One study estimates that 55% of people in the workforce in August 2021 intend to look for a new job in the next 12 months. To counteract the incoming wave of employee turnover, organizations more than ever need to focus on cultivating employee engagement.
Engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout, and stay in organizations longer. Given engagement’s critical importance, the authors created this Employee Engagement Checklist: a distilled, research-based resource that practitioners can execute on during this critical period of renewed uncertainty. Use this checklist to boost employee engagement by helping them connect what they do to what they care about, making the work itself less stressful and more enjoyable, and rewarding them with additional time off, in addition to financial incentives.
- Connect what employees do to what they care about:
Revise your organization’s mission statement to connect with employee values
Studies show that people are willing to give up financial benefits to work for an organization that practices corporate social and environmental responsibility. If organization’s mission is to become an industry leader and nothing more, it will be difficult for employees’ goals and values to fit in. On the other hand, if organization has some societal impact, then it’s easier for employees to align their goals with the mission and thus feel that they fit in at work.
Share with your team how their work is related to the organization’s purpose.
A purposeful mission is not sufficient to establish feelings of value alignment. Employees have to see a connection between their day-to-day work and the organization’s greater purpose. Job crafting, which entails using imagination to redesign one’s job without the involvement of management, is one technique that connects an employee’s everyday work activities with the organization’s purpose. Research by McKinsey suggests that town hall meetings and immersive, small-group sessions are effective at helping employees better understand their organization’s broader mission.
Encourage and fund employee resource groups (ERGs) that represent diverse interests and goals.
ERGs are voluntary communities that bring together individuals with similar backgrounds or interests. ERGs could Centre on diversity and inclusion, special interests, or even wellness (outdoors, exercise, etc.)
2. Make work less stressful and more enjoyable.
Grant employees the flexibility to try new work tasks to discover their intrinsic interests.
Whether activities are intrinsically interesting likely depends on the individual employee. The same activity might spark intrinsic motivation for one employee but not for another. To provide employees the opportunity to determine what sparks their intrinsic interest, consider a job rotation program.
Grant employees more autonomy.
Autonomy is critical to fostering intrinsic motivation. As an example of autonomy in action, Netflix employees operate in an environment of “no rules,” characterized by a high degree of employee freedom and responsibility. A culture of freedom and responsibility not only allows employees to pursue ideas they find enjoyable and fun increasing intrinsic motivation but is also viewed as essential to Netflix’s ability to continue to innovate as the organization grows in size.
Boosting your team’s sense of confidence
People tend to avoid work tasks they lack the confidence to complete, so managers should encourage employees to initiate tasks that are intrinsically pleasing. To enhance employees’ confidence, consider a mentorship program. Google found that managers who followed the onboarding checklist had team members become fully effective 25% faster than peers whose manager did not follow it.
3. Create time affluence.
Reward employees with time apart from money.
The need to reward employees with time is especially important now because the pandemic increased the length of the average workday. Rewarding employees with time is an especially effective way to increase feelings of time affluence and drive employee engagement.
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