In today’s workforce, employers are challenged to generate profits while also creating a culture that attracts and retains talent. While productivity is an important measure of success, having an understanding and clear vision for employee engagement within your organization is crucial because of the significant impact engagement has on your bottom line.
Gallup recently published research showing that 87 percent of employees are not engaged in their workplace. Low engagement is problematic because of its correlation with attrition—and, let’s face it, no one strives to live and work in a dis-engaged state! According to the Huffington Post, the cost of turnover can be as much as six to nine months of an employee’s salary and up to two years of reduced productivity to get the new hire up to speed.
At OmBody Health, I work with HR Directors and Business Owners across Maine to strategize and implement workplace wellness programs that foster happy, healthy, engaged employees.
Most of us have been into a stagnant, uninspired workplace. You can smell the lack of enthusiasm and engagement when you walk in. Here are useful tips to guide you in creating a workplace that has a magnetic effect on employees that is satisfying and fruitful.
- Have a Clear Engagement Metric and Strategy: Employers measure engagement in different ways. For example, some may gauge job satisfaction and others, the inclination to go above and beyond at work. Step one to engage your employees is to identify what is most important to your company. Do you want your team to feel emotionally invested in your organization’s mission? Do you want your employees to report that your company is an amazing place to work? Once you develop your engagement strategy, managers should be coached to reinforce it within day-to-day operations.
2.Get to Know Your Employees: Setting aside time to have one-on-one meetings with your team is important to find out what they care about and what their goals are both personally and professionally. They will feel more supported, valued and connected to their work. Like most areas of life, the more authentic we are, the more successful we will be.
Managers have a huge impact on employee engagement, sometimes even more than Senior Leaders. If you are a manager or leader, ask your team specific questions like: What do you love most about your work? What are some of your biggest challenges? Creating space for employees to share can shine light on strengths, inefficiencies, and ways to make their work lives more conducive to engagement and flow.
3. Cultivate Employee Wellbeing: My favorite employee engagement strategy is to focus on work-life wellbeing by integrating stress reduction, mindfulness and movement into the workday. Fostering and modeling healthy work-life integration habits through a dedicated approach to workplace wellness shows employees that you care and teaches them life-changing tools to manage their stress, performance, and happiness. This will result in better engagement at work and in life.
Your wellness initiative does not have to be huge right away. Maine employers have a unique opportunity to utilize the geography of our state to integrate work-life balance practices. To start, offer an onsite weekly outdoor yoga class in the summer. Or, schedule a team-building activity to Chebeague Island for the day to encourage team building. Find what your team enjoys and make it happen.
From there, you can observe what can be improved in your workplace to develop and sustain a culture of wellbeing rather than an occasional event or activity. For example, integrating mindfulness training for people at all levels within your organization can have a transformative impact on leadership and managerial styles, teamwork, and engagement. This strengthens essential skills like Emotional Intelligence, problem solving, and collaboration. Mindfulness rewires our brains to be more engaged in the task at hand instead of reacting to stress or dwelling in the past or future.
An engaged workplace translates into a thriving company. In the end, your employees are your organization’s greatest asset and worth the investment in time and money.
About the Author
Allison Andrews, M.Ed, Certified Health Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, Corporate Wellness Specialist
A natural leader, community builder, and teacher, Allison founded OmBody Health in 2014 to make health and wellbeing more accessible to busy people. As OmBody’s Founder, Program Director, Speaker and Coach, she is the heart and soul of the company, supporting employers to implement initiatives to optimize the experience and potential of their people, and evolving her teachings to champion the importance of self-care and self-trust, in the workplace.