Five Low-Cost Employee Engagement Ideas That Work

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With the survey results on employee engagement trends hot off the press from The Workforce Institute, I wanted to revive an older post from Ken West with the National Business Research Institute that is still relevant to the conversation.  

You may already know high powerful increased levels of employee engagement can be to your bottom line. Also, you may have heard that one of the best ways to improve engagement levels is by adding various team-building events and other similar activities. While team building is a good tactic to use as part of an overall employee engagement plan, strategically it is much more important to raise engagement levels when they matter most – while employees are working. These tips are simple to implement, don’t cost a dime, and take place on the front-line.

1. Add Flexibility. No two desks at your company are arranged the same – everyone has a unique personality. Just as employees arrange their desks differently, some employees will prefer to perform tasks in an order that they select. Allowing employees to rearrange their tasks, without intense oversight, lets them feel more in control of their work and priorities. Productivity and outcomes are more important than processes. If employees must follow a set process, one that isn’t necessarily more productive, their engagement levels will suffer.

2. Add Accountability. If every employee reports to several layers of management, they may feel that they don’t have personal accountability since their work passes through so many hands. Removing managers may not be the solution, but managers can find ways to raise their subordinate’s accountability and make themselves and their employees more productive. By removing something as minor as one round of reviews, employees will feel that their excellent work has been recognized.

3. Remove Obstacles. You hired smart employees for a reason. Don’t limit how they can help the company. If an employee finds a new tool or method to improve productivity, thoroughly evaluate the idea. Nobody knows their tasks and responsibilities better than front-line employees. An employee who is frustrated with obstacles is not engaged. Give them the resources they need to accomplish their tasks quickly and efficiently.

4. Increase communication. Companies of any size can have lapses in communication. Every employee wants to know what’s going on around the company. Don’t let the information flow get backed up in the C-Suite. Be as transparent as you can, and don’t be afraid to share good and bad news. Negative information always has a way of leaking to the water cooler. And, those ill-informed rumors can cause engagement to plummet without positive reinforcement and accurate information from management.

5. Increase Feedback. If you’re lucky, every employee in your company is working at full capacity. But, don’t let busy schedules diminish the amount of feedback management delivers. If an employee goes above and beyond on a task, and they’re only given a simple ‘Thanks’, they may not be as likely to give 110% the next time. There are many great ways that cost absolutely nothing to recognize employees that will improve engagement and make everyone proud to be a member of the company.

Read the original article from Ken West with the National Business Research Institute here .

Jim Thomas is an Account Executive for Kronos, the world-wide leader in workforce management solutions.  Jim helps retail and hospitality companies leverage Kronos solutions to make their workforce more efficient, compliant and productive resulting in a better customer experience.