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What is the most important asset of any company?

Is it the land and building? Is it the top of the line equipment? Is it the company vehicle? The truth is, the most valuable asset of any company is not a physical property – it is the people.

Like office equipment, the people who work for the company should always be in good condition to function and deliver.

As a business owner, you want your staff to be highly engaged and excited to come to work every day.

Unfortunately, an epidemic of worker disengagement and dissatisfaction is raging in today’s setting. And it’s not always about the salary; it has something to do with the element of the workplace, the corporate culture, and environment, and the worker’s perception of his or her job and opportunities.

Creating an engaged workplace leads directly to higher productivity, which then results in higher profitability, increased customer ratings, and eliminated turnover.

If you want to retain employees, here are 9 ways to create a more engaging workplace.

1. Treat Them like Humans, Not Machines

Machines aren’t the only things that can be worn and torn. Humans too. And unlike machines, people have emotions. Although they try to be as professional as possible, they can be physically and emotionally drained and it’s difficult to conceal the distress if it’s overwhelming.

Saying “leave your personal life at the door” is an inconsiderate way of encouraging professionalism in the workplace.

If you feel like someone’s personal life is interfering with the quality of their work, try to sit down face to face and genuinely ask them about the matter. What’s going on? Is it about work, or is it outside of work? Are they sick? Did something unfortunate happen to their family? It’s never costly to ask what support they might need to ease their discomfort.

2. Embrace a Work-play Culture

Collaborating on a Project

Work doesn’t have to look and feel like a long eight-hour, five-day punishment every adult inevitably endures. Employees should enjoy the massive portion of their waking precious life hours.

Incorporate fun into the work environment to encourage creativity and collaboration. Refresh your interior design and turn your office into a place everyone would love to wake up to. Hang a painting or a motivational poster against dull walls.

Host a once in a week mini celebrations, like a Pizza Friday or a Cosplay Wednesday. Work together. Play together. No matter what type of business you’re in, these approaches always work.

3. Be Open to Employee Feedback

 “The company doesn’t care what we say, think, or want; they only ask to appear like they care and then proceed to do whatever they want.”

The terrible feeling of not being heard is one of the common sentiments of employees who are sick of their job. Allow them to share their voice.

Do they have some creative ideas that might improve the project? Or perhaps some suggestions to make the workplace more exciting? If you ask for ideas or feedback, you better listen and deliver.

4. Capitalize on Their Motivators

Simply ask what makes them happy, energetic, and productive. Every employee has a different set of values and motivators. Little things such as having a quiet and private workstation as opposed to a shared and noisy one can affect one’s productivity and engagement.

These things should be included in any interview before hiring someone to join your team.

5. Be Transparent

Drawing a Flowchart

Transparency helps keep everyone on track and moving in the same direction. Employees should have a clear idea of how their performances affect the business as a whole. They want to make sure their contributions make an impact.

Additionally, you should also be honest about the current challenges your business may be facing for a better employee engagement. Trusting employees with sensitive information allows them to have a sense of deeper investment in the company.

6. Give Them Challenges

A dull, overly laidback workplace is as toxic as a bustling one. Doing the same things over and over again can suck the life out of people. You may lose a brilliant employee who is better off growing somewhere else.

That said, you should provide them with challenges that could help them hone their skills and grow. You may increase the number of quota or give them special projects to work on.

Aside from acknowledging their hard work with the vague “good job”, give specific, constructive comments with regards to how they could improve their work.

7. Reward a Good Performance

We’re not just talking about a raise or a cash bonus, though they’re a great factor. There are various ways to reward employees, including time off, the flexibility of hours, and gift certificates.

You can buy them coffee or treat them to lunch or dinner for building employee engagement. Through these little things, they’re reminded of how they’re being recognized. Rewards also motivate them to push even further.

8. Demonstrate Leadership

Team Meeting at Work

“Walk the walk. Talk the talk.”

This is the most effective employee engagement strategy any corporation can use. Leaders should be able to demonstrate the desired characteristics and behaviors they ask their subordinates to display. They, too, should be passionate about what they do.

They should also be accessible and visible around for assistance for a better employee engagement, rather than locked away in a protected area. 

9. Just See Them

Do you arrive at the office without greeting everyone, work at your desk the whole day without interacting with everyone, and leave at the end of the day without even saying a casual, “goodbye, team”?

If you do, then you fail at fulfilling a basic human need your employees have – to be seen and acknowledged.

There’s nothing worse for an employee than coming to work every day when he’s sure no one would notice whether he was there or not.

Instead of sending an e-mail during work hours, why not go for employee engagement in an authentic human to human interaction? See them. Greet them. Ask them how they are doing. Make eye to eye contact. Inspire them.

Written By
Carmina Natividad is a daytime writer for HR Dept Au, a provider of affordable and pragmatic HR services and employment law advice in Australia. Writing about helpful tips on career management is her cup of tea.

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