A consistent, motivating, and rewarding remuneration and incentives program is key to improving employee engagement and retention. For many people, money is not always the key motivator. Other incentives that go hand in hand with remuneration can validate your employees’ choice to work for your company. A business that recognises this will attract and retain great talent who value their role and contribution.
Why is employee engagement important?
Since 2020, businesses in every industry have experienced enormous changes. Now, two years later, we need to look at different ways to engage our people, strengthen company culture and manage any uncertainty felt by our employees.
In her Quantum Workplace article, Natalie Wickham defines employee engagement as:
‘The strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward the work they do, their teams, and their organization.’
Retention and engagement are more important than ever before – for your people and your business. Wickham goes on to define and explore 14 benefits of an engaged workforce as:
- Increased employee safety
- Better employee health
- Happier employees
- Greater employee satisfaction
- Better home life
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher retention
- Greater employee loyalty
- Better customer service
- Higher quality products and services
- Greater productivity
- Higher sales
- Higher profitability
- Higher stock price
Ways to strengthen employee engagement
Employee engagement is dependent on providing your staff with:
- a clear direction for the company and themselves.
Consider the following questions:
- Do your employees know and understand your business goals and vision?
- Is their work meaningful and contributes to the business goals?
- Are there opportunities to include your staff in future planning?
- Are your leaders equipped to have regular conversations with their employees about job security, work arrangements and other sensitive topics?
- Do you provide regular communication to your employees about your business performance and development?
- Do your staff have the space and time to do their job at their full potential?
- Do you recognise your employees’ efforts and provide suitable opportunities for development?
Once you have worked through these questions, you are well on your way to establishing the types of benefits that will improve your employee engagement and support your overall business culture.
Employee wellbeing is a primary focus of Future of Work
It is vital that the benefits you offer your employees reflect your company culture, and provide the opportunity to become more engaged and motivated.
A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) report cites that:
‘85% of workers report that their wellbeing had declined throughout the various lockdowns’
‘More than one-third of workers (37%) consider their employer the main source of mental health support.’
Engagement benefits must work to create:
- Social connection
- Safe spaces for personal needs
- Greater workplace flexibility
- A focus on work/life balance and overall wellbeing
- The opportunity to develop interpersonal skills for leaders and staff
Examples of perks / benefits you can offer your employees
Praise and Celebrate
Consistently acknowledge and celebrate the effort and successes of your employees. Show them how their work contributes to the overall success of their area, and the business as a whole. A ‘thank you’ goes a long way to increasing an employee’s sense of fulfillment.
Tools / Resources
Invest in the right technology, tools, and resources to enable your team to do their job safely and successfully.
Connect and Communicate
Now more than ever, leaders must be as transparent as possible to provide support to their people. Creating connections by opening the lines of communication for a two-way conversation, shifts the employee/employer relationship into a positive space.
Focus on Wellbeing
Develop a wellbeing culture that promotes health and wellness across all aspects of your employee’s lives – not just at work.
Include inclusive programs that help reduce stress, promote good nutrition and exercise, and support your employees’ physical, mental and spiritual health.
Simple changes to your work environment can also help to improve the engagement and health of your staff. Tess Taylor states in ‘The Balance Careers’:
‘Today’s employees are looking for the entire package when it comes to their work experience. Companies that take the time to improve the work environment with soft seating arrangements, collaborative workstations, pleasant artwork, lighting and live plants are going to find that this translates to happier employees.’
A workplace that creates mobile-friendly, off-site or hybrid work options, can be a great way to improve employee engagement and retention.
Parental leave may be a priority for some employees, while a competitive bonus structure may appeal to others.
The option of additional unpaid leave may assist staff members with family overseas, particularly as travel becomes possible once again.
If it is possible, providing complimentary childcare can reduce parental stress and improve happiness.
Training and Development
Learning and Professional Development is a major boost to employee engagement and productivity.
Clear career development paths and on-the-job training programs are a great way to provide your employees with growth opportunities at no cost to them.
These can be in the form of profit sharing, stock ownership, bonus or incentive programs.
A well-structured and focused Leadership and Development team will help you explore your options to determine the most suitable perks / benefits for your workplace. By using the framework of staff retention and engagement as the core principles, you can develop your internal structure and workplace environment to provide the appropriate support, remuneration and incentives to increase employee happiness, satisfaction and wellbeing in these uncertain times.