There’s no doubt that recruiting the right individuals for your team is crucial to a successful collaboration. What about keeping these individuals motivated and content, though? Should you even take care of your employees in the first place? The answer is yes.
Nowadays, it should not only be the goal of every employer to recruit capable employees. It is also important to create a work environment in which they feel comfortable, because dissatisfied employees are not only prone to reduced productivity. If they are highly skilled, chances are that they will be wooed by other employers. In order to ensure a good relationship between employee and employer, the latter has to create conditions under which he would like to work himself. And here’s how to make that happen.
Ask yourself: Are your employees truly engaged in their jobs?
An “engaged employee” is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about his work, and not afraid to be proactive when it comes to the interests and reputation of the organisation. This person may sound like an ideal team member, yet, according to Gallup, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs..
What does it mean for your business? Actually, disengaged employees have a direct (and negative) impact on it, for a number of reasons. Firstly, such employees truly care less about their jobs, which means they don’t try very hard and might just be looking for an excuse to leave. Plus, they are often more absent and create more turnover within the company. Not to mention that employee discontent can also be sensed by your customers quite easily, especially if unmotivated individuals work in customer support.
It all can clearly affect your business. As a matter of fact, companies with more engaged employees appear to grow revenue 2.5x as much as companies with less engaged teams, as Bain & Company reports.
What are the reasons for low employee engagement?
Since so many employees feel disengaged, there have to be valid reasons for that. , First, people don’t feel motivated if they don’t trust their leaders. Trust, however, requires open communication and keeping one’s word, which is not always the case.
Speaking of communication - many employees tend to suffer in silence, and they may experience problems they don’t really want to discuss at work. At the same time, not feeling free to communicate and not trusting one’s team causes low morale. That’s precisely why building a sense of team is important for your employees. They should always feel valuable to their organisation and keep “the big picture” in the back of their minds.
The idea of feeling valued also derives from being offered constant incentives. No wonder - employees need the motivation to keep their morale high. Doing the very same thing at work every day, for the same amount of money and under the same conditions, eventually gets old. Basically, people need a reason to stay productive between paydays - otherwise, they lose their drive, sooner or later.
That’s also why it’s essential for an employee to have greater career prospects and the ability to grow. Feeling stuck at a dead-end job often causes a lack of engagement and low morale, not to mention the high turnover.
The signs of low employee engagement
To put it briefly - employees who feel good about their work, trust their leaders, and are optimistic about their future should not feel disengaged anytime soon. At the same time, it’s worth to recognise the causes (and signs) of low employee engagement, just to make sure you know exactly how your team is feeling and whether you are able to do anything about it.
Here are the most common signs of low employee engagement:
Excuses. If you start hearing too much of those, it’s a sign that your employee is not keeping up with their work. Before you make your own judgement, though, make sure those excuses are not justified (by any issues between team members or a heavy workload, for example).
Detachment. If you notice that an employee doesn’t really participate in meetings nor offers any ideas or contributions, it might mean that he or she is feeling burned out or disengaged.
Absenteeism. Low engagement often means finding good enough reasons to arrive late, leave early, or even skip work.
Ignorance. Actively paying no attention to deadlines or meetings should be a cause for concern as well, especially when they are essential for a project.
Remember that lack of engagement decreases productivity, kills morale and costs money. Watch out for the signs of low employee engagement, to make sure it’s not already happening in your team. Then, if you spot any of these signs, which should be easier with proper project management & team collaboration software, address them right away. There are ways to avoid low employee engagement, though. If you take good care of your employees from the very beginning, they shouldn’t have a reason to feel unmotivated.
How to take care of your employees
- 38% of workers say their happiness impacts their performance at work.(One4all)
- The top factors cited for job satisfaction were: having the latest digital and technology skills; savings or financial assistance programs and vacation. (Randstad)
- 61% of employees want appealing and comfortable workspaces, workplace flexibility (53%), perks (47%) and workspaces that provide learning opportunities (32%). (Clutch)
- 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work. (Udemy)
- 97% of employees prefer choosing their own benefits, rather than have their employer choose for them. (WTW)
8 ways to boost your employees motivation
Professional and well-equipped workplace. Offering a tidy and modern work environment should be a must. Mostly because employees are likely to be more productive in an organized surrounding versus a cluttered, dirty workplace. Not to mention the availability of quality equipment and additional tools that affect work. Also, make sure that there is an adequate parking area, break rooms, smoking areas.
Remote Work. Working remotely is admired by many employees, yet not a lot of employers offer this possibility. Doing so might affect the productivity of your team, and with a stable internet connection and advanced project management & team collaboration tools you will hardly notice that the employees are not actually in the office.
Open communication. If possible, maintain an open-door policy and encourage your employees to speak up whenever they experience any troubles at work. At the same time, team leaders and managers should also be instructed on how to provide feedback and constructive criticism, as well as address any unprofessional behaviour in the right matter.
Salary. Obviously, financial perks prove to be a great incentive to keep your employees motivated and loyal. Yet, many companies still offer low salaries or no possibility for salary increase. If you think of the costs of keeping disengaged employees or replacing staff, it might actually be more beneficial to invest in your current employees in order to boost their productivity and commitment. If you can’t afford to offer your employees more money when they ask for a rise, be honest about it and consider other benefits. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind that lack of monetary appreciation is one of the biggest reasons that force people to quit their jobs, while often even a small pay rise will be enough to make them stay.
Training. Always strive to provide your team with the opportunity to prepare for their job position, and then learn new skills that benefit and expand upon their role. Many employees simply want to be good at what they are supposed to do, which is often difficult to achieve without proper training. Once they master their job, though, it’s time to offer them more opportunities to grow, so that they don’t rest on their laurels. Keeping up-to-date with the latest tech solutions, conferences and courses will definitely help you keep them engaged.
promotion prospects. If there’s such a possibility, promote your employees within the company to encourage their hard work and loyalty. Once there’s room for growth and a bright future within the company, your team is less likely to feel disengaged. Instead, your employees will probably give their best to attain their goals.
Recognition. Make sure you notice the effort your employees put into their work, and recognise those who excel at their jobs. To do so, you can simply praise them during meetings, or even organise employee recognition events. Basically, your best employees are more likely to feel valued by the company when their individual achievements are recognised and celebrated.
Additional benefits. You can show your appreciation simply by providing paid time off as well as additional benefits, such as:
- employer's pension scheme
- railroad tickets
- credit card boni
- food subsidies
- membership in the gym
If possible, come up with a list of benefits you could offer and let your employees choose for themselves.
Motivation keywords at a glance
flexible workinghours (incl. options for remote work
promotion of communication
Employees are a company’s greatest assets, yet not many business owners seem to be aware of that. If you want to attract (and retain) the best, you have to make sure you actually have what it takes - in terms of working environment and resources.
Good news is that it doesn’t take much to keep your employees motivated. Once you take an active and genuine interest in people who work for you and decide to invest in their growth, you will quickly build a dedicated and productive team. Basically, by treating your employees right and offering them the benefits they deserve, you can truly make a change.
It’s fairly simple - take care of your employees, and they will take good care of your customers too.