There are several factors that contribute to engagement at work, but one of the most powerful drivers of engagement is purpose. purposeful employees perform better across the board. They are more likely to rise to senior level roles, to be net promoters of their organization, to stay longer, and to have strong relationships with their colleague
Imagine a world where everyone spent the majority of their waking-hours working on something that mattered to them. We would have happier employees and more productive companies - the ultimate win-win.
But there are some secrets to encourage employees to be more engaged at work:
1. Know your WHY
Does your company clearly articulate your “why” through a mission statement and a compelling brand (story)? This can drive more purpose for existing employees, as well as enable prospective job candidates to better determine whether they would be a good fit for the job.
As an employee, you need to spend more time evaluating your own personal motivations. Consider what exactly you want to get out of work, how you define success, and what type of environment might enable you to achieve success on your terms.
Per recent research, 75% of millennials are willing to take a pay-cut to work for an organization that is value-driven. Joey Speers, who works with massive brands like Ford, Yeti and Uber, has stated that understanding what millennials and Gen Zers want and need will propel your business forward dramatically.
2. Encourage flexibility
As we move forward more into the 21st century, we need to realize that people crave flexibility. This gives your employees the freedom to adjust their work schedules or location to better suit their needs (working moms and dads, employees with ill spouses or family members, etc).
Not many employers trust their employees in getting the work done without their managers’ watchful eyes but you would be surprised! When given the flexible hours instead of the rigid 9–5 timings, people tend to be more productive, happier and more engaged at the workplace.
3. Ask for feedback
Another secret on how to increase employee engagement in the workplace is to ask for feedback. As employers and leaders, we tend to be the ones directing feedback at employees - about their working styles, environment, workload, and more. This coming year, try asking for some of your employees’ input on a certain proposal or a design concept.
By asking your employees for feedback, it makes them feel that their opinion matters and it plays an important part in the company - with the goal of retention and improved productivity.
4. Up-level expectations
As the lines between work and life continue to blur, we must raise our expectations. Not just of employers and the culture they create or the benefits they offer, but rather our expectation of work more broadly.
Given the amount of time we dedicate to our profession, there is no reason to settle for being disengaged. It's alarming that 90% of Americans seem to have accepted disengagement as a daily reality. Thanks to the growing number of freelance platforms and tools available, you can design pretty much any job you desire - as long as you have the passion and the drive to do so.
As a society, we have to stop thinking that we are "stuck" with the hand we've been dealt. Instead, let's embrace the concept of the American Dream - believing we can design a life we love, as long as we are willing to work for it! And that means working hard at our organizations!
5. Show gratitude regularly
The final secret on how to increase employee engagement in the workplace is by simply saying ‘Thank You’. It is time you verbally communicate all the effort and hard work that they have put into in making your company more profitable. It is indeed such a simple thing, but it is often overlooked, especially if you are in a large organization.
Everyone wants to feel appreciated and they value a simple thank you. However, this does not happen enough in many workplaces. Showing simple forms of appreciation can really go a long way in motivating employees to work harder and be more productive.
An acknowledgement by management and among peers is the fastest way to build trust, restore a strained relationship and motivate the employees at the workplace.
It's important to reevaluate career satisfaction for the long haul. And, in order to affect change at scale, we must take responsibility and start leading by example. Whether you’re an employer, employee, or both, consider how your day-to-day actions, conversations, and decisions might help enable mindset shifts. By prioritizing purpose, we can help rebuild a more engaged, fulfilled, and productive workforce - we can all win.