Bersin by Deloitte tells us that “enormous changes are ahead” for the workplace. What’s the biggest change due to cause disruption in most industries this year? Employee engagement.
Employees are viewing work like pro athletes, moving from opportunity to opportunity. If their job and company culture don’t inspire, engage, and motivate beyond a paycheck, they’re “outie 5000.”
Is employee engagement part of your game plan? Now, more than ever, is the time to check in with how your company engages employees in day-to-day operations.
It’s not too late to get started. These next five actionable goals will help you engage your employees, strengthen your company culture, and inspire your team.
Goal 1: Follow the Passion
What causes employees to play their best and want to win all year-long? Passion. You can’t be engaged without some level of passion for what you do. More and more companies are starting to realize that it’s important to kindle an employee’s intrinsic spark with assignments or opportunities that excite them. We hear all the time, “Follow your passion.” And when we hear passion, we think, “The things we really want to do in life!”
Giving employees the time and space to “do the things they really want to do” at work is a way to nourish this inner fire in your employees. It is the reason why companies like Google allot time for Passion Projects, where employees can focus on work-related tasks or projects that inspire them. Personal Development Days are a great tool, too. At Kazoo, we’ve started to utilize them with our own team. Employees schedule a day where they can research ways to improve the company, their roles, or help another department. They run wild with their findings and return re-energized with valuable ideas and strategies that keep the internal fire burning and the content fresh.
Goal 2: Easy, Simplified Communication
In today’s modern world, everything is a click away. If you want to ask your boss a question, you can e-mail him, send her an instant message, track down his social media handle, or Google her. Some people scowl at such access to one another’s lives. But we’ve come to understand that this access exists because people, especially Millennials, crave faster and easier ways to connect.
The same rules apply for how we recognize one another at work. Using an employee recognition software is a way to simplify and organize the communication process. Employees need recognition—that’s part of building an engaged culture—but they also need recognition delivered on a platform that does not over-complicate or distract them with too much information along the way. Kazoo’s employee recognition desktop software and mobile app, for example, make communication easier and simplified. Shout-outs, thank you’s, virtual high-fives and other forms of showing someone you appreciate them can happen anywhere and in-the-moment, which is the best time to give and receive recognition.
Goal 3: Opportunities to Learn, Grow, Develop
Often times, engagement is synonymous with expansion. Employees remain actively engaged when they are challenged to develop their skills or to learn something new. The magic here is that, with anything new, there’s a learning curve; employees may get frustrated with the challenge, but this frustration is positive because it leads to something even more powerful: breakthroughs. Breakthroughs are HUGE when it comes to engagement because when they happen, an employee feels like they’ve finally struck gold. They get excited. They build confidence. Hey, they’ve learned a new skill! Providing employees opportunities to develop personally or professionally can help your team feel like winners. Positive reinforcement further supports professional development and this type of confidence building.
Goal 4: Fun With Fellow Employees
Because the lines between “work life” and “home life” are becoming ever more blurred, it’s important for companies to find—and nourish—the right balance. More and more employees, especially the younger generation of Millennials, want to work with people that they actually get along with. They want to hang out with one another, and make authentic, lasting connections. Companies are seeing this level of friendship as an asset, because they’ve experienced the benefits. When people get along with one another, they are much happier to show up to work! Communication and brainstorm sessions flow easier, and employees feel more connected to their team, as opposed to feeling isolated for 8 hours a day.
Within Kazoo’s customized rewards catalog, you can add opportunities for employees to connect and have fun together in ways that match your unque culture. Employees can redeem points for rewards like Rooftop Yoga, Happy Hours, or movie tickets that they can share with fellow employees. We even make it easy for employees to pool their points together for a shared experience, cause, or event. For the past two months, several members of our team have been pooling points to go towards private group yoga sessions.
Goal 5: Find the Right Employee Engagement Software
Employee engagement software systems are everywhere these days, but not all of them deliver what they promise. The best software systems:
- are easy to use, simple for leaders and employees of all generations
- reinforce company brand, company core values, and culture
- on the go; accessible on mobile apps as well as a desktop
- allow for recognition that is in real-time, right now
- do not mark-up items in their rewards catalog to make an extra buck
- have very high end-user adoption rates
These 5 goals will help make employee engagement center stage, where it belongs, so your culture and team can thrive.