If you want to increase employee engagement and morale, there are a handful of things that you can do as an employer. The key is to be consistent and make sure that everyone knows they’re being heard. I’ve compiled 21 effective tips here based on my experience with working with employees in various sectors.
Recognize Your Employees
Recognition is a powerful motivator. It can help you build stronger relationships with your employees, improve morale and increase engagement.
When it comes to recognition, there are many different ways to show appreciation for what your employees do every day. Some people prefer public praise while others like more private forms of recognition such as handwritten notes or gift cards. Whatever method you choose should be specific to each individual employee and be timely (i.e., within 24 hours), positive (i.e., not just saying “good job”) and sincere (i.e., don’t say it just because).
Show Appreciation Often
Recognition is a key motivator for employees. Acknowledging a job well done, or even just thanking someone for their efforts, can go a long way toward boosting morale and engagement.
In addition to verbal praise, recognition can come in many forms:
- A handwritten note on an employee’s desk or cubicle wall (or even an online message)
- An email from the manager or supervisor congratulating them on something they did well
- An award at an annual company meeting where all employees are recognized
Give Constant Feedback
Giving constant feedback is the key to making sure your team is on track. Here are some ways to do it:
- Give feedback in a timely manner. If you wait too long between giving your employees feedback, they won’t be able to learn from their mistakes and grow as individuals.
- Provide specific examples of what was good or bad about their performance so they know where they need improvement. If you don’t provide details about what you liked or didn’t like about the employee’s work, then there won’t be any way for them to improve!
- Remember that everyone has different personalities; some people respond better when praised than criticized while others prefer constructive criticism over compliments because it gives them room for growth rather than just telling them how great they are at everything (which can sometimes make people complacent). For example: “I really liked how hardworking and motivated our new hire was today; however I noticed that he wasn’t paying attention during meetings so watch out for that next time.”
Be a Mentor to Your Team
Mentoring is one of the best ways to give back to your team and help them develop their skills. Mentoring can also help you better understand your team, which in turn will improve your ability to lead them effectively.
If you’re not sure how mentoring works, here are some tips:
- Choose someone from outside your direct reports who has experience in areas where they need help or could use some guidance. For example, if one of your employees has a lot of potential but doesn’t know how best to use it yet, consider pairing him or her with someone more experienced in that area–such as a manager who has been promoted recently (and thus knows what it takes).
- Meet regularly with each other–once every week or two would be ideal but monthly meetings work too if they’re easier for everyone involved (including yourself).
Be Transparent and Honest with Your Team
Transparency is important to employees and managers alike. Being honest with your team is the best way to build trust, which will help foster an environment where employees are motivated and engaged in their work.
Being transparent doesn’t mean sharing every detail about the company’s financials or strategy, but it does mean being open about what’s happening within the business itself. If there’s something going on that might affect morale or engagement–a new policy or procedure, for example–you should communicate this information as soon as possible so that everyone knows what’s going on at all times.
Encourage Them to Take Breaks Before They Burn Out
- Encourage Them to Take Breaks Before They Burn Out
The importance of taking breaks is something that most people can agree on. When you work for long periods of time without taking a break, your body starts to suffer from exhaustion and stress. The result is that the quality of your work suffers as well. In fact, studies have shown that not only does productivity decrease when employees are overworked but also employee engagement goes down as well!
So how do we avoid these problems? We encourage our employees to take regular breaks throughout their day so they don’t get burnt out by the end of it all! There are lots of ways in which this can be done:* Set up designated times during the day where everyone takes a 20 minute break together.* Encourage people who work remotely (like me) or have flexible schedules (like my friend who works part-time) to take advantage of this policy by setting up specific days/times where he knows there won’t be any meetings scheduled and encourages everyone else too.* Offer incentives for taking these extra steps–maybe give them some extra vacation days if they complete all their tasks early each week?
Don’t Neglect Small Talk During Meetings and Conferences
You have to be careful not to neglect small talk during meetings and conferences. It’s easy to get caught up in work, but if you don’t make an effort to engage with your colleagues on a personal level, they’ll feel like they can’t approach you or ask questions about things outside of work. If someone asks how your weekend was or what movie you saw last night–and this happens often enough that it becomes normal–that person is probably interested in getting closer with everyone else at the company as well.
It’s important for employees not only because it makes them feel welcome and appreciated but also because these interactions help foster trust among coworkers which leads directly into greater productivity (and employee satisfaction).
Hold Quarterly Reviews of Employee Performance and Goals
One of the most important things you can do to keep your employees engaged is to hold quarterly reviews of their performance and goals.
These reviews should be done in a timely manner, preferably within two months of the end of each quarter. In addition to reviewing their personal goals, you should also talk about any projects or tasks that they’re working on that will help achieve those broader organizational objectives. This helps ensure that everyone has clear expectations for what needs to get done and how it fits into the greater scheme of things.
The review should then be recorded somewhere central so it’s accessible by all managers who need access to this information as part of their day-to-day responsibilities (e.g., managers have access via an intranet portal).
Track the Happiness of Staff Members Regularly
- Use a tool like Glassdoor to track employee satisfaction. It’s the world’s largest job site, so it makes sense that they’d have a database of employee reviews. You can use this data to see how satisfied your employees are with their jobs, managers and benefits packages–and then take steps to improve those areas where there are gaps in happiness.
- Use a tool like TINYpulse or Culture Amp (or both) to track employee engagement and culture on an ongoing basis! With these tools you’ll be able to get regular feedback from your staff about everything from company values (e.g., “We value collaboration”) down through specific projects (“Our project meetings could be more interactive”). This will help you keep tabs on whether the core values are being upheld across all departments within your organization–and whether any adjustments need to be made along the way.*
Ask for Feedback From the Whole Team – Not Just a Few People in Leadership Roles.
It’s important to make sure you’re asking for feedback from all levels of your organization, not just a few people in leadership roles. You want to hear what everyone has to say–from those at the top down to those on the front lines. This will help you understand what’s working well and what needs improvement, but also how well your company culture is working overall.
When it comes time for this kind of survey or questionnaire, ask yourself these questions:
- Who should be involved? – Make sure every employee has an opportunity to provide input into how things are going at work and what could be better; if there is one person who works directly with customers or vendors (such as an HR manager), include them too!
- What questions should I ask? – Consider asking about two main areas: 1) How satisfied are my employees/customers/vendors with their jobs/relationships with each other; 2) What would they like me do differently as a leader?
Recognition and accountability are key to increasing employee engagement and morale
Recognition and accountability are key to increasing employee engagement and morale.
- Recognition: You can’t always be there for your employees, but you can show them you care by acknowledging their efforts in small ways. For example, send an email or make a call when someone does something good–whether it’s helping out a coworker or finishing an important project early.
- Accountability: It’s not just about praising people; it’s also about holding employees accountable for their actions. If someone isn’t doing his job effectively or fulfilling his responsibilities as expected, don’t ignore it–address the issue directly with him so he knows what he needs to do differently next time around (and so everyone else knows what not to do).
These are just a few of the many ways you can increase employee engagement and morale. Remember, it’s not just about offering rewards or bonuses. It’s about recognizing and acknowledging your employees when they do something great–and doing so consistently over time. If you want to improve your company culture, start by showing appreciation for each person who works with you!