Keeping employees engaged and motivated is a problem faced by companies the world over. They may be present for a full eight-hour shift, but that doesn’t mean they’re working productively the entire time. Less than 50% of employees are truly engaged at work.
Lack of engagement causes employees to work less efficiently. They’re less productive. They work more slowly. But what can be done to keep employees engaged?
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Rewards and Recognition
The first step to encouraging employee engagement is to recognize and reward hard work. If employees know that being more productive will be noticed and rewarded, they’ll have more incentive to put in the energy and work.
Some companies reward employees by selecting one employee of the month. Others opt for a tiered system of rewards based on productivity so that more employees are rewarded. Whichever option you choose can provide some much-needed incentive for employees to work harder, or even to compete with each other.
Rewards are only part of the equation, however. Recognition is vital to employee satisfaction. If your employees feel that their hard work goes unnoticed or if the credit goes to their bosses instead, they won’t feel motivated to do any work beyond the bare minimum.
Flexible Schedules and Telecommuting
Offering flexible schedules and telecommuting doesn’t sound at first like it would affect productivity, but it’s actually an important factor. These are job perks that employees really want and offering them will encourage employees to work harder for your company. They’ll see that the company values them and will be more engaged.
On top of that, some employees work more productively from home or at different times of the day. By offering them the flexibility to work when and where they are most productive, your company can benefit.
Another way to keep employees motivated is to maintain a pleasant working environment for them. Provide free coffee and snacks so that they can keep up their energy during the workday. Decorate with plants to improve office aesthetics and, according to research done at the University of Exeter, increase productivity levels as well. Having a break area that has some entertainment, like a TV, or even a massage chair, can also contribute to a pleasant atmosphere. Employees that feel valued will be more engaged in their work.
Healthy employees will work more productively than unhealthy ones. Having an office wellness program to encourage exercise and healthy eating will contribute to employee motivation and productivity. Reimbursing employees for some wellness-related expenses can show them the company’s appreciation.
Don’t forget to keep your employees moving during the workday as well. Sitting and staring at a screen for too long is bad for the health. Encouraging breaks, providing standing desks, or having walking meetings can help. Employees will feel valued and also healthier.
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