6 Ways To Improve a Flexible Employee’s Engagement
As time marches forward, the baby boomer generation is slowly becoming replaced by a new era of employees. Now more and more companies are forced to adapt in order to retain staff and keep employees happy. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Change is inevitable
Businesses are nothing without their staff, and staff are nothing without their work. There’d be no point being an employer who’s reluctant to change and move with the times. While it may be frustrating that staff loyalty is no longer what it once was, if you want to survive as a business, the only thing you can do is adapt.
In light of these changing times
It is imperative to hone business models so that they improve employee engagement. This, in turn, will help reduce staff turnover and ensure companies stay afloat for years to come. From showing support to the employee themselves, to implementing wider whole company systems, here are six ways to do exactly that.
Communication is key
One of the easiest yet most effective ways of improving an employee’s engagement with their work is by simply talking to them. They are humans not machines, so it’s important to treat them as such.
If you have a capable member of staff – whether in-house or freelance – that you’ve recognised is underperforming, don’t beat around the bush and expect the problem to solve itself; face it head on.
Call a meeting with them, remind them of how important they are to the business, and discuss what needs to be done to get them back to their best.
There’ll often be a reason as to why somebody is feeling disengaged from their work. However, the only way to find out what that reason might be is by actually talking to them. When it comes to smart networking, you will be able to notice if someone’s work effort has dropped by continuously assessing its level of quality. Talk to them if the quality of work begins to decline.
Adopt a four-day work week
Over the years, more and more companies across the globe have started to implement four-day working weeks in their place of work. This has been because many studies have found that working less days actually leads to happier staff, enhanced recruitment, and improved productivity. Offering staff reduced or flexible hours will provide them with more time to focus on their family life. This, in turn, will reduce their level of stress and increase their overall productivity. It will also help prevent against the rise of work-related mental health issues – one of today’s main concerns. In the UK, mental health issues were responsible for more than 70 million sick days last year alone. Implementing a four-day work week can go a long way to preventing this, and could actually leave staff feeling more engaged as a result. Therefore, hiring more remote workers could ensure the work you require is completed by consistently productive employees.
Most employees need and want direction from their work. They don’t want to sit there mindlessly ticking tasks off a to-do list all day long – they want reassurance that their work is helping the greater cause. One of the best ways to give employees direction is by setting defined targets and objectives for them to meet. These need to be well thought out, achievable and realistic, as it would be unfair to ask too much of one employee and not enough of another. If they are left to feel that their workload is too big and they’re going to struggle to meet the expected targets, it could just leave them feeling worse. Since remote workers will typically have less contact with their employer, it is vital for these objectives to be clear and to the point. Otherwise, any work required of them may take a lot longer to complete.
On the topic of employee engagement, offering incentives is another great option to think about. While some employers might say that the pay check should be incentive enough, in order to ensure staff continue working productively, offering additional incentives can make a huge
difference. These incentives don’t all have to be money-based either – there are hundreds of simple ways to reward staff for a job well done. In terms of smart networkers, for example, you could offer them more time to complete a deadline, buy them new and improved equipment, or simply send an email around singing their praises.
Think about your on-boarding process
When a new staff member is first introduced to a company, it can be a particularly overwhelming experience. It isn’t fair for employers to expect them to be up to speed with the processes straight away, so it’s important to let them get their head around them at their own pace. Having an effective on-boarding program in place can significantly aid this process. By giving a new staff member time and a structured program, this could do no end of good for both the employee and the business overall. Effective on-boarding programs not only increase levels of employee engagement and staff retention, but have also been shown to reduce the onset of mental health-related issues – even in workers who operate remotely. Making it clear about who you are, what your business represents and what you expect of your staff is imperative for both in-house and remote workers alike.
Encourage employee autonomy
It may sound a little counter-intuitive, but simply giving staff space to get on with their work can actually be an incredibly effective way of improving their engagement. Now, that doesn’t mean you should leave them to work in isolation – the concept of employee autonomy means so much more
than that. Autonomy is the power to shape a work environment in such a way that it enables staff to perform at their very best. It doesn’t mean there is a power-shift from employer to employee – autonomous organisations simply focus on actually getting work done rather than worrying about how it got there. If staff know that they are trusted enough to be left to their own devices, they are going to be more committed to their work. While they will still need an overarching direction, it’s important for employers to prove that they trust their staff, as the last thing any employee wants is an overbearing manager constantly picking at their work. Sometimes, the best way to keep control is to loosen the reins a little.
Written and contributed by; Dakota Murphey