Having a strong managerial structure is key to your company’s success. Leadership will determine strength, but employee satisfaction and engagement determines its longevity. Accepting and reviewing feedback from employees will reveal pivotal moments in the company and areas that need innovation. Here are 10 ways to foster employee engagement:
- Break down silos but keep a mix of quiet and creative spaces.
There’s a rising trend in opening office floor plans and doing away with cubicles. The real truth is keeping a balance between open spaces that encourage collaboration mixed with quiet, closed spaces when sheer concentration requires silence. Not everyone works well in just one type of space or the other; keeping options open lets employees manage their own productivity.
- Create places for spontaneous meetings.
Keep it casual and arrange furniture that accommodates walking paths, stairways, and kitchen areas where people often cross paths. Having an easy pit-stop between desks can encourage collaboration without the stress of booking a meeting room. Clean tabletops make it easy for you to spread out papers with coworkers and take notes without first cleaning up your desk or dragging in an extra chair.
- Incorporate bright colors and opt for natural light.
Subconsciously, bright colors and natural light stimulate your brain and help create a positive mood. It also boosts productivity. Include employee feedback when choosing colors, or give them a chance to customize their space with color and light.
- Onboard like you mean it.
Your first day as an employee is the company’s first chance to establish a bond and invite you into the office culture. A dry presentation and piles of papers are likely to bore anyone and leave you feeling disconnected. Foster more loyal employees by exhibiting engagement from day one.
- Be the passion you want to see in other employees.
This is especially true for top-level managers and supervisors. True innovation depends on leaders to champion new ideas and model expected outcomes. Strong managers can identify and foster employee strengths, and these leaders are transparent about what truly motivates them. That level of passion tends to catch on.
- Remember how rewarding recess felt as a child?
Minus the bullies, recess meant totally unstructured creative playtime with friends. No expectations and no deadlines. Capture the same spirit by making time for fun free time. Have different people choose activities that everyone can enjoy, and try new activities to open people up to discovery.
- Pick a cause and come together for the good of others.
Consistently volunteering gives employees the opportunity to engage with each other, and it gets them out of the office. For telecommuters, it brings them together. Working as a team helps build confidence in each other, and a good cause gives employees reasons to feel proud.
- Host a game of friendly competition and reward the winner(s).
Guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar to win a gift card or new gadget can spark unexpected conversations across the office. In other words, competition creates an easy icebreaker for everyone. Some companies join baseball or bowling leagues, or they compare predictions for basketball brackets. When employees have a chance to win something, the sense of competition is heightened and conversations intensify. As prizes are passed around with each new competition, coworkers happily share memories and feel a deeper connection with each other.
- Give employees a chance to share anonymous feedback.
Provide employees time and space to voice their opinions, where ideas and pain points can be captured and addressed regularly. These surveys can be set up online using simple tools like Survey Monkey or Google Forms. Employees will feel free to ask the questions they may not voice in a group setting, and everyone can benefit from additional clarification on projects or other topics.
- Share appreciation.
Like going around the table during Thanksgiving, everyone should get a chance to recognize the positive aspects of their job and their coworkers. Simply expressing appreciation can pay it forward for both employees and customers alike.