5 Ways to Improve Employee Morale and Engagement

October 4, 2016

Gallup is constantly tracking employee engagement worldwide, and at first glance, it seems like the U.S. is doing pretty well, compared to the rest of the world. In fact, 30% of Americans report being engaged at work vs. 17% worldwide. Yet, if you stop to think about it, 30% of workers being engaged is still very low, meaning that a whopping 7 out of 10 workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. So considering these shocking statistics, does engagement even matter just as long as your team gets their work done?

Studies show that engagement plays a pivotal role in business growth and development. Happy, engaged employees push themselves and tend to be more productive and innovative than disengaged workers. Low morale pushes up turnover rate, requiring managers to spend time and resources on hiring and training, which can be a drain on a business.

If you’re looking to improve both your business and employee morale, here are 5 ways your company can improve employee engagement to meet your business goals.

  1. Set Challenging (But Attainable) Goals

Simple tasks can, at times, be almost as burdensome as those that are too difficult. Hitting the sweet spot for team goals is key—it fuels engagement by giving your employees something to stretch for and push toward. If goals seem impossible, many people will give up, and just put in the bare minimum—if they’re too easy, your team will coast and make the time fit the goal, costing you productivity. Using data you’ve collected from past months, set your goals in line with your pasty performance—and add enough to keep people invested.

  1. Reconsider Your Perks

Wellness programs are really taking off as an employee perk—and for good reason. 93% of business owners believe that employee health has an enormous impact on productivity. Wellness programs are a great way to help offset stress and reduce illness and injury, which costs a business money and causes reduced engagement in employees. Some wellness programs include flu shots, gym memberships, online resources, massage, and more. 98% of large corporations and 73% of small firms offer at least one wellness program, according to university studies, which shows just how much demand there is for these services.

  1. Show Your Appreciation

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, but it’s all too easy to forget that your employees need to be reminded that you appreciate them. Organizing events like employee appreciation dinners from time to time is a simple gesture, but it’s one your team will respond well to. Events that break up the everyday routine will help build team rapport, promote positive morale, and encourage ongoing engagement. It’s also important to show you care on a personal level—recognize individual achievements, and make a point of doing a little something for employees on their birthdays and other special days. It will mean a lot to your team.

  1. Provide Professional Development Opportunities

If your ambitious team members see a lack of opportunity for growth or professional development, they will often start to disengage and then find another job. To prevent this, you should offer some clear paths and opportunities for employee advancement, especially for exceptional employees. In addition, offering programs like tuition assistance, continuing education classes, seminars, and other learning opportunities will help keep your employees’ engaged and learning relevant skills that will benefit your business.

  1. Promote Team Cooperation

Team-building exercises may seem cheesy, but they’re a great way to promote productivity and engagement. People are more likely to work toward a goal if they connect with the people around them, so promoting team cooperation is a great way to prioritize engagement and morale within your organization. Great team-building ideas include volunteer work offsite, carnival events, or team meals.

Retaining Talent

Engaged, happy people do more than add value to a company—they stick around. Lowering turnover is one of the major benefits of an engaged workforce. Making a positive work environment a priority is one of the best things you can do for both your employees and your business. Create an environment where people want to work, and you can accomplish great things!

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Author: Andrew Deen