Employee engagement is a key part of building a healthy, successful organizational culture.
A good test way to test your company’s culture is to look at how the employees approach each new work day and project.
If your team walks in smiling and ready to dive in, you know you’ve built a good culture. But if everyone seems uninterested in their work, productivity and morale will be low, and turnover will be high.
How do you keep up the momentum and get employees excited about the work they’re doing? Here are some suggestions from business coach John Spence:
Shower them with praise
Celebrate big and small team victories. Frequent praise leads to higher levels of engagement and employee retention.
Spence suggests praising your employees’ work at least once every seven to 10 days. You can dole out praise with emails, hand-written notes or even those cheesy printable certificates.
Team collaboration adds a layer of accountability, and the social aspect helps with engagement — especially within remote teams. Use tools like Trello, Asana, Slack and Google Docs to help facilitate and organize remote teamwork.
Give everyone a break
Taking breaks before returning to the daily grind can boost productivity and engagement.
Encourage employees to take a walk, go to a park or have a coffee break. By giving everyone a break from staring at their laptops, you can help your team to approach their work with a fresh mind.
Add fun and games
Team building can have some really positive benefits for your employees.
Organize outings (or virtual ones). It doesn’t have to be the typical gimmicky escape room or obstacle course event. You can simply take a team field trip to an interesting factory, farm, company or zoo, or break for a virtual gaming hour.
Plenty of attractions offer virtual tours for your team to take if everyone is working remotely.
Host a fitness challenge
Get those endorphins pumping!
Exercise is an excellent stress-reliever and can help employees approach their work with a renewed focus. Make sure every employee has access to a gym or any necessary home exercise equipment and challenge everyone to meet a new fitness goal.
You can start with a walking challenge, such as five miles in a week or a 10 pushups per day goal.
Give back or volunteer
When you support the things your employees believe in, they’re much more likely to be passionate about what they are doing.
Take a poll to get an idea of what your employees care about and then make a point of incorporating those causes into your giving programs. Giving can involve time, scholarships, grants or in-kind donations.
Once you have defined a giving or volunteering strategy, send everyone an email guide detailing how they can participate.
Keep everyone in the loop with a newsletter
When your employees feel left out of important conversations about company changes and goals, it is likely that they will be disengaged from their work.
Keep everyone up to date and invite feedback by compiling a regular newsletter (maybe monthly or biweekly) with a survey attached.
Provide opportunities for education/training
When people don’t feel there is any room for growth within a company, they won’t want to stay too long.
Providing opportunities for continuing education and training can help keep your employees engaged in their work and interested in staying and growing with your organization. If there is a budget for it, offer access to courses and certifications online.
Reward your team’s hard work
Rewards are an excellent source of motivation, and where there is motivation, there’s engagement.
Outline goals and milestones you want your team to meet, and with their input, come up with rewards for meeting them. Rewards can be gift certificates to restaurants and experiences or subscriptions to things like the Book of the Month club or food-centered subscription boxes.
Employees who are engaged in their work will be more likely to see themselves working and growing with a company for a solid amount of time.
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Heather Nolan is a marketing specialist at Sidecar. A former journalist and social media manager, Heather lives in New Orleans with her husband, son, and grumpy rescue dog.