Employee engagement is paramount, and there are indeed many strategies on how to achieve it. Basically, the goal is to empower employees to make their own decisions, so it’s not really an easy task. In addition, the process portends training and providing the right tools, so it’s overall an ongoing business.
Seeing as people are different and are driven by different factors, there’s also personalization to take into account. It has been established that employees perform better when they can trust the management, so empowerment starts with top brass learning the necessary skills.
1. Empower Every Single Employee
Give your team the freedom to come up with their own ideas, brainstorm and get truly innovative, even when often working independently. Use any means necessary to empower employees, including training, team building and employee feedback.
The latter should become part of your regular routine (many businesses rely on quarterly feedback systems) as it will give you an invaluable insight into what drives the workforce.
Knowing their aims will make it easier to fine-tune the approach, so take your time devising a proper strategy and be persistent. Gaining trust takes time, after all.
2. Ensure Overall Employee Satisfaction
It’s rather logical to conclude that when employees aren’t satisfied, they won’t be as motivated as they can be. In the worst-case scenario, they’ll even look for better job opportunities elsewhere, and you don’t want that to start happening.
Employee satisfaction can be assessed by anonymous feedback, and people won’t be afraid of retribution when there is guaranteed anonymity.
Basically, there are always simple hacks to make things better. Consider hybrid work models, for example. For people who don’t have to be physically present, at least not all the time, allow them to work remotely.
Experiment a bit with different work models and ask employees for their opinion after some time. This is the fastest and easiest way to boost the mood and drive engagement, and also allow more freedom to employees.
Next on, consider whether employees are happy with their roles. If they aren’t, look for sustainable alternatives. E.g., you can set up targeted training for people looking for different career paths and help them achieve their goals, while at the same time retaining a loyal workforce.
3. Encourage eLearning
The fastest path to growth is learning, and growth can help increase employee engagement. Create your own materials, or pay for employees to sign up for courses on the platform of your choice.
Custom Learning is a proven way to boost employee engagement and satisfaction, and to ensure progress and productivity.
Whether you’ll choose to create your own courses or rely on a trustworthy platform is up to you, but remember to educate people on how to use the platform to ensure maximum effects.
4. Watch Out for Common Problems
Good aspects aside, there are some common problems with remote teams. What are some you can avoid?
Common problems for remote companies include difficulties with culture building, communication (or its lack thereby), social interactions, etc. Chiefly speaking, the majority of these are caused by poor communication, so make sure to take proper steps to ensure everything is in order.
For starters, choose user-friendly interaction tools so that people can give their undivided attention to communication — not to the technicalities of the tools. Next on, provide proper training. Finally, use anonymous feedback to plan team-building activities.
Pay particular attention to project collaborations as they can make or break a business. Successful collaborations are known to boost employee performance, so make sure to communicate the company’s vision and mission clearly so that everyone can partake.
When everyone feels like an integral part of the team and — by extension — the company, everyone will share in its overall success.
Think about it from the point of view of a startup. Everyone has a say, and everyone participates in risk-taking. While some endeavors may fail, more will succeed, and the results will be shared by everyone.
Simply put, create a common purpose. A recent study was undertaken by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and Rob Cross, Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Business at Babson College, shows that purpose is the key factor of collaboration and engagement.
According to Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer, i4cp:
“The lack of incentives and rewards is the most common and powerful barrier to effective collaboration. Yet, most talent management systems are designed to reward individual achievement, not team accomplishments. Finding ways to recognize and reward individuals, leaders, and teams who engage in productive collaborative behaviors can pay off in a big way.”
There is the final tip: distribute rewards equally among project participants, as nothing speaks louder than giving credit where it is due.
Overall, engagement needs to be continually maintained by a mix of incentives, brainstorming activities, team-building activities and open-mindedness. It is crucial to rely on employee feedback as it will give you a fairly good idea of what people’s expectations are. It is upon you to devise the methods for them to achieve their goals.