This isn’t your grandfather’s work place. Today, advances in technology mean that the four walls of an office are obsolete. Employees are working at all hours of the day, clocked in to their companies. In this new era, we need new ways of engaging employees.
According to Deloitte, the employee engagement problem is far from solved:
- 87% of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges
- 18% of companies have no retention strategy (another 16% have an outdated retention strategy)
- 38% of engagement and retention strategies are performing at “Fair”
- Only 7% of companies rate themselves “excellent” at measuring, driving, and improving engagement and retention
Managers, employee engagement should be your number one job. And yet the statistics show that managers are woefully underperforming. Luckily, there are three steps you can do to revamp your outdated strategy.
Workplace Passion Will Always Beat Money
Bring meaning into your workplace. Bersin has shown that more than twice as many workers are motivated by passion in their work than individual ambition. And that passion will come from meaningful work.
Ensuring that all employees know their value to the company is essential. Consistently discuss with your employees how their day-to-day tasks are crucial to overall company strategy and goals. And when they do a good job, recognize that — but that doesn’t necessarily mean financially.
McKinsey has shown that praise, commendation, and attention from both direct managers and upper-level leaders are far more effective motivators than a one-time cash payout. Reward achievements with more responsibility and those attention-getting projects.
Following the Google Model
Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work, but you can’t simply open up a snack bar and think you’re playing Google’s game. The company does extensive research into what makes its employees productive — even hiring social scientists to study them — and then it reacts, embedding employee wants and needs into the culture.
Work-life balance seems like a buzz phrase, but as employees spend more of their lives connected to their jobs via advanced technology, it’s not something to be dismissed. Google is committed to employee happiness, knowing that happy employees will be more productive. So it has an unlimited vacation policy, a nonrestrictive workplace layout, a very strong maternity leave policy, shuttles to help commuters, on-site laundry, and gourmet food available.
That doesn’t mean you have to build a rock-climbing wall and a five-star restaurant. Google finds out what its employees want, and it delivers. That should be a model for all companies.
It’s Not a Yearly Issue
Once-a-year employee satisfaction surveys are laughable in the era of Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Companies are constantly being openly judged, reviewed, and commented upon. It’s up to you to keep up. Monitor these sites and react to perceptions.
The feedback loop from higher management and employees should be open at all times. Some companies have even implemented shorter daily satisfaction surveys to make small changes that can have big results.
Changing times are changing the game when it comes to employee engagement. Listening to your employees’ new needs is priority one.
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