Do you want 2016 to be a fantastic year? Then you could use the momentum of the New Year to revamp your employee engagement strategy to get the most out of your workforce.
Unemployment fell to nearly a ten-year low in late 2015 and it's a strong indicator that employers have the money to pay for more salaries. This only strengthens the temptation for people to go looking for new jobs, and with the New Year being a peak time for job hunts, there's no time to waste in terms of showing your team how much they mean to you and the business.
Trying to hold on to your staff is not only good for your firm's stability, but it can also reinforce your reputation as a good employer. Also, keeping people motivated results in better performance, improved staff morale and higher productivity. So, it could actually be a mistake not to develop your engagement strategy.
Below are 3 tried-and-tested methods that'll help keep your staff inspired (and employed – by you) in 2016. But these are just starting points, so take this as a springboard to building a robust, long-term engagement policy.
1. Recognize and appreciate your people
The number 1 rule is to give recognition and appreciation for staff's accomplishments or achievements. This can be as simple as saying thank you to people – by email or in person, or making positive comments about how they’ve performed a task. Not only does this make employees feel good, but it also reinforces the kind of behaviour you’re trying to encourage among staff – you're setting the example. Plus, it’s an inexpensive way of providing employees with something they'll find truly valuable.
2. Reward employees
A rewards system can be a great motivator, particularly if it’s tied to certain milestones or targets on the way towards your business goals.
Rewards can help foster a culture of positive competitiveness amongst staff, and can include financial bonuses and gifts. If your budget is tight, you could simply create a certificate and encourage gratitude from other colleagues.
Although this all sounds a brilliant way of engaging staff, you can't cut corners; it's key that your reward system is seen as fair and valid to be an effective motivator, so avoid any randomness or favouritism. Also, make sure the rewards are public, so team members who didn’t achieve the reward this time will be motivated to strive harder.
Remember, though, financial rewards and bonuses are not the only motivator for your workforce. Check our other content on employee engagement for more ideas.
3. Share your business goals
It’s also vital to communicate your business goals to staff, and to make sure that this communication goes both ways. You might have very clear ideas about how you want employees to achieve certain aims, but it’s always a good idea to listen to their suggestions and input as well.
This mutual relationship encourages people to feel part of the decision-making process and to feel that their opinions are valued – it’s a powerful motivational tool.