If you want to increase engagement in your workplace, it could feel overwhelming to try to decide where to start. Any number of factors can help make employees happier, more enthusiastic, or more inspired.
In our 2015 Industry Ranking Report, we found that workers in Construction & Facilities Services have the highest happiness scores out of all the industries using TINYpulse. We asked these employees what makes them so happy, and here are the top four reasons they gave:
1. I work with great people
Working with great people can be highly motivating. We only need to look at the opposite situation to know that’s true. In our Industry Ranking Report, employees from the least happy industry, Manufacturing, cited unsupportive managers as the top reason for their dissatisfaction. And according to Dale Carnegie Training, 80% of employees who are dissatisfied with their managers are also disengaged from their employers.
And don’t forget the other members of the team. Our 2014 Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report found that peers are the number one reason that employees go the extra mile at work. People are pushed to go farther when they want to help and inspire their teammates.
2. I’m excited about my work and projects
It’s important to consider more than just skill when matching a candidate to a job — they have to be passionate about the work too. Not only does it make them happier about their role, but it also increases their investment in the company. Virgin Pulse found that having interesting and challenging work is the reason that 53% of employees love their company.
If you’re not convinced yet, look at these findings from The Energy Project about employees who “derive meaning and significance from their work”:
- They’re more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations
- They report 1.7 times higher job satisfaction
- They’re 1.4 times more engaged
Take the time to communicate with your employees about their jobs. One of the best ways to ensure they don’t feel bored or uninspired is to make sure they understand the importance of their work in the larger context of the company. Give them the opportunity to find meaning in their work.
3. I enjoy a positive work environment
On top of an employee’s specific job and the people they work with, the environment around them is an important part of their work experience. Is your culture one of positivity, where employees will support one another and act as a team? Or is the company divided into silos where people stay isolated and only look out for themselves? And maybe most important of all, does your culture value and support engagement in its workforce?
Leadership plays a big role on the answer to these questions; employees will notice which behaviors you support in others, as well as which ones you model yourself.
If you don’t deliberately cultivate your workplace culture, then it will develop on its own — and you might not like the results. And a poor environment can drive away your employees. According to Jobvite, nearly a quarter of job seekers would leave their company because of the culture.
4. I’m learning/growing professionally
Opportunities for growth are vital — and this doesn’t just mean promotions. Employees are looking to expand their existing roles, trying new responsibilities and learning new skills. This is especially important for employees from the millennial generation. The Kenan-Flagler Business School found that over half of millennials say that opportunities for career progression make an employer attractive. And our own internal research found that 75% of millennials would consider leaving their job if those opportunities weren’t present.
Unfortunately, our 2014 Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report found that two-thirds of employees don’t see much opportunity for growth at their company. But there are many ways to tackle this problem. Communicating about a promotion path is one of them, but consider other ways of developing employees without giving them a new job title: offer mentorship from senior leaders, sponsor attendance at training classes and conferences, or try rotational programs where employees spend short periods of time working in different sectors of the company.
Tackling these issues will make your employees happier, certainly. But the entire company will benefit by getting a stronger team, a more positive work environment, a more invested workforce, and all the other benefits of high employee engagement.
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