Using Innovative Methods to Keep Employees Engaged in 2021

The term “employee engagement” refers to an employee’s level of commitment and connection to their company. The more engaged an employee is the more successful and efficient they typically are, which directly impacts business success. However, according to Gallup, only 35% of employees in the U.S. fall in the “engaged” category. Therefore, it’s commonly understood that an organization has the ability to unlock a lot more potential from its workforce. 

So, what can your company do to better engage employees and see better results? Try implementing the strategies below to receive better productivity, retention, and loyalty from employees today.

Prioritize Employee Mental Health

Employee mental health has been a buzzword as of late—and for good reason. If an employee feels stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed by work it can significantly affect their production and cause them to become burnt out. Employers have the ability to help their workforce maintain good mental health by updating their employee’s mental health packages and educating employees on how to make the best use of them. 

To start, organizations should reevaluate their current health benefits and adjust them to meet today’s climate. Currently, many employees work from home and they often feel as if they can’t take PTO because they have already been granted the luxury of remote work. Therefore, organizations may need to encourage employees to take time off or take breaks throughout the day. It may also be beneficial to offer flexible work arrangements. This allows employees to dictate their own hours based on their specific needs or encouraging mental health days so they know it’s okay to take a day off specifically to rest. 

Organizations can even take it a step further by altering their employee benefits package to include offerings that will help prevent burnout, which contributes to disengagement. A simple addition, like stipends for healthcare supplies, could motivate employees to practice better mental health. 

A large part of poor mental health and disengagement stems from harmful digital screens, which can cause digital eye strain or brain fog over time due to the digital blue light they emit. However, this could be avoided by taking advantage of a healthcare stipend. Employees could be educated and incentivized by management to buy glasses that block out blue light to compensate for eye strain and brain fog caused by frequent engagement with harsh digital screens. Helping employees obtain products that will keep them mentally healthy may increase their productivity, engagement, and loyalty in the future. 

Use Strategic Methods Like Gamification 

Gamification is a workplace strategy that is exactly what it sounds like— it allows organizations to combine work and play. It has the ability to motivate and engage employees in a more fun and original way while also helping them learn new skills, behaviors, and ways of solving problems. 

Gamification allows employees to play games that offer points, status, and rewards as they improve the skills, goals, or objectives their company is trying to meet. This incentivizes employees to challenge themselves and grow their skills every day. 

It can also bring co-workers and departments together as they will be competing in friendly competitions to win prizes. Therefore, it has the ability to keep employees engaged and promote team building for the overall company as well, remotely or in the office. 

There are many different routes you can take with gamification, which makes it an accessible option for companies of any kind. An organization looking to spark interest in a training seminar might try making it interesting with well-known favorites, like JEOPARDY!® or Wheel of Fortune®

Some organizations overlook gamification as an engagement initiative because they think it will become a distraction or be a waste of time. However, companies should not let the word “game” fool them. Although the games are fun, they are also business-oriented and designed to be informative and beneficial to a professional atmosphere, which allows employees to learn and work while feeling like they are playing. 

Create an Open Workplace Culture 

Communication is a key element in discovering why employees feel engaged and determining why they may have become disengaged. Constant communication can make employees feel connected and appreciated at an organization, whereas lack of communication can adversely create a disconnect and lead to miscommunications causing disengagement over time. 

Management should frequently check in with team members, conduct employee surveys, and encourage in-person or anonymous employee feedback. Weekly or monthly check-ins can help management understand how employees feel about their workload, work environment, collaboration across teams, and more. If management feels that there is a general consensus within the office, they may resort to sending out an employee survey to get an understanding of employees’ wants and needs. This can also be a beneficial strategy to conduct quarterly just to make sure things are running smoothly. Lastly, encouraging employees to provide in-person or anonymous feedback inside and outside of 1:1 check-ins will make employees feel like they have a voice within the organization and help your organization stop engagement from declining. 

It’s important to try and think outside of the box for engagement initiatives in 2021. By using these simple yet effective tips, your organization may see a spike in engagement this year.

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