If employees truly are an organization's best asset, then leaders and managers should make caring for them a priority. Companies have a uniquely valuable opportunity to transform their employees' work experiences into ones that are fulfilling and motivating; this, in turn, will allow workers to bring their best to work every day.
According to the annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2016 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, "The U.S. has a problem with employee engagement. U.S. employees reported that they were moderately engaged averaging 3.8 on a 5-point scale where 5 is highly engaged and 1 is unengaged" (Source). Before you can begin to increase employee satisfaction and engagement, it's critical for you to know what to improve. This post covers five simple but effective ways to do just that.
Implement Flexible Scheduling, if Possible
Are your employees sick of the status quo 9-5 work environment? Well, it may be beneficial to implement a flex scheduling attendance program. A relaxed approach to scheduling offers your employees the chance to work when it best fits their schedule, and it’s fairly popular too. In fact, a full sixty-five percent (65%) of organizations recognized as Best Places to Work in the U.S. (2015) reported that they offered, as a standard year-round practice, the option to work flexible hours or a compressed work week (Source: Best Companies Group, U.S. Employer Benchmark 2016).
Many professionals, including those with children or aging parents, struggle to fit together their work and personal schedule. With a flex schedule system, you’ll alleviate the stress many employees may face throughout the day, while keeping mission-critical business activities on track. You can compose your own guidelines that will ensure meetings aren’t missed, while giving employees the freedom to meet all their responsibilities.
Offer a Benefits Package
Providing a comprehensive benefits package is one key element in the attraction and retention of top talent. According to a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employees within today’s workforce desire:
- Improved compensation and benefit plans (53%)
- Enriched vacation and holiday benefits (35%)
- New experiences (32%)
A comprehensive benefits package today takes into consideration not just the standard medical, dental, and vision needs of the employee but incorporates health and wellness initiatives into the package, as well.
Provide Ample Career Development Opportunities
For many organizations, career development initiatives have the potential to be the number-one driver of employee engagement. Take a cursory look at your organization: are you taking the time to meet with employees to discuss development goals? Have you mapped out career moves that individuals can make in your organization?
If you were shaking your head in disagreement to any of these questions, you may want to take a step back and consider developing a sustainable career development program for your employees. Millennials and other young workers especially crave development opportunities. Aligning engagement strategies around worker priorities may benefit organizations in the long-term.
Assess Company Culture
A lack of engagement often stems from a lack of connection to identity and purpose. It is crucial for organizational leaders to cultivate a culture where employees feel the reward of contributing to work that matters. If your employees are suffering from a lack of engagement, you have a purpose problem.
How are you helping your employees to articulate their purpose? Is everyone aligned with that purpose? Company culture is often listed as one of the most important reasons why people are happy in their jobs. Great culture is about sharing common goals and purpose, in an engaging and motivating environment.
Gain New Insight from an Employee Survey
Interestingly, when a company asks its employees for their opinions, engagement at that organization tends to increase by 5%. Just asking your employees for feedback moves the needle! It’s important, however, to be choosy about what kind of feedback you collect. Because employees want their employers to take action on their feedback, it’s essential to conduct an employee survey only if the results are valid and actionable. Unfortunately, businesses sometimes make the mistake of using employee surveys to collect data that is irrelevant or impossible to act on. To ensure your employee feedback data is actionable, ask your survey provider how customers use reports to affect change.