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Written by Pete Wilkinson

Last updated 8 April 2022 ·

Ten steps to increase employee engagement, productivity and happiness at work

Research reveals that engaged employees are 50% more productive, 40% more creative and 45% less likely to quit their jobs than those who are disengaged . . . So how do you get the most out of your employees whilst ensuring they are happy and thriving in their work?

It’s not as difficult as you might think! We’ve put together this list of ten steps to increase employee engagement in your business, ensuring that every employee is as engaged, productive and happy as possible whilst having an excellent work-life balance. Follow these steps, and reap the rewards of an engaged workforce.

1. Clearly define your goals.

Communication is essential for everyone within a business, and effective communication of top-level goals is most important. How will employees know the purpose of their work or how they could make a difference if they aren’t aware of what the business is trying to achieve? A big mistake that businesses often make is assuming their people understand what success looks like. This needs to be clarified and used to decide where to focus their hard work daily.

2. Get your employees involved.

A large part of employee engagement is making your employees feel that they have a stake in your company’s future. One way you can do that is by involving them in business decisions. Employees who are invested in their company and invited to contribute their thoughts and ideas tend to be more productive, less distracted, and overall happier with their jobs.

3. Use team challenges.

Encourage employee engagement by setting up team challenges that build teamwork and foster an esprit de corps. When employees feel more connected to their teams, they’re happier with their work. For example, at One Medical Group in San Francisco (an electronic medical records company), each team creates a 30-day challenge for its members that gives them a greater sense of purpose. Teammates become accountable to one another; leaders lead; support is encouraged; camaraderie is built—and productivity soars.

4. Celebrate success.

Organisations that celebrate success tend to have higher employee engagement scores. This one seems obvious enough, but organisations can sometimes get so caught up in the day-to-day operations that they forget to stop and celebrate successes. Setting aside time once a week or month is an easy way to make sure everyone feels like they’re part of something bigger than their day-to-day tasks. This will also keep your employees from feeling overwhelmed by having too much on their plate and help increase motivation and productivity.

5. Go beyond work hours.

Socialising with your co-workers is a great way to foster connections. If you don’t live near your co-workers, it can be easier for them to feel like colleagues and not friends. By getting out of the office for lunch or a happy hour once in a while, you can learn about each other outside of the business - and even strengthen your professional relationship. Be sure that everyone is having fun; if people are left out or uncomfortable in social situations with their co-workers, it could hurt morale.

6. Utilise social activities and events.

If you aren’t looking after your employees’ well-being in the workplace, you are missing out on potential. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on gym memberships or expensive activity passes. Instead, why not bring a little bit of culture into your office with themed days or charity events? Everyone likes to get dressed up now and then - and it makes for some great social photos if nothing else!

7. Promote creativity.

No employee will be fully engaged if treated like a cog in a machine. You can’t improve a team’s engagement by sitting everyone down together for one-hour brainstorming sessions. Instead, you need to create an environment where employees feel free to contribute ideas - where they feel comfortable coming up with new ways of doing things that might not always fit into your existing business model. Encourage creativity within your organisation by getting people talking about their ideas and encouraging them to bounce those ideas off each other. This doesn’t mean you should hand over all decision making power; instead, you should encourage employees to share their thoughts with management so that managers can provide feedback before decisions are made.

8. Encourage employees to follow their passions.

Employees are more engaged when they feel like their tasks are aligned with their passions. Every employee has interests outside of work but rarely does a company give employees enough freedom to pursue them. Some businesses allow employees specific workdays where they can choose what project or task they want to tackle on a given day. It’s no surprise that people feel more invested in projects that align with their passions than those that don’t.

9. Empower employees with responsibilities.

When you give your employees more responsibility, you acknowledge their contribution to your company. They boost their sense of empowerment and self-worth. An empowered employee is a happy employee! When workers are happy, they’ll see better results in terms of productivity and engagement.

10. Always be there for your employees.

An engaged employee is a productive employee. One way to help boost engagement is by making sure your employees feel supported in their workplace endeavours. Take an interest in their professional lives - and make sure you’re available for them when they need you. It could be anything from lending an ear during a stressful time or just being someone who makes them feel good about themselves.

For other ideas and insight into this topic, please get in touch by emailing us at hello@reclaro.com.

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