Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications Reward Gateway
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Three ways to avoid the disengagement danger zone

22nd Aug 2019
Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications Reward Gateway
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Disengagement danger zone
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An engaged workforce is a productive one, so how can you make sure your employees are fully invested in the business and avoid the highway to the disengagement danger zone?

Engaged employees have a deeper understanding of their company, allowing them to make better decisions for their company and clients.

They love what they do and genuinely care about their businesses success, making them more productive and innovative.

With these benefits so clear, it’s worth investing the time in making sure they are fully on board.

Make open and honest communication the default

Transparent communication is the foundation for an engaged workforce.

Gone are the days of a top-down working culture, one where the untouchable c-suites work in isolation from others.

Staff now demand meaningful relationships with their employers, where communication runs freely across all levels. This means internal communication should always be open and honest.  

Withholding information from employees eradicates trust, and once lost is extremely hard to win back.

It is important to be open with employees from the outset by utilising collaborative systems like Dropbox and Google Docs.

Making as much information visible as possible instills loyalty by creating a well-informed workforce that can better support the company.

Recognition is a highly effective tool for employee engagement as it satisfies the basic human need of being appreciated.

Equally important is clarity of direction. We all respond to the feeling of being part of something bigger and contributing to a larger goal.

Here, the responsibility lies with the internal communications team to collaborate with the leadership team, gain the insight and share it using expert storytelling techniques.

They should also encourage management to create engaging and inspiring ways to articulate the company mission and values internally.

This can be done in a whole range of great, low cost ways, such as introducing a ‘Friday round-up’ created by the CEO and shared via the company intranet or private Facebook group.

You can get creative with a short video recording or a simple blog post outlining important business updates and acknowledge employee hard work.

Make sure the company values are the foundation of every update, adding to your efforts to better align everyone with company goals.

Foster a community

Encouraging meaningful relationships between employees, managers and leadership helps build a high-trust culture.

If staff can depend on each other, communication flow will increase helping business productivity - so, how do you help colleagues forge real friendships?

One solution is to host social events incorporating team-working elements and friendly competition. For example, office sports teams are a great way to get to know colleagues in a more relaxed environment and connect with people who share the same interests.

Social activities will also help new hires integrate into the team successfully, which is key to instilling a community culture from the outset.

Additionally, employees should also be encouraged to build relationships outside the organisation through networking.

Your internal communications can be utilised to your advantage to increase employee engagement. 

When employees expand their wider network, they build confidence and feel more empowered.

Not only is social media is a great tool for employees to engage in topical industry discussions, expand their knowledge and share ideas, it’s also a great networking tool.

Encourage staff to connect with thought-leaders on platforms like LinkedIn, comment on their content and share interesting articles.

Show employees how they can build relationships with peers and potential mentors, like reaching out for a coffee or lunch meeting.

Teaching basic networking skills both in person and online will help them develop a sense of authority over their career.

Embed a culture of continuous recognition

Recognition is a highly effective tool for employee engagement as it satisfies the basic human need of being appreciated.

As each individual business and employee is different, there is no correct way to implement an effective recognition programme.

As such, it is important to listen to your workforce and get feedback while the programme is being developed.

The best way to gather employee opinions is to conduct a survey asking questions about their reward preferences; whether they prefer financial or non-financial benefits, and how they want recognition and rewards articulated.

Most importantly, these suggestions must be acted upon and if requests are not fulfilled, you should let your employees know why.  

One thing that will guarantee meaningful recognition is providing rewards that are personal to the individual. Take time to understand your colleagues’ likes and dislikes, and then reward them with something they will truly appreciate.

Alternatively, embrace the latest technologies that integrate with discount programmes, allowing employees to collect points and select their own reward from various retailers.

Most important, however, is to ensure that employee recognition is timely and visible to the entire workforce.

Instead of long-standing annual events, implement a quick easy process that encourages in-the-moment recognition across departments and teams.

Use ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ postcards that can then be posted on a virtual or physical social board. This provides a simple and cost-efficient way to ensure that no one is overlooked or undervalued.

Your internal communications can be utilised to your advantage to increase employee engagement - openly and honestly communicating your company values, fostering a community and embedding a culture of recognition.

This will help your company to perform better and making the organisation a better place to work for your employees.

Interested in this topic? Read Employee engagement: how to achieve a workplace benefits culture to be proud of.

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