By Grace Collins
Every manager wants to have a highly productive team, but to get there, employees have to be empowered and engaged. In fact, a Gallup study found that teams with high levels of engagement are 21 percent more profitable, as they come in to work with passion and a purpose. Therefore, managers need to know how to empower employees and make them an integral part of the company. That said, here are five ways you can boost your team’s engagement, and in turn, their productivity and retention.
Show the path for growth
Entrepreneur claims that employees are more likely to be engaged if they see opportunities for growth. And while employees are responsible for their own personal development, managers must create a clear path for it. Be transparent and communicative about bigger roles your employees can take, along with opportunities on how to earn more money. If there is no clear trajectory for growth for an employee, identify their strengths and weaknesses and point out the possible paths they can take. By doing this, they will feel cared for and encouraged to find their own path.
Encourage a healthy work-life balance
While encouraging growth can motivate employees, make sure they don’t overdo it. Promote a healthy work-life balance by discouraging work talk after hours and on weekends, and be sympathetic to their needs and circumstances by implementing flexible times. Be open to switching schedules if needed and organize monthly outings for coworkers to develop friendships that go beyond the office. Ashley Stahl points out that having this balance can stave off burnout, and can benefit both the physical and mental health of an employee.
Offer great compensation and benefits
Providing ample compensation for a good quality of life is vital to keep employee turnover down. Additionally, employers should also encourage employees to think of their financial future and their retirement plans, or their 401(k). This may seem like something most employers push or even require, but on the contrary, Marcus reports that a staggering 62 percent of Americans have not set up a 401(k) plan with their current employer. Not only are they missing out on an opportunity to lower their taxable income, but they are also failing to set themselves up financially for the future. Thus, stay ahead of other employers by offering compensation that promotes financial wellness, and encourage your employees to contribute to their 401(k) by matching some (or all) of their contributions.
Provide ample feedback, coaching, and praise
Nurturing employee growth is both a benefit for them and the company, as the latter reaps the benefits from their productivity. Aside from giving formal employee feedback forms, managers should coach and mentor employees to ensure that their actions are aligned with the goals of the company. But don’t be too harsh—point out what they’ve done well first, then proceed to focus on the specific problem areas in their performance while giving actionable tips on how to do better. Moreover, don’t forget to praise them on a job well done when they do it, as CEO of Orange Leaf Consulting Cindy McGovern found that 20 percent of employees said that appreciation from bosses makes them happier in the workplace.
Talk less, and listen more
Employees will have their own ideas on how to improve processes that they want to share and contribute to the company. While it may be difficult to let go of routine practices, listen to their ideas and let them join in on the decision-making process where possible. This will make them feel like their input is valued, and will encourage them to continuously innovate and engage with their work.
Whether you’re in the insurance, real estate or the tech industry—these tips apply to workplaces across all verticals. Apply these to your business and watch as your employee retention and engagement increase.
Grace Collins is a business and financial blogger. She provided this content exclusively to the American Land Title Association. Send feedback to email@example.com.
Source: ALTA Blog