Posted by Robert Half on 27 April 2017
Are your employees passionate about their jobs?
Do they come to the office every day eager and enthusiastic to dig in and contribute to the company goals? If not, you may be facing an employee engagement gap, with team members who don’t feel motivated or connected to their roles.
It’s no secret that employees who are passionate about their work are key to an organisation’s success. An unmotivated staff with low employee satisfaction will likely lead to low productivity and staff morale as well as a high turnover rate.
In fact, according to a recent Robert Half study, employees who say the work they do is worthwhile are 2.6 times more likely to be happy than those who feel the job they do is “just work”.
The good news: There are plenty of ways to make your team feel more inspired by their work, and many of these tactics can easily be incorporated into your day-to-day operations. Here are eight tips to increase and improve employee satisfaction.
1. Get to know your employees
Amy might be your star accountant, but she’s also a mother of two who loves to bake and is currently writing a mystery novel. Take the time to see past a job title and get to know the people who make up your staff. Not only will this show them you care, but it will also help you identify what motivates them.
2. Play to their strengths
“Micromanagement is the key to employee engagement and job satisfaction,” said absolutely no one, ever. A manager who tries to control his staff’s every move is demonstrating a lack of trust. Instead, identify your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and divvy up the work accordingly. You’ll have a more efficient team, and workers will feel more useful and appreciated.
3. Keep them challenged (but not overworked)
A bored employee is an unengaged employee — but that’s not an invitation to drop a massive project with a pressing deadline on his or her desk as a “boredom cure.” Better ways to challenge your employees include giving them more responsibility or freedom on a project, or asking them to mentor a new employee.
4. Encourage creativity and innovation
An innovative organisation must be staffed with innovative employees. This may sound like a no-brainer, but think about it. Don’t be afraid to approach your workers with an issue and ask for suggestions. Be sure to celebrate those employees who come up with truly creative, effective solutions.
5. Be honest
Is a client unhappy with your staff’s performance? Does a looming deadline mean overtime is on the agenda? Be frank with your employees. Even if they don’t like the news, they’ll appreciate the transparency.
6. Offer constructive criticism
Too often, employers point out what a worker did wrong without offering suggestions for improvement. When you notice an issue with employee satisfaction, be sure to keep your criticism focused on the work and not the person. Talk through ways both of you can ensure the issue doesn’t arise again.
7. Celebrate their successes
Don’t wait for the holiday party or annual company picnic to tell your employees how much you value them. While not every success requires a ticker tape parade, workers will feel more valued when you take a few seconds to acknowledge their achievements.
8. Show them the big picture
Employees who feel like a cog in a machine often have low job satisfaction because they don’t see the point of their work. Be sure your entire staff understands what your organisation is trying to accomplish, and remind them that each contribution is essential in meeting your goals.
Employee satisfaction should not be overlooked
However you choose to work on employee engagement, the goal is a win-win for you and your employees. By boosting their job satisfaction, you can expect to improve your employee retention rates. Employee satisfaction is essential for a productive and successful workplace, and any good manager strives to establish an environment that inspires all employees.
Also, remember that you can’t mandate motivation and employee satisfaction. The key is to ask employees how they feel about the job, what encourages them, where they can improve, and where they need support — and then respond by fostering a work environment where employees are enthusiastic about performing their best and contributing to the organisation’s success.
The article was originally featured as "8 Easy Ideas to Improve Employee Engagement" on the Robert Half Finance & Accounting Blog.
What keeps you engaged at work? Share your thoughts on employee engagement in the comments below.