How to Engage Employees and Keep Them Happy

March 21, 2022
How to Engage Employees and Keep Them Happy

By: Franco Mondo, BMA Group

Lack of employee engagement is a problem shared by many businesses in all industries. While searching for answers, employers often fail to see their contribution to this issue, attributing their employees’ lack of engagement to laziness.

Yet, if you have disengaged employees throughout your business and/or for extended periods of time, it’s time to pay closer attention to the one common denominator: your business.

Disengagement usually stems from the top:

  • Poor management
  • Bad hiring decisions
  • Lack of communication
  • Inadequate training, among others.

In a time when attracting top talent is a highly competitive sport, companies invest in research and analytics hoping to figure out why their workers are leaving their jobs.

What does it take to get people engaged in the workplace?

  • Meaningful work
  • Adequate training
  • Career developments
  • Positive work environment
  • Good leadership

Show your employees that you care about them. It’s not that difficult, not if you genuinely listen to them. If you invest in them, they will invest in you.

Here are 6 tips to help boost employee engagement:

  1. Give them meaningful work

Having a purpose at work is the best predictor of employee engagement—not salary, benefits, job perks or location. People have a need for purpose, especially in something they spend a third or more of their life doing. Employees want to feel that they make a difference, are useful and valuable.

As technology continues to replace people and fundamentally transform most jobs, positions become dehumanized, and employees complain of being treated like robots. When people feel devalued and lack a personal connection to their jobs, they disengage and become less productive.

First, you need to design jobs to be meaningful. Second, make sure you fill the position with the right person. The right job-person fit is crucial for happiness on the job and success in the company.

A job is meaningful if it allows employees to:

  • Be themselves
  • Care about what they’re doing
  • Feel valuable
  • Make decisions
  1. Coach your employees

To get and stay engaged, your employees need training that enables them to excel in their careers and feel confident.

Employees need feedback and direction. By helping them to achieve their work goals and be productive, you provide motivation that leads to higher levels of engagement.

As a leader, your time and attention send very important messages: you care about your employees, and they are worth your effort. These messages can do wonders for their attitude and motivation.

Employees need leaders willing to work with them as their coach or mentor. Workers perform better and produce more under leaders who take the time to understand their challenges and concerns and what’s a stake in the results.

Coaching tips:

  • Recognize improvement
  • Identify strengths
  • Place employees where they can excel
  • Provide training opportunities
  1. Develop your people

An effective way to attract, engage and retain your employees is to offer them ample opportunities for career growth and development. These are key drivers of employee engagement and organizational success.

Research shows that employees who can learn new skills, develop professionally, and move their career forward are more satisfied with their jobs than those who lack these opportunities.

Tactics to help establish strategies for developing your people:

  • Cross-trainings
  • Work on special projects
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Rewards for employee development
  1. Recognize good performance

One of the simplest ways to boost employee engagement is to show you appreciate them.

Recognition from the boss is like a motivation injection. Companies that give praise have more engaged employees than those that fail to give recognition.

Treating people with respect is another way to engage and retain employees.

Ways to recognize your employees:

  • Say “Thank you” and recognize a job well done
  • Provide feedback
  • Ask for advice in employee’s areas
  • Offer achievement awards
  1. Hire the right supervisor

Make sure that you hire supervisors that portray the business’ values. Since supervisors tend to be involved in the interview process, they can be responsible for making the first and last impression. A supervisor involved in the day-to-day operations of a business stands to make the most lasting impression on employees and will be able to provide them with the mentoring and coaching needed to develop their talents. Employees with good supervisors are more engaged at work.

The “right” supervisor:

  • Is empathetic
  • Is communicative
  • Leads by example
  • Is accountable

Help employees achieve a work- life balance

The importance of work-life balance cannot be overstated. It’s ever present in the minds of employees. They have lives and jobs, so they are bound to have work-life issues at the office.

Since employees are working longer hours than before, technology has blurred the boundaries between work and home. As a result, employees are having more challenging time balancing their personal and work life. The technology-flooded world has made it possible for employees to remain “plugged-in” – via phones, laptops – after they’ve left the office.

This mindset enables work to invade employees’ personal lives, causing many of them to feel stressed and maxed out.

The human workplace

It’s in your best interest to establish a humane workplace. The less distracted employees are with personal matters, the more attention they can pay to their jobs and more productive they can be.

Similarly, the more flexible and understanding you are, the happier they are.

To improve work-life balance consider embracing some of these alternatives:

  • Flexible work schedule
  • Respect for off-work hours
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Offer paid time off
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle

Follow the Golden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat your employees as you, yourself, want to be treated.”

While this list is not all-inclusive, these six steps will serve as a good star for engaging your employees and setting up a successful partnership that will lead to higher performance, productivity, and retention.

Some suggestions cost little to nothing to implement, and the reward is worth it.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or guarantee of accuracy or applicability for any particular purpose. Neither Popular, Inc. (“Popular”) nor any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or related companies shall be liable for, any special, direct, indirect, or incidental damages including but not limited to loss of profits, that may arise from of be related to information or advice provided in this article, which was created by a third party. Popular provides financial services and is not dedicated (directly or indirectly) to providing any type of service related to the contents of this article. Should you require any service related to this content, you should seek the advice of a competent professional of your choice. Popular expressly denies all liability for any such advice.