management is showing up late and taking extra-long lunch breaks, your people aren’t going to be motivated to work hard. Lead by example. People will follow.
Create a High Morale
When employees are excited to go to work, they will be more engaged. It’s important to create an atmosphere with high team spirit and enthusiasm. Allow people to work together and interact throughout the day. To create a high morale in an office setting, do things like celebrating office birthdays, group bonding tasks, volunteering on the weekends together, raffle contests, holiday parties, casual Fridays, etc.