In light of the “Great Recession,” many companies are experiencing new challenges that they haven’t often faced in the past. Employees – those who still have jobs – are working harder while receiving fewer rewards and incentives than in the past. While companies are struggling as well, it’s leading to some serious fatigue-factor among employees. Many of them are becoming disengaged, just going through the motions of getting the job done without really putting their hearts into the work. This puts the onus on the employers, who really can’t afford to lose productivity or skilled professionals, to find a way to re-engage these employees.
Here are six quick fixes you might want to consider, if this is happening in your workplace.
1) Create work perks and offer them to employees who meet certain productivity requirements. Don’t make them outrageous; do make them ambitious. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t have to cost you additional money. It could be something like reserved parking places (when it’s 20 degrees below zero, allowing someone to park closer to the entrance is a huge perk), an extended lunch break for the next week, or even an additional day to dress casual in the upcoming workweek.
2) Ask for their opinion on products, changes, or even policies within the company and listen to their answers without reproach or recrimination. That’s the only way, after all, that you’re going to get genuine opinions. If you really listen to them however, you might find that more than a few employees have great ideas that can serve your company and other employees well.
3) Offer employees the opportunity for growth and advancement within the company. There are very few things that can motivate employees better than the opportunity to advance within the organization. People generally don’t like the idea of hopping around from one company to the next. They are creatures of habit and would like to place roots in a community and in a company. Offer them that and you’ll have employees that are consistently looking for ways to raise the bar on their own performance.
4) Offer a pleasant balance of work and family life to your employees. People work in order to provide for their families. If your employees are chained to the desk 24/7, they will eventually lose sight of why they are working so hard. If you give them the opportunity to get home and spend time with their children, coach their kids’ baseball teams, and tuck them in at night, they will be loyal and much more engaged in their work and your company.
5) Make it beneficial for them to become engaged and dedicated to their work. Offer over-time pay, bonuses, or even additional vacation or PTO days based on performance rather than tenure. Give people a reason to work harder and smarter. The best way to keep them engaged in the process is to offer them something that matters to them as a reward.
6) Make it a contest between coworkers with real prizes for the person or “teams” that earn the most points. You can have one firm winner or a first, second, and third place finish. The great thing about this is that it allows workers to have a little bit of fun and really get in the competitive spirit. It’s even better if you can divide them up into teams, to help foster a real spirit of teamwork on the tasks as well.
The bottom line is that companies today must get creative if they want to keep their employees engaged when budgets are tight, profits are low, and morale has been beaten down. These six factors can bring huge changes to your company by boosting morale and getting your employees much more engaged in the work they’re doing.