There are countless pieces of research out there talking about employee engagement, and everyone has an opinion on the subject. Some people say different generations need unique support. Everyone has an opinion on what their employees want whether they debate the merits of stability to solid employment to meaningful work to great benefits. The secret might lie somewhere in between.
Yes, your employees have their work because of a job and they should do their job. And yes, your employees should be held accountable regardless. Studies have shown that employee happiness does influence employee retention and performance.
At BUHV, we are a family, and we work in a manner where we want people to be happy with their work. We do not want this because we must, but because we can, and when our employees are happy, they are more productive, they are better, and they enjoy their work more.
To a degree, you handle helping your employees needs. The need for a stable paycheck. The need for a safe workplace. The need for a job free of harassment.
And regardless of what we think, research shows they need a certain level of satisfaction. The following types are meant to help employees better engage in your company and provides them a place where they feel more fulfilled. When they feel fulfilled, you benefit.
Empower their Reasons
Everyone has things they care about, and your employees are no different. There is a chance what they are doing with your company is what they care about, but there is also a chance what they are doing for your organization has nothing to do with their actual love.
This is okay; you do not need your employees to have the same passion for everything in their personal life and their professional life. But find ways to make it work. Instead of simply forcing them to fit into a box, make them fit into the world where they are allowing to dictate some of their work. Again, this does not mean everything is based on them.
But have a conversation with your employees about what they care about. Then see how this can fit into the world of work they are already doing. The result is a happier employee with a more satisfied level of workplace advancement.
Allow for Personal Projects
We understand companies are about the bottom line. There is a certain degree of work that needs to occur for your company to survive. This is okay. Every company is the same. The thing you see in some of the top companies across the world, however, is not just a focus on the bottom line. There is also a focus on allowing time for employees to do what they love. A prime example of this is Google.
Google is world renowned for not only allowing, but requiring, that all of their employees construct something in their work time that is a personal project. Google employees, some of the brightest in the world, create things that they care about and the results are beautiful innovations for Google.
Figure out ways you can allow your employees to create things they love that also gives back to the company.
People support what they create. Give them permission to create something they love and you will benefit.
Engage Them on a Personal Level
We spend a majority of our life in our offices. Just because your employees are spending significant time in your work does not mean you need to treat them like this is all they are worth. The people in your company deserve your time and attention.
There are even more studies coming out that talk about things such as emotional intelligence and satisfaction of workplace environment. What you find with these studies is that people are heavily impacted by what is going on in their personal worlds. There is almost no such thing as workplace separation in life.
Do not take this for granted. What is happening to your employees at home is going to influence their work performance. You do not need to be their best friends, but it can be helpful if you spend time learning about who they are as people. By learning about your employees on a personal level, you help ensure you are better equipped to deal with the issues they are facing.
Again, there are always going to be degrees of separation occurring between home and work. And rightfully so. But do not neglect employee well-being for pretending like nothing is happening.
Find the ways to strike a healthy balance and have this conversation with your employees. Figure out what works best for them and use this to move them forward in a healthy direction.
People are of mixed opinion on how to engage their employees. Some say your workers are here for a job, they should just buck it up and deal with the difficulties and do their work. Other companies and bosses say that their employee members are valued members of a familial environment, and you need to treat them cautiously and respectfully.
Truthfully, the answer lies somewhere in between.
Also, despite what you might hear, there are not generational things. Millennial are needy at times, yes, but so is every other workforce out there. Baby boomers can be self-reliant and driven no matter what. But this is not always the case.
Research shows stereotyping generations is not always effective. Data also shows providing employees a great place to work is a must if they are to succeed. There is a difference between an employee who does their job and an employee who goes above and beyond.
Care about your employees. Show them they matter as people. And they will go above and beyond. It is impossible to separate work fully from personal life, and your employees should not have to. Allow them to be people and allow them to thrive in a space where you can help them feel comfortable.