According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the leading HR group, employee engagement is defined as “Being focused on what you do (thinking), feeling good about yourself in your role and the organisation (feeling) and acting in a way that demonstrates commitment to the organisational values and objectives (acting).”
But how exactly do you ensure that employee engagement is a priority and thriving within your company?
HR departments and management have wide varieties of goals and aims to succeed within, so it can be hard to juggle all of them at once. However, if you speak to someone about their job, the culture it is set in is often a huge part of their enjoyment and how much they will happily engage.
One way to ensure that employee engagement is at a high consistently within your workplace, is by being creative in the ways that you engage people.
If you create an employee engagement strategy at the off that is successful, then that is great but what happens as people get bored of the same lunchtime social activities or the needs/demographic of your workforce changes over time?
Creativity may seem like its only defined by someone creating art, but in its basic form, creativity is the act of doing something differently. Sounds like a good thing to bet on, right?
Here are some tips on how you can implement more creative processes and practices within your company. Alongside some potential long-term benefits too because we understand that you still have numbers and corporate success to consider.
1. Change the Environment
How many times have you sat in a meeting, and at the beginning you have been highly engaged but as time goes on, you run out of steam? Start thinking about the jobs that need doing at home or your weekend plans? Most would not admit it, but we all do it at some point.
Sometimes just a change of environment is needed, try encouraging departments to move their meetings from time to time. If they do the same meetings in the same rooms, at the same time every week, then things will just get boring.
Also, if you are able, do an occasional shake up of the office decoration– make it bright and colourful, make it inspiring. Take more risks and see what happens.
2. Take on board employee suggestions
Most workplaces will have some form of employee feedback form or forum. However, could there be an opportunity to be even more ahead of the curve?
Maybe its time to embrace these suggestions more, even if they may seem a little weird or as if they do not directly link to what you are trying to achieve as a business. Of course, there will always be suggestions that come in and are just unviable from the start and not worth entertaining.
But what if sometimes its worth having at the very least a conversation about how these suggestions can help to improve employees experience in your company?
Employees having their voice heard on general career related issues is not always about whether they’re getting what they want out of their role. It can however make a difference to their overall job satisfaction which in the long run will make them a more valuable worker to you. Get creative, get a little weird and always listen.
3. Keep Up to Date
Whether everyone embraces it or not, the world is always changing. A huge part of these changes will affect your workplace and how it runs. This is true for technology, advances in equality laws and people’s general interests.
If you want to implement a sustainable system for employee retention you must keep it up to date and flexible. Take feedback on as many processes as you can, keep up to date with how similar companies in the market are doing things.
Also, whether it’s you personally or someone in a specific role, take an interest in politics and have an awareness of how this may impact your company. Keep flexible and be interested in new ideas that can shake up your work culture.
4. Remember that workplace culture is not all about the work…
Whilst the focus is often making sure that all your staff can and are doing their jobs to the best of their ability – as discussed, successful employee retention strategies cannot just rely on whether someone is practically able to do their job.
The environment in which one does the job must be regularly evaluated and updated too. Make sure that any company away days or bonding sessions are fun and will appeal to a wide variety of your employees.
For example, constantly running army style bootcamps whilst great for giving an energy boost, may not be accessible to those with physical challenges, leaving them feeling left out of prime bonding time with their colleagues.
Try making a social event volunteer rota, to make things a little more diverse and interesting. Allow your employees to make suggestions on what they would like the social aspect of the work calendar to look like, and you will be making sure that they feel heard and are enjoying the activities which are put on for them. Which brings us to the final point we want to make…
5. Embrace who your employees are outside of work
Whilst process changes within the workplace are often beneficial, it can be difficult to implement them, because it tends to be the same people coming up with the ideas. Then they usually end up having to do all the organising too.
If management began to take more of an interest in who their employees are and what they regularly enjoy in their own social lives, then the calendar will begin to form itself.
You will start to get a real sense of who your workforce are, what their main priorities are in terms of socializing and be able to create a workplace culture that is inclusive and enjoyable for many.
These ideas don’t begin to even scratch the surface of the benefits of embracing creativity and change within a workplace, nor does it give a definitive list of examples of how this can be done. If you take anything away from this article, its to be flexible, listen to what your employees want and always be willing to step outside of the box where you’re able to.