Posted by Sarah Whitman on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 05:00
With the cost of employee turnover hovering around six to nine months’ salary, retention should be a top priority for managers. One of the best ways to keep your creative team intact is to step up your employee engagement efforts.
Employee engagement has always been an important part of staff retention, and it’s becoming increasingly critical as more and more Gen Y and Gen Z workers enter the workforce. These young professionals want to be respected, to develop genuine relationships with their bosses and to work for companies that care about the greater good.
There’s a lot to be gained from making sure your employees feel invested in their jobs, their work relationships and your company. According to research from Officevibe.com, highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave a company than their disengaged counterparts. The following tips will put you on the right track to employee engagement success.
1. Celebrate good work and effort. Some employees like public recognition, while others appreciate a simple thank-you note or small token of appreciation for a job well done. Find out how each member of your team likes to be celebrated; then reward them often for efforts both large and small. Nothing cultivates employee engagement more than the feeling of being valued.
2. Communicate quickly. Don’t assume your employees understand how they fit into the big picture of your company. Immediately share company announcements, important changes and big decisions that affect your staff. And encourage them to come to you first when they hear company rumors. Letting your staff know they can trust you to communicate honestly with them will go a long way toward fostering employee engagement.
3. Give feedback. While no one wants to be micromanaged, everyone wants to know whether they’re doing a good job or not. Set your employees up for success by giving them adequate input at the start of a project, then checking in with them along the way to let them know what they’re doing well and what could use improvement. And make sure they know it’s OK to come to you if they have questions – and that you value their input and ideas if challenges arise along the way. Set up a regular time to touch base with each of your team members.
4. Ask for input. Don’t wait for review time to ask how your employees feel their jobs are going. Also, find ways to get their honest feedback about how you’re doing as a manager, whether it’s in the form of a 360-degree review or an open conversation about how you can better help them. In addition, allow them to be part of the decision-making process when appropriate or to contribute their ideas when you have a decision to make.
5. Reward creativity and innovation. It’s a great time to be innovative in our society, and that doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs. Employees and employers alike can reap the rewards of an innovative and creative culture. Let your employees know it’s OK to experiment – and to sometimes fail.
6. Allow time for giving back. Community involvement is a big priority for many employees, especially Millennials and Gen Zers. Make sure your staff knows how your company is being charitable, and give them the option to donate their own money and time while on the clock. Better yet, schedule annual, quarterly or monthly “giving back days” that double as team-building outings.
7. Offer challenges and growth opportunities. Make sure your employees aren’t growing bored or feeling stagnant in their roles. Although you may not be able to promote your staff frequently, offering training opportunities and challenging assignments will help them keep their skills sharp.
8. Practice what you preach. Authenticity is key to establishing trust – and trust is key to employee engagement. That’s why it’s critical that you follow your own rules, stand up for what you believe in and follow through on your promises. A “do what I say, not what I do” approach to management will diminish any other attempts you’ve made at boosting employee engagement.
It may be easier for busy managers to focus on their jobs and let their employees do theirs. But if you take the time to establish management habits that grow employee engagement, your return on investment will include more productive employees, a more harmonious team and less turnover.