Cultivating Employee Engagement

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In a competitive job market, it is more important than ever to create a great work culture and engage employees. In a survey conducted by The Muse, it was found that 70% of U.S. workers aren’t engaged at work. Many employees who are unhappy and leave their job aren’t necessarily doing so for a salary increase ­– they leave their managers, look for a clearer path of upward mobility, better feedback and recognition mechanism, and search for an organization with transparent goals and a focus on wellbeing.

For talent at all stages, engagement is essential. New employees want opportunities for professional development and growth, while tenured employees need to feel valued- especially by leadership. The burnout rate in the U.S. across all industries ranges between 40-50%, which at the end of the day affects your bottom-line, $90 billion to be exact. So how do you protect your organization, engage employees, and promote wellbeing?

In September 2018, MBL hosted an even on Cultivating Employee Engagement with UMA HealthCultureAmp, and Blueboard. The evening consisted of a panel discussion on the best ways to engage employees and improve overall wellbeing.

Here are 4 lessons learned on how to improve upon your employee engagement and wellbeing initiatives: 

1. Take a Pulse Check 
Many times there are questions surrounding the ROI of wellbeing and engagement initiatives. The best place to start is by taking a pulse check and collecting employee feedback through surveys to help build your case to improve engagement at your organization.  Your survey should gauge overall employee happiness, satisfaction of benefits, and their sense of fulfillment at work.

2. Understand the Needs of Your Employees 
From the data you collect- identify the trends and gaps. Check your Glassdoor reviews. Is there consistent feedback of a lack of work-life balance? Do employees feel they cannot ask for help on a project? Are managers receiving enough training to deal with issues such as Mental Health in the workplace? Identify the concerning areas to improve. For example, if your highly-stressed sales team has a long commute, maybe allow them to work from home 1-2 times a week and use that time to focus more on closing deals. Or perhaps it’s providing young managers with training to better recognize stress on their team to prevent an employee burnout.

3. Create Initiatives that Reflect Your Values 
From giving back, to a work-hard, play-hard mentality, create engagement and wellbeing initiatives that reflect your values. If your team values autonomy, consider flexible working policies where individuals are able to manage their own time as long as they meet deadlines. Or perhaps a sense of community is a value- consider ways outside of the office to allow employees to connect, such as corporate sponsored sports leagues and team outings to the movies or rock-climbing. When you live your values, engagement and wellbeing for employees will come naturally.

4. Provide Learning Opportunities
Many employees want clear and transparent goals about where their position can take them. This doesn’t necessarily mean a raise, promotion, or title change, but rather how can they be professionally developed, constantly challenged, and continue to learn on the job. Consider a learning and development program or stipend that allows employees to constantly learn and improve to be more engaged in their work.

Engagement and wellbeing strategies aren’t a plug-and-play solution. Every organization is different and it takes time to develop. Collect data, analyze, and keep iterating. Every person and company always has room to grow and learn.

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