This article is part of our Energising Small Businesses series, powered by Opus Energy. To find out more about how you can energise your SME, check out this link .
Productivity has been the business buzzword of the last few years, and to understand how to increase productivity you’ll need to get a handle on employee engagement.
Engagement is the measure of how happy and motivated your employees are and it can impact their output at work.
Low levels of employee engagement can have a negative impact on your business for a range of reasons. Reduced productivity, lack of cohesion and team work and so on – these will have obvious detrimental effects for your business. Low engagement is also of wider detriment to the UK economy, according employee engagement company Perkbox.
Employee engagement affects perceptions about work and leveraging this can help you to increase engagement at your own business, driving improved performance.
What causes low engagement?
It helps if you’re familiar with Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs. This tool, used in psychology, helps you to understand motivation and performance, starting at the base with basic needs for survival and rising through to self-actualisation.
To reach the tip of the pyramid, there are certain conditions needed – and it’s only at the top of the pyramid that top performance can be achieved and sustained. This makes the Pyramid a useful tool for analysing business and personal performances, particularly in terms of employee engagement.
Low engagement can be caused by any number of factors; poor management, unsatisfactory salary or rewards packages, personal conditions, and so on. Understanding why an employee is engaged or disengaged can help you to understand performance and make changes to improve.
For many people, the opportunity to progress in their career is of significant appeal. This is particularly true of millennials, cited in many studies and whitepapers, who want to progress quicker than their predecessors.
There are, of course, other aspects at play. Pay, alignment with career goals, and workplace culture are all hugely important factors for any employee and can all contribute to overall feelings of happiness and engagement.
The type of the work being done is perhaps the most important. Enabling your employees to work on projects or tasks that most closely align with their professional and personal interests is a sure-fire way to keep them engaged with their work.
There are plenty of examples of initiatives that can be used to drive engagement and improved performance. Google, Netflix and Facebook, for example, encourage flexible working to empower employees in their roles, increasing engagement. Competitive perks and benefits can also drive engagement; Netflix allows employees to take as much annual leave as they like, with no upper limit.
Workplace perks like the above can help to foster a sense of togetherness amongst employees, drive engagement and improve productivity.
Get sociable and say thank you
When you’re at work, you’ve usually got your head down and your focus on something important, but that shouldn’t impact the social side of things. Make the most of the opportunities that you have to bond with your colleagues by coming together in social contexts to improve team work.
Organise activities where colleagues can bond and invite suggestions from your staff so that everyone gets a say in what’s organised.
Social get-togethers are great ways to keep the team spirit up and build rapport. You can also introduce employee engagement initiatives to maintain motivation.
Rewarding your employees doesn’t need to break the bank – thanking people for a job well done or calling out good work in team meetings can help to let people know that they’re appreciated, that their work is key to the business.
Occasional team lunches – particularly when welcoming a new-starter – are a nice touch and a great way to get everyone to get to know each other.
This article is part of our Energising Small Businesses series, powered by Opus Energy. To find out more about how you can energise your SME, check out this link.
As the UK’s leading independent business energy supplier that specialises in powering small businesses, Opus Energy knows how important it is to support their customers. That’s why the team established Brighter Business – our online hub offering advice and information to our customers. For more than 15 years, Opus Energy has been supporting SME customers as they’ve tackled the challenges of running their businesses. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.