5 Employee Engagement Secrets That Will Boost Office Productivity

Happy workers might not be as productive as you think…

Kevin Kruse, author of NY Times bestseller We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement, points out how being happy at work doesn’t necessarily make people productive…

“Someone can be happy at work, but not “engaged.” They might be happy because they are lazy and it’s a job with not much to do. They might be happy talking to all their work-friends and enjoying the free cafeteria food. They might be happy to have a free company car. They might just be a happy person. But! Just because they’re happy doesn’t mean they are working hard on behalf of the company. They can be happy and unproductive.”

While it’s important that you show your team you care about their happiness, engagement is what makes them productive.

Here are 5 ways to boost employee engagement and productivity in your team…

1. Create a sense of purpose

If your employees don’t feel a sense of purpose in their roles, they’re unlikely to be engaged.

Everyone on your team should feel like they play a part in your company’s success. No matter what their role, everyone on your team is important (you wouldn’t be paying them if they weren’t!), so make sure they understand that you value them.

What’s more, employees need to understand the your company’s purpose, says Global Director of Siegel+Gate, Thom Wyatt

“Employees who feel a personal connection to their work are more engaged. And Millennials are shifting the workforce landscape by asking a generational question: how does our company and my day-to-day job make a meaningful impact on the world? Ensuring your brand is infused with purpose and connecting it to employee programs can boost engagement and even evangelism.”

Engaged employees make for great brand ambassadors. Make sure everyone on your team feels valued and believes what they’re doing is important.

2. Hire for passion, not skill

More and more, companies are hiring, not just for skill, but for culture fit.

Some people may be skilled and experienced, but if they don’t share your company’s passions and ethics, they’re not going to being engaged.

Staffing and HR Guru, Inga Kulberg Tesla, points out that engagement is not something you can train your employees to have…

“The interesting thing is, as much as we all want engaged employees, engagement is something the employee has to offer: it cannot be ‘required’ as part of the employment agreement.”

When hiring, look for candidates who are passionate about your company, are a good fit for your culture and have a desire to learn. You can teach new skills but you can’t teach passion.

3. Offer opportunities for advancement

Opportunities for personal and professional development are great incentives for employees. If they don’t believe that staying with the company will help them grow, or progress in their career, employees are likely to become bored and disengaged.

Culture Transformation Specialist, Roxanne Emmerich, believes you should give everyone on your team opportunities to progress in the company…

“The chance to work your way up the ladder is a tremendous incentive for productivity, bonding, and engagement. Employees who are moving up are constantly challenged, which also keeps boredom and at bay… But there’s also a growing sense as you rise of being closer to the action, more significant, a bigger part of the team.”

4. Build a culture of collaboration

James Strickland, co-founder of PeopleGoal, believes that employees who work collaboratively with their co-workers are more likely to stay engaged…

“Creating a culture of collaboration will bring teams and departments closer and it will diminish silos which normally lead to employee turnover.”

You also need to make sure that your team members feel that they’re collaborating with their managers says Val Matta, Vice President of CareerShift…

“Collaboration is essential for any organization, so the leaders of your company need to spark two-way communication with employees about the corporate vision. If the vision of your company lies solely with top management, how can you inspire your employees to carry out your goals?”

5. Help out the industry/community

According to a 2013 survey by people intelligence startup Culture Amp, 72% of respondents said that a company should be a great place to contribute to their field. In other words, employees wanted to feel that they were helping to make advancements in their industry.

Andrew Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany, believes companies should be offering employees opportunities to get involved in the industry outside of work…

“To do this, it is imperative to offer employees the appropriate motivation, time, and tools to understand how their work and your organization are both contributing to the big picture. You can try implementing an 80-20 rule like Google, offering employees time away from the office to be inspired, or sponsoring a hackathon to get new teams collaborating. In the end, it will not only benefit the entire industry, but also your company’s image and brand as innovative and visionary.”

What do you think are the biggest motivators for employee engagement? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Image: tec_estromberg