The concept of “love what you do” has become the ultimate goal for the average office worker, just as it’s become a mantra for HR professionals trying to keep their coworkers happy.
That said, doing so is much easier said than done. At the end of the day, any work environment can be inherently stressful, draining and ultimately exhausting.
This is why paying attention to employee engagement is so important if you’re in HR. If your workers are the verge of burnout, their performance is inevitably going to suffer. Furthermore, you may run into a nightmare scenario where office morale gets so dismal that people start voluntarily quitting out of the blue.
But how can you keep your coworkers more engaged in the first place? Consider the following six tips as essential to supporting your employees’ well-being and ensuring that your team is satisfied with their roles versus spinning their wheels.
Encourage Employees to Focus on Their Strengths
One of the biggest killers of mood and motivation in the workplace is forcing people into roles where their strengths aren’t emphasized. Obviously HR professionals need to take care during the hiring process to find the right fit for their teams, but it’s also the responsibility of management to only hire and allocate resources where it makes sense.
That’s why outsourcing and hiring external help for major projects makes perfect sense for smaller teams or those strapped for resources. When you consider what it takes to outsource a mobile app or other major project, you might realize that you don’t have to resources to take on such an undertaking internally.
Why you shouldn’t outsource everything, you need to know what you can handle versus burning people out by plugging them into the wrong roles.
Don’t neglect the simple act of checking in with your coworkers on a regular basis.
Monthly meetings aren’t going to cut it, either. Through the likes of email, face-to-face check-ins and in-office messengers (such as Slack), your team should have no problem getting in touch with you at a moment’s notice.
Also keep in mind how much day-to-day small talk can make a difference toward improving office relationships. No one HR should present themselves as an island: always be willing to chat it up with coworkers in the break room and show legitimate concerns about how they’re doing.
By making yourself more accessible, workers will likely be more willing to share their thoughts and feelings with you to clue you in on bigger internal issues.
Make Your Meetings More Meaningful
Speaking of meetings, so many workers view the average office meeting as little more than wastes of time.
A way to remedy this cynicism is by complimenting and shouting-out your coworkers whenever possible in public settings, especially during meetings.
If someone did a stellar job on a project or otherwise has been showing initiative, let everyone know. These small motivational pep-talks give your team something to look forward to and help end your face-to-face conversations with coworkers on the right tone.
Encourage a Positive Company Culture
Again, the power of positivity is too important to overlook in the modern workplace. Adapting the mindset that “we’re all in this together” will ultimately bring your team closer versus tearing teams apart.
As such, consider ways to connect your team outside of an office setting. Whether it’s planning regular office lunches or off-the-clock social gatherings, you should encourage your coworkers to look at your company as more than somewhere to earn a paycheck.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re boxed into a corner, do they?
At the office, it’s natural for workers to get overwhelmed when it comes to deadlines and commitments, especially when we’re expected to be connected to the office 24/7. That’s why a little bit of flexibility in terms of workplace expectations can go a long way.
We’re not saying you should let your coworkers run wild, but rather understand when to cut them a bit of slack. For example, most workers prefer flexible schedules these days and actually find that they’re more productive when higher-ups loosen the reigns.
Acting as a micromanager won’t do you any favors with your coworkers. If your company’s management style is focused on cracking a whip versus showing empathy, you know there’s a bigger problem at play in your office and things need to change ASAP.
Run Frequent Surveys
Finally, one of the best ways to engage your employees is by giving them opportunities to speak their mind without fear of judgment Implementing anonymous employee surveys via email offers a platform for people to provide unfiltered insight on what might be going on behind the scenes of your team.
These surveys are especially important for picking the brains of employees who otherwise might not feel comfortable speaking up on their own. Asking questions about their state of happiness, whether or not they want to work here for the long-term and their general relationships with coworkers are a good sold point for assessing engagement. Once you have these answers handy, you can start making changes accordingly.
Creating a more engaging environment at work doesn’t happen overnight. That said, implementing these tips and principles can boost morale at work and ultimately keep your coworkers on their toes and happy at the same time.