2016 the year of employee engagement

Make This Your Year of Employee Engagement

As another year begins, now is the perfect time to consider strategies and goals for the year ahead. As you plan for the new year, don’t let internal engagement drop from your radar. Let’s all work together to make this the year of employee engagement.

We know from many research institutions and studies, that companies which focus on engaging their employees typically enjoy better profits, a happier workforce and improved productivity. For example, here are just a handful of the statistics;

Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.
Source: Workplace Research Foundation

Employees who report feeling valued by their employer are 60% more likely to report they are motivated to do their very best for their employer.
Source: American Psychology Association / Harrison Interactive

Companies who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback.
Source: Gallup

Increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year.
Source: Workplace Research Foundation

Creating a fantastic environment for talented people to do great things

That sounds great, right? People feeling valued, having above normal productivity and less likely to leave your employ. So what is the “secret sauce”, which we, as business managers and leaders, need to focus on, in order do to encourage better employee engagement and a more positive company culture?

I believe it starts at the very start of your recruitment process, and is a perpetual wheel of improvement, feedback and recognition. In the following 18 articles which we’ve published this year, you’ll find inspiration for new methods and strategies or, ideally, validation that your organisation is doing great.

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I have broken these down into a few key areas, which I believe are the overall main messages we’ve been writing about this year. They are;

  • Create positive company values
  • Improve the hiring process
  • Encourage happiness and health
  • Focus on a positive company culture
  • Encourage gratitude from everyone
  • Look for different ways to engage your team

OK, let’s get stuck into it, as I review some of the key takeaways in the last year of articles that we have published.

Create Positive Company Values

Think of your company values as a guide to what you and the organization expect form everyone within it, including yourself. Whilst it is important that your values are positive, it is equally important that your company values reflect who you are, as an entity.

I wrote a detailed article about the process we undertook to come up with our own values. The article, Creating company values that boost company culture, has attracted some great feedback. I trust you find it useful.

Need some inspiration before writing your own company values? We spent some serious time, and collated and sorted 190 brilliant examples of company values for you to reflect on. There are some great, inspiring examples in this list.

We even penned an article on ways to incorporate your company valued in the environment around you, with our article, Inspiring office ideas that reflect their company values – there are some very beautiful examples of work environments in there.

WeWork office, London

Photo: WeWork

 

Look at Ways to Improve the Hiring Process

Recruitment can be a lot of effort, and it often may feel like it’s a case of hit and miss. Much of this is within our control, as leaders or human resources professionals though.

One area I have been very mindful of as I have built my business, is to consider cultural fit as well as skills and knowledge. Our article, How to hire employees for cultural fit, does a great job in explaining why you should too.

Whilst we have mentioned company cultural fit, there is also individual cultural backgrounds. We penned an article on the Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace which I encourage you to read.

Encourage Happiness and Good Health

Happiness and good health is vital for every human being, including those that work for, and around you. I encourage you to spend some of 2016 creating a happier environment for your employees.

Disengaged, unhappy people aren’t any fun to work with, don’t add much value, and impact our organizations (and our economy) in profoundly negative ways.
Harvard Business Review

To help aide you in this work, we have an article, 10 secrets to employee happiness that contains some valuable ideas, all borne from a survey of 203,756 people from 189 countries – that is some serious research.

Our article, 22 tips on how to find happiness at work encourage your team to be happier at work, may be a good candidate for your internal news or to send the link around the workplace. In it, we cover suggestions such as “Get walking before you start your work”, which is a habit I started a number of years ago, and really enjoy.

We strongly believe you need to Help Your Employees Manage Stress in the Workplace to keep them as productive and happy as possible.

We spent some considerable time researching and collating 57 great ways to encourage better employee health for you too. I trust that you find a few suggestions within that article to try early in the New Year.

Meditation

Image: Moyan Brenn, Flickr

Focus on Creating a Positive Company Culture

This may sound like a simple task, however it often isn’t. A company culture requires regular attention; it isn’t something you cross off your to do list and forget about at all. Nurturing a positive company culture is more like tending a well-kept garden.

One of the concepts we did at 6Q, when creating our values, was create them as a team; all the employees had a say in the crafting of our values. We mention this, and a number of other ideas, in our article, How to create a positive company culture in 11 easy steps

Our post, Creating a Happier Corporate Culture, covers being a mentor, using laughter in the team, and more.

Encourage an Attitude of Gratitude

To encourage everyone among your team to show encouragement and gratitude to those around you, it needs to start with your own behavior. In our article, titled 7 Awesome Methods for Employee Recognition, we cover, in detail, these seven concepts;

  1. Ask employees and management to nominate/vote for the employee of the month.
  2. Reward the team or department that shows great achievement.
  3. Starting an employee appreciation program.
  4. Recognise your employees’ personal accomplishments.
  5. Expressing interest in your employees’ professional development.
  6. Post and follow a celebration calendar in the workplace.
  7. Call an employee to your office to thank them personally.

Thanking those around you or simply recognizing them for great work is a habit we should all be building within our daily routine. In our article, The importance of employee recognition, we state that employee appreciation is an essential part of human need at the workplace. Employees react positively when management shows appreciation for their good work or effort.

It is the easiest, and cheapest way to motivate those around you, just by saying thank you.

Gratitude isn’t just a ‘from the top’ system either; we need to encourage others to show gratitude as well. In our article, announcing our own peer to peer employee recognition feature of 6Q, we explain the psychological need of being recognized, and we also quoted this great statistic.

41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen marked positive increases in customer satisfaction.
(SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)

Look for different ways to engage your team

I am always looking for unique and different ways to engage my team, and I am positive you do too. There are always some very interesting ideas out there, and in our article, How to Nail Employee Engagement with REACH, we use the acronym of REACH, to explain;

  • R – Relationships
  • E – Enrichment
  • A – Appreciating contributions
  • C – Collaboration
  • H – Honest communication

Another article we put together for your benefit, is our Simple and effective employee engagement ideas post, which covers 17 different employee engagement activities, most of which are free or very low cost to roll out.

One of my favourite strategies, as outlined in our article, How to motivate your employees in 12 easy steps, is the concept of being a leader worth following.

As a leader, employees are going to look to you to set an example for the rest of the group. Leaders tend to be setting a tone and values for the company. By doing so, it could have a meaningful effect on the mentality of the employees. If leaders set an example of positive thinking, employees will follow and the entire work culture will become more motivating.

In Summary

To recap, we’ve shared some of our popular articles, and demonstrated why it is so important that as leaders, we focus on creating a fantastic environment for talented people to do great things. Let’s all work throughout this year to ensure that;

  • Our company values are meaningful and positive.
  • We improve the hiring process, to ensure cultural fir and diversity.
  • We motivate and encourage those around us to be happy and healthy.
  • We focus on creating a positive culture amongst our teams.
  • We build gratitude in everything that we do.
  • We find new ways to engage and motivate our employees.

All the best for the year ahead, and for building a more cohesive, positive and profitable company!