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Craig Thomas

How to drive employee engagement

19th January 2016

Employees who are disengaged from their jobs are becoming a serious problem. A survey published last year in the U.S. found that 70% of workers were either not engaged, or were actively disengaged, at work. While it's often difficult to produce exact statistics, the results of employees disengaging are fairly easy to see if it's happening in your own organisation - perhaps the most obvious markers are a drop in productivity, an unwillingness to go the extra mile and a general sense of worker malaise. But what can you do about it? Here are five ways you can start to drive employee engagement.


Set the example from the top down

If a manager is disengaged and clearly having issues with their role then the effect of that is going to trickle down to everyone below them. Leadership need to demonstrate the same commitment and enthusiasm as they expect from everyone else in the business.


Don't isolate your workforce

This is the fastest way to disconnect your employees from their commitment to their jobs so avoid anything that even slightly resembles an "us and them" scenario. Managers, and those further up the business, need to be accessible to everyone else, to make regular appearances, provide regular updates on where the business is going and to answer any questions that people might want to ask. Physically giving employees access to the "V.I.P.s" is important - don't lock people away on different floors and prevent the two from ever mixing.


Recognise achievements

As you personally move further away from the bottom layer of the general workforce it's easy to forget what it is that drives people to go further and do more. Recognising achievements is an enormously productive way of keeping employees engaged with what they are doing. It's a pretty simple equation too - someone works really hard, meets a target or takes an initiative, the business recognises this with a reward and recognition programme and so the employee goes on to try and reach that same level of recognition time after time. All the while, everyone else in the business is watching those who are being recognised for their achievements and starting to focus on doing the same.


Reward success

As mentioned above, a recognition programme can be a very powerful tool when it comes to increasing employee engagement and a rewards focus is particularly useful. Designing a programme that is bespoke to your business, offering the kinds of rewards that you know your employees would want to benefit from, can see employees increasing their effort and productivity, introduce some healthy competition and boost progress towards goals.


Have fun together

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that companies which invest time and money in ways that employees can engage socially have a more driven workforce as a result. Although the focus of the majority of your employees' time should be their work targets and career, there is plenty of room for introducing opportunities to play together too.


Active are experts in delivering employee engagement programmes and our online recognition platform provides a comprehensive range of modules to help you build a successful reward and recognition strategy for your organisation. To find out more please contact us.


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Craig Thomas
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