7 ways to increase employee engagement and loyalty in the workplace
Positive employee engagement can foster a sense of loyalty and pride in your employees. How interested someone is in their work, how they feel about the work culture and how satisfied they are in their role are all important factors in retaining employees. When an employee becomes disengaged, they may become disgruntled and take any opportunity to leave the organisation.
When a workplace has any of the below qualities, this is when an employee can become disengaged and will think about leaving your organisation:
- Toxic culture
- Unfair workload
- No career development opportunities
- Negative leaders
- Values without actions
- Bad work-life balance
So, with that, here are some key focus points to help keep your workforce engaged and loyal.
Prioritise career opportunities and personal development
High priority should be placed on focusing on developing your staff. Whether that is providing soft skills training programs, higher or adjacent career opportunities or other development initiatives. Most people will think of leaving their organisation when they feel they have reached their limit of growth in that organisation. If you want to keep top talent, make sure you are showing them there is a way for them to grow with your company.
Focus on maintaining a good work-life balance
Flexible work is a necessity now in many companies, with many employees used to the flexible work options that were made available to them throughout the pandemic. Work-life balance is a huge factor in keeping employees satisfied within their roles if they know their employer values their personal time as much as their professional time.
Be transparent and communicative
Shady employers will mean nervous employees. Do your best to focus on clear and transparent communication from the top down in your organisation. Discuss company goals, achievements, even losses or challenges. This helps create awareness from employees and can help them achieve a sense of purpose within their role and remind them they are contributing to the bigger picture.
Trust your employees
It can be demoralising if your employees feel you do not trust them. This can be demonstrated through micromanagement or not giving them freedom to make their own decisions. Give your employees trust and see what they can do on their own. It’s important to provide guidance and constructive feedback instead of dictating their actions or restricting them freedom.
Recognise and reward good performance
A significant part of employee engagement is ensuring employees feel valued and that their hard work has not gone unnoticed. This is where rewards and recognition can make a huge impact. This can range from words of encouragement, a thank-you for a job well done, a team lunch to celebrate a win, or a proper financial (or alternative) reward based on a performance review structure. Recognition comes in many ways and shouldn’t be used sparingly!
Listen to feedback and action it
A great way to learn more about how to gain your employees trust is to ask them! Asking for feedback on what the company can do better, and then implementing those changes (especially topics mentioned several times), will show your employees you are open to change and development and that you are trying to create a workplace where they will be happy.
Address toxic leaders or colleagues
If you know of main perpetrators contributing to a toxic work environment, leadership should not ignore this, no matter how well they perform. If they are contributing to employee disengagement, their behaviour requires attention. Depending on the type of toxic behaviour, you may need to issue warnings, have serious discussions, or offer development and training so they can learn better ways of dealing with others. Leaving toxic colleagues or leaders unchecked will eventually lead to major employee dissatisfaction and potentially high turnover.
You can also see Chandler Macleod’s blog, how to reduce employee turnover, for more ideas on how to focus on employee engagement and loyalty.