We work best when we are fully engaged in what we are doing, so how do we help our employees be more engaged? Erik Hobbins at Saba has some advice.
Happy employees = thriving organizations
1. Spread the appreciation year-round
Employee engagement and appreciation is a year-round activity. Annual performance reviews should be the opposite of their namesake – try ongoing performance reviews! Annual reviews don’t provide equal opportunity to assess the happiness and performance of your people, while ongoing performance reviews allow you to consistently monitor the pulse of your employees. In Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, active disengagement in the workplace accounts for a drain in productivity and profitability. Likewise, ongoing reviews present an ideal scenario to let your employees know you appreciate them by providing feedback, recognizing and rewarding performance and encouraging communication.
2. Communicate, communicate, then communicate again
You’ve heard it time and time again – employees don’t leave organizations; they leave their managers. According to Gallup, managers account for at 70% of the variance in team engagement. Managers who take the opportunity to connect regularly with employees (and it doesn’t have to be for long – even 15 minutes will do the trick!) get a better understanding of the needs and aspirations of their employees to ensure they are happy and engaged in the work they do.
3. Set goals – and celebrate when you achieve them!
It’s the basics of business – you have to measure employee competencies, skills and outputs. These are the metrics that align your organizational outcomes with your employees. But these metrics are only as good as the employees performing them! If your employees are unhappy or disengaged, it will be evident in the results. Measure your milestones and celebrate them – it ensures you understand performance metrics but it’s also an opportunity to celebrate with your employees!
4. Create an experience worth talking about
Your people are the most important asset to your organization. Great experiences at work (including perks like free snacks, work-from-home, flex vacation and open concept office space) are a simple way to show your employees you care and encourage them to work like you! Great experiences = happy employees. And happy employees help you cultivate a strong employer brand, retain your talent and open the door to new talent opportunities through referrals.