4 Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement

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Written by Matt Berringer

September 16, 2021


Employee engagement directly affects your company’s earnings ability and growth potential. The sad reality of many American jobs is that many employees hate their jobs. We talk through ways to make your employees feel more engaged and purposeful.

This starts with you feeling secure in your coworkers and leadership, as well as the trust they have in you.  It starts with having the ability to set clear expectations and effectively communicate how their job contributes to the company’s success. This sense of meaning and purpose is hard to measure, but it will show in the company’s performance. Once the workforce is properly informed of what’s expected, it can feel safe to carry out duties.

Employees want to feel that they are not just being told what to do, but have some say in the decision-making process. It will make them feel like they’re a part of the team and give them a sense of belonging and engagement. Regardless of your industry, product, business model or workday model, you should build opportunities for employee engagement. It can be as simple as having an “open door” policy.

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How to Encourage Employee Engagement

For at least eight of your employees’ available daily, wakeful hours, they are at work. Whether this is because they love the job, believe in the cause, need something to do or need the money, you’ve got their time and attention.
But not necessarily their engagement.

According to this worldwide Gallup poll, only 13% of workers are engaged with their work. That means the majority of the workforce is not emotionally connected to their jobs and isn’t looking for ways to make their business more successful. While that might seem like par for the course, it’s actually a pretty big deal. As noted by FastCompany’s analysis of the study, “Numerous studies have shown that engaged workers display greater initiative, approach work more passionately and creatively–essentially do all they can for their organizations. Gallup’s report specifically states that engagement drives greater productivity, lower turnover, and a better quality of work.” Employee engagement directly affects your company’s earnings ability and growth potential.

In light of this, it is crucial that regardless of your industry, product, business model or workday model, you are still able to build in means for employee engagement with your company and with their jobs. While it’s going to come down to what fits within your company’s culture, you can start by taking a look at how other companies tackle the issue. For instance, here are 4 ways Nxtbook Media encourages employee engagement at our offices:

1. Keeping an Open Door Policy.

Maintaining open doors does more than allowing for good air circulation. It helps to lower the barrier between decision-makers and the team supporting them, encourages more communication (and who doesn’t need more of that?), and engenders a sense of being welcome at work. We take this position very seriously at Nxtbook, though an “open door” policy might be easier when no one has a door. Everyone works in a cubicle or a shared open space, depending on personal working style. But even more than the physical lack of doors is the culture of buying into the company’s success. We’re encouraged to consistently challenge the status quo and bring new ideas to the table at any time, without getting blocked by a closed door.

2. Embracing Fun Benefits

In my family, at least, it’s almost a joke around the dinner table of “Did you guys do any work today?” This is because to an outsider, it looks like Nxtbook Media sure does spend a lot of time having fun. The sad reality of many American jobs, though, as captured by this FastCompany article, is that “Many Americans hate their jobs and consider this to be perfectly normal.” Working hard is the only measure of your dedication to your job.

But how many of our best ideas come from when we’re in the shower? Or on a run? Or are away from the desk? Sometimes the most difficult situations are solved when you take the time to step back from the project, and the best ah-ha moments stem from feeling lighthearted and rested. Nxtbook Media has made a culture of creativity and freedom a priority. This communicates a message of appreciation and of employees’ value. Sometimes this shows in the little things, like free snacks, casual day everyday, or a BBQ lunch in support of a charity. And sometimes this means big gestures like additional PTO to spend with family, sabbaticals for years of service, or special Summer Hours. (Want to learn more about these benefits? Just ask! We’d be happy to tell you about it.)

3. Invest in Education

Hiring the right person for a job is vital, but allowing the person to continue to develop his or her skill-sets can not only directly benefit the company, but also make the employee feel more valued. An employee who is growing in his or her career will feel empowered to apply newfound knowledge to current jobs and potentially grow into an advanced position. Continuing education can mean on-the-job training, higher education, or experience through other venues. Nxtbook media encourages leaders to train up their teams and also contributes financially towards continuing education classes.

4. Trust your Employees

Engagement at work starts with feeling secure in having the trust of coworkers and of the leadership. This starts with leadership’s ability to set clear expectations and effectively communicate how their job contributes to the company’s success as a whole. Once that is established, there’s a trust forged, that employees will carry out their duties to the best of their ability, regardless of what that looks like. At Nxtbook, this means employees are allowed to wear jeans, listen to music, check Twitter, and update their Facebook status on company time. The leaders know that each team member will pull their own weight, bending over backward to get the job done, even if part of the creative process involves taking a moment to do an activity not directly related to the project. A working relationship is just like a personal relationship: without trust, there isn’t a relationship. The other person won’t feel valued and most likely won’t want to do what it takes to keep the relationship together. With trust, each member tries to be better for the other.

No relationship is perfect, and motivating employees to be actively engaged at work isn’t a 4-step program. But by taking some basic steps to make your employees feel valued and empowered, your business could increase productivity and growth potential. If you’d like to talk more about how Nxtbook Media focuses on a culture of communication or want to hear ideas on what you specifically can do for your company, give us a call! Our number is 866-268-1219. Or you can start a conversation here by leaving a comment below with your ideas.

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