The results of a recent Gallup survey on employee engagement are, in a word, disturbing. Of 350,000 employee respondents, 70 percent reported they were “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” talking1from their work. The annual cost to U.S. companies as a result? Between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity.

Ouch. Rather than be part of these statistics, what can you do to keep your workforce engaged?

Trust and Value
The Gallup survey reinforced the fact that an employee’s relationship with their direct manager is the single most important factor influencing engagement.

  • Make employees part of the process and part of the solution. Start by conducting a workforce engagement survey, including the opportunity for comments on issues and suggestions for improvement. Communicate survey results – negative as well as positive. Form employee-led teams to address specific improvement items and have them present their plans to senior management.
  • Collaborate with each employee on their career plan. Take a genuine interest in their goals. Support employees through mentoring, coaching, training and development.
  • Remember, employees have lives, too. Offer as much flexibility in scheduling as possible as you acknowledge their personal needs and commitments. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference. Follow the Golden Rule and do unto others as you would have done unto you.

The need to do more with less is not going away – and as such, workloads continue to increase. As they balance business results with employee satisfaction, managers must let fairness be their guide.

  • Distribute work in an equitable way. Don’t expect top performers to pull all the weight. This is okay in an emergency, but shackling them down on a regular basis will be a morale killer. Keep it up and you may lose them for good.
  • Listen and communicate. Hold regular one-on-one conversations and team meetings to air issues and improve processes. Give everyone the opportunity to participate.

Rewards & Recognition
Being made to feel appreciated was among the top three motivating factors listed by employees in another recent industry report. (The other two, by the way, were “interesting work” and “a feeling of being in on things.” That’s right. You don’t see “salary” listed.)

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be consistent, appropriate and thoughtful.

  • Find the best in everyone. Don’t limit recognition to annual performance reviews or to superstar performers. Reward each employee appropriately, whether it’s a simple “thank you” or a more elaborate recognition.
  • Make rewards meaningful. When you recognize an employee, align the reward with the individual’s interests. This will be simple, if you’ve taken the time to really get to know your people. For instance, if your assistant relaxes on weekends by playing golf, give her a box of golf balls or let her leave early on a sunny Friday to hit the links. If a young Dad watches the kids while his wife works evenings, how about family movie passes?

Employee engagement isn’t rocket science. It’s more important than that. But it is very achievable, and the results can be nothing short of amazing.           

To learn more about building and engaging your work force, contact the expert team at PrideStaff Modesto today.

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