Employee Experience

How to Improve Employee Engagement: It’s About Autonomy, Self-direction and Purpose

2 Mins read

How to improve employee engagement is supposed to be in a big focus for many organisations in the upcoming months and years. With questions about working from home vs. office still looming, businesses that want to keep their employees engaged at the workplace should pay special attention to this segment.

Every business and HR leader should read the book by Dan Pink called Drive. It will revolutionise the way you engage people at your organisation. Like him, you need to be of the belief that if you give people autonomy, and the opportunity to have self-direction in their role, and true purpose, they will have a real understanding on how they impact the business.
These drivers that are key to an engaged workforce.

It doesn’t get easier

However, as a company gets bigger it inevitably gets harder. Sure, you can be ranked amongst the Sunday Times Best Companies to work, but if you look closely, the bigger the company is, the lower their scores are. Often at a big company, people feel like just a number and it is essential to avoid that.
One way to do this is by creating ‘The Engagement Committee’ made up of HR, Learning and Development and Recruitment teams with a purpose to discuss ways to make staff feel valued, ensuring no one feels like ‘just a number’ in the company.

So, how to improve employee engagement?

Start of with some or all of these suggestions:

  • Staff Newsletter – A regular newsletter where you give shout outs to people who have made a significant difference to the company and deserve some recognition.
  • Focus groups – Find out what your staff are thinking so if people think you’re doing something wrong, they will have the anonymity to say what they think and provide you with feedback, enabling you to act on this.
  • Buddy system – For example, every manager and director is matched up with another in the company whom they can learn from, constantly testing each other and improving.
  • Training days – Give your staff the opportunity to highlight their weaknesses and have training in areas they believe they need it most.
  • Team rewards – You could reward your people through performance related trips. So, every quarter a team that over-achieves their targets get sent away for a weekend.
  • Staff parties – It is easy to organise these (after the lockdown and social distancing) twice a year. Such parties help to keep that ‘family feel’ within the company that you’ve had since the start and hope to continue to grow.
  • Company vision – Before you roll it out, make sure that every organisation member is onboard with your company vision, or even better, have them take active part in creating it.
  • Give them autonomy – You want to ensure your people don’t feel like they’re being managed in that top-down way. Have them to feel they are being self-directed.

If you manage to implement all of this, while providing great benefits and treat people like… well, people, it will have a direct impact on your employee engagement and you will see great results and a happier group of people to work with.

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