We live in a world where information comes at us faster than our mind is able to process. With the advancements in technology, we now watch a TV while simultaneously working on our laptop, and during commercial break, we hop on our phone to check our social media, or find out the latest news. It’s no wonder that we find ourselves distracted, unfocused, and…exhausted from all the stimulation competing for our attention.
Today’s average worker finds the same stimulus patterns in his work environment. From technological advances in the workplace, to performance concerns, to lack of training and more, today’s workers are anywhere but “there” when it comes to their job. A study done by Dale Carnegie reveals that 71 percent of employees are not engaged. This is a critical component to a company’s overall productivity and profitability. Instead of everyone just putting their head down and continuing to “grind away”, maybe it’s time we have some fun and take a different approach to employee engagement.
Here are 3 creative and unique ways to drive employee engagement:
They say that babies cry for it, and grown men have died for it. What is it? Recognition. People love getting bonuses and pay raises, but a job that only offers money and perks can just as easily turn into a meaningless job that pays the bills. The reality is that, we as humans naturally want to be recognized and appreciated for our contributions. It’s a deep emotion embedded deep within even the most introverted.
The practice of recognizing your staff can come in the form of both individual acknowledgement, and team based awareness. Find ways to recognize things beyond the ordinary performance metrics. Look for creative and fun ways to recognize people’s talents and personalities. You can even have fun with it! You may recognize the top salesperson of the year, but you can also recognize the best dresser. Sound silly? The reality is that any opportunity that you can find to recognize someone for something positive, the better chance you have of getting them to engage, and to open the lines of communication.
SAY GOOD BYE TO ANNUAL REVIEWS
With the speed of information, today’s workforce is used to getting feedback live, in real time. The Millennial population that continues to grow in the workplace is a generation that has grown-up with instant feedback through social media and relationship networks. Companies like Accenture are braving a new world void of annual reviews, and instead, are embracing an environment designed to give feedback “in the moment”.
The cultural shift includes an increase in consistent communication, offering: coaching, mentoring, and leadership for employees to develop their potential immediately. It’s an out-of-the-box strategy designed to effectively increase productivity, as well as engagement. It eliminates the “lull” of communication that often happens between performance reviews from one year to the next, which also often creates unneeded fears and concerns regarding performance. That “lull” in communication has shown to be detrimental to engagement.
Consider that a culture based on relationships that offer immediate direction and feedback can positively impact the overall engagement of employees.
Games you say? Why not! Some HR professionals have caught on to the idea of turning engagement into a gaming system that rewards and recognizes employees for accomplishing certain metrics. Using technology for efficiency, and to meet people where they are, companies are now looking for apps and platforms that facilitate engagement, created by companies such as Get Badges. Some gaming software offers “prizes” for completing certain tasks on time, using numerous project management tools, and more, all while encouraging interpersonal relationships. Gaming engagement removes the barriers of hidden or unknown performance metrics, while incorporating team and company-wide interaction. Using the advancement of technology, you can combine a gaming system with a top-notch onboarding platform to radically improve: culture, engagement, retention, productivity, and ultimately…profitability!
It stands to reason that something must be done to engage our workforce. We have to find a way to access the potential of people’s passion, intellect, experience, and ingenuity. When we engage people in this way, the workplace becomes innovative and alive, and jobs develop meaning and significance to those who are working them. The challenge of changing today’s engagement in the workforce is a worthy cause, and one that requires creativity and a willingness to try something out of the norm.
David LaMontagne is the CISO at Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, workforce management solution named Xenqu. Essium’s Xenqu Software leverages our Smart Content Technology to organize everything related to your workforce in one secure, digital file using the latest cloud-computing technologies and architectures.