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Four simple ways to keep employees engaged

Four simple ways to keep employees engaged

Employees are the most important asset for many businesses. As a business owner, you put a lot of time and energy into training your people, and your success depends on them. As such, you want to keep your employees happy, engaged and motivated. In this article, Resilium Adviser Tracy Hobbs offers some simple ways you can keep your staff engaged and motivated.

At the end of the day, every business wants to provide a quality service to its clients. You can’t do this if your employees aren’t happy. No one wants to talk with an unhappy, demotivated person on the other end of the line.

Businesses that fail to engage their employees run the risk of poor performance, poor service, lower productivity and employees taking more time off work. Worse, they could lose their employees altogether. I know people who have changed jobs every six to 12 months because they feel they’re treated like a number rather than a person.

When you’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a good team of employees, you don’t want them leaving. It’s not good for company morale having dissatisfied employees. You also face the time and cost of recruiting a replacement and the former employee may even go to one of your competitors.

So how can you keep your workers happy and committed to your business? Here are four simple ways.

1. Promote strong communication

Communication is key. Listening to your employees and encouraging them to share ideas is critical. It shows that you value them as individuals. It’s very important that each staff member is respected as an individual and respects others.

We hold regular meetings where staff members can be open and honest. Workers should feel that they can voice things they’re not happy about as well as share their ideas and suggestions. In our company, we share with employees how the business is performing, what strategies we have to grow the business, and how they can help with this. 

2. Encourage team work and collaboration

Employees need to feel part of a team environment. In our company, we recognise that each of us, although we all have our own jobs to do, plays an important role.

Team-building activities can be helpful, but it’s wise to remember that employees have families and busy lives outside work – they appreciate when you let them leave their day job in the office. When someone has a birthday, we often go for a work breakfast or lunch, and sometimes at the end of the week we’ll have drinks after work. These help with team building without demanding too much time from people. 

3. Offer training

Helping employees grow and achieve their goals is vital to keeping them engaged and interested. It also gives you a more skilled workforce. You can do this in various ways, from providing conventional training to creating mentoring programs and offering career-planning support.

Sending employees on training courses and to industry conferences can also be a great perk. Many companies tend to send only high-level executives or management to courses and events, but we plan to start sending employees at all levels. It gives the employee a chance to get to know other people in the industry and catch up with industry trends. All this works to make employees feel part of something larger, which can help them become more engaged in their roles.

4. Take an interest in wellbeing

Showing that you care about employees’ health and wellbeing makes them feel valued. As a small business, you may not have the ability to offer health and fitness perks such as corporate gym memberships, but there are still things you can do to improve your team’s wellbeing.

In our company, I’ve introduced meditation and yoga – short and simple exercises to help employees take a minute and refocus. Working at a computer all day leads to tight muscles and it’s important to move around, stretch and re-centre yourself. Upright workstations are also becoming popular and are something that even a smaller business could probably afford to try.

We all spend so much of our lives at work – most employees spend a third of their week at work – so it makes sense for businesses to find ways to help employees feel comfortable and fulfilled while in the office. If you can make work interesting and create awareness that everyone’s labour counts, you will increase engagement.

We all want to feel that we are contributing something and that our boss views us as a crucial part of the business. If your employees are happy, everything else will follow.

Tracy Hobbs is an authorised representative of Resilium and Ausure and General Manager of Interwest General Insurance Services Pty Ltd. She is licensed to deal in all general insurance products and has provided quality advice and services for more 20 years.

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