Why employee engagement matters—and how to foster it

It’s been proven that an engaged worker is more productive than an disengaged one. Not surprising, right? Engaged employees work harder, smarter, and with a more positive attitude—thus boosting the morale of all around them. Workplaces of all kinds—construction, customer service, food service, offices, and more—with high ratios of engaged workers also have lower employee turnover and nonattendance rates. The result? Time and money savings for companies.

According to a 2012 Gallup study, only 30 percent of American workers are engaged with their work. The remaining 70 percent was categorized as “not engaged” or “actively disengaged”. This is dismal!

But how can your business avoid being a workplace of disengaged workers? It’s simpler than you might think. Here are four tips to boost engagement and get the most from your workers:

Connect through sharing.

Do your workers know you? Do you speak with them often, informing them of workplace changes, company mission, and quarterly goals? Have you thought about issuing a company newsletter with updates, personal employee stories, and interesting articles? Even if you’re working with LaborWorks to place temporary workers at your business, all employees become more invested when they feel connected to the company and team goals and have a sense of where the business is headed.

Listen, listen, listen.

The flip side of communicating more is listening more. Your workers are on the front line of your business getting work done, interfacing with customers, and dealing with day-to-day operations. Opening a direct line of communication for them to speak to you increases their investment to their job, and as a bonus, allows you to get new ideas from the front line. Consider instituting a comment box or an online submission form for questions, concerns, and ideas from your employees.

Provide adequate training.

There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than working in a job for which you feel ill equipped. Investing time in a structured onboarding process for permanent and temporary workers pays dividends down the road, as they’ll be more efficient and productive. Follow up the initial training with ongoing support and feedback.

Praise a job well done!
This one is short and sweet—recognize good work when you see it. Employees who go the extra mile are a shining example to others, and recognition goes a long way to encouraging emulation. A simple shout out in a meeting, a note on a bulletin board, or a structured employee of the month program are all simple ways to recognize your employees for what they are—the lifeblood of your business.

With a little time and thought on your part, you can build up your employees and boost engagement to reap some serious workplace rewards.

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