Why keep employees engaged? Engagement isn’t just about putting on a good face for your customers and business partners. By understanding employee engagement, you can enhance productivity, improve retention in demanding fields and deliver higher quality products and services. When employees feel like what they’re doing serves a greater purpose, your staff members will take ownership and put their all into their jobs.
Poor engagement does the opposite. Workplaces that fail to win their workers’ hearts and minds inevitably find themselves struggling to succeed. After all, if your team members don’t care about your mission, they’ll have a hard time supporting it.
Unengaged employees also tend to fail as corporate culture representatives and brand ambassadors. Try as they might to portray your enterprise in the best possible way, their negative feelings about their careers will eventually rise to the surface.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go to incredible lengths to keep employees engaged and happy. Modern technology makes it easy to leverage existing tools to raise motivation and cultivate a positive corporate culture.
Here are five ways to get the ball rolling:
1. Let Personal Devices Reign.
People have deep connections with their personal devices. Letting your employees use their preferred hardware at work is an excellent way to help them feel comfortable. Bring your own device or BYOD policies let you set standards. You can set parameters for safe data usage, best security practices, and appropriate content so that you can accommodate your teams’ habits without having to rethink your standard operating practices.
Allowing someone to check their phone at reasonable times or browse the internet during breaks might actually cut down on distractions. If they don’t have to worry about getting in trouble just because they wanted to know how their loved ones were doing, employees can set aside common concerns that would usually gnaw away at their focus.
Letting someone use a device they’re used to instead of a borrowed corporate loaner can also enhance productivity. Even if you’re using an unfamiliar app, the learning curve is far less steep with your own phone.
2. Foster Collaboration Between Departments.
Companies run best when their components work together seamlessly. Facilitating honest communication and open collaboration is a critical part of greasing the gears.
Although not all employees like working together, many thrive on the prospect. This is especially relevant with new hires that might benefit from the chance to draw on their peers’ knowledge as they get into the swing of things.
Letting departments strive together and exchange views can strengthen feelings of ownership. When people see how others respond to the ideas they suggest, they’ll come to take pride in their work. They also get to expand their sounding boards as they learn more about what brings value to your enterprise.
Advanced communication tools can contribute to more natural collaboration. By minimizing interruptions and letting people get together no matter where they are, chat, email and similar services lower the hurdles to participation. These benefits prove quite helpful for remote employees that rarely visit the office or get to contribute as part of the group.
3. Streamline Your Training and Learning Practices.
Effective training and onboarding make workplaces feel far less uncertain. When you’ve gone through the basics, you don’t have to guess at what you should be doing. This makes it far easier to act with confidence and not worry about whether you belong or fit in.
Employers can demonstrate that they appreciate employees and care about their futures by offering streamlined, personalized training. Modern continued learning and development apps track people’s progress in a non-competitive way so that everyone knows where they stand. These systems also serve as career roadmaps that tell people how to take charge of their fate and advance up the ladder.
4. Make Social Engagement a Part of Everyday Office Life.
Socializing and getting to know your coworkers makes any job more pleasant. It also helps boost employee engagement by putting faces to the people that your work impacts. This kind of humanization fosters more compassionate employee interactions. When people feel welcomed by their peers, they’re more likely to adopt the view that they’re part of a family.
Technology can make communication and socializing way easier without letting things run amok. For instance, chat rooms, social media, and similar platforms are already tailor-made to foster freeform discussion and self-expression, so they’re natural choices.
5. Get Into Gamification.
Gamification involves adding elements of game design to activities not usually associated with recreation. For instance, you might give sales reps points and prizes for signing people up or use gamified to-do list apps to make big workloads seem less threatening.
Gamification adds healthy, friendly competition to everyday activities. It’s on the rise at forward-thinking businesses and startups because it leverages something deep within the human psyche. Games are more pleasurable than work, so combining the two helps employees realign their perspectives and stay passionate about their careers.
Could Your Workplace Use an Engagement Boost?
Employee engagement builds stronger enterprises. It’s hard to get people to act like team players when you don’t stimulate them with mentally challenging, rewarding professional conditions.
Stepping up to the plate and making work worth waking up for is a vital part of being a good leader. If you’re a smart employer, then you’ll use the technology that’s already all around you to keep your workforce fully invested.
Josh Fechter is the co-founder and CEO of Squibler. He’s written five books and thousands of blog posts. Forbes noted him as one of “12 Innovative Founders To Watch And Learn From”. He is author of “The Copywriting Bible: 100+ Viral Outlines to Build Your Brand“.