More American employees are quitting their jobs today than they were just four years ago, and it turns out managers can be a big reason why. Engaged employees are more likely to stick around—but for leadership, finding realistic, everyday ways to make that happen can be daunting. Luckily, there’s enough research out there to inform best practices.
To help, we’ve identified the top four drivers of employee engagement, along with everyday motivating tactics to keep morale high and turnover low. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the idea of getting fit, learning to cook, or promising to stop being so late all the time, here are a few New Year’s Resolutions for managers that you can easily commit to—and that will not only benefit you, but your employees too:
1. Communicate Authentically
A Global Workforce Study conducted by Towers Watson found that one of the top drivers of workplace engagement was regular interaction and communication with senior and executive managers. Why is this important? Because when you acknowledge your employees every day, you demonstrate that you’re an involved and communicative presence. It also makes employees feel like they’re being kept in the loop on important conversations, which contributes to a sense of loyalty and community.
To practice communicating authentically, consider a regular pit stops by each person’s desk and a genuine “How are you this morning?” This seemingly simple gesture can make a big difference—but be sure to schedule one-on-one time with every report to hold a more committed dialogue as well. Using these meetings to identify goals, recognize good work and overcome challenges builds trust and mutual respect. This way, you’re also making weekly solo meetings an investment worthy of any manager’s time.
2. Reward Employees Meaningfully
Some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley have become famous for their long list of employee perks, which makes it easy to attract and retain the best talent. Pairing a work goal with an extrinsic, performance-based employee reward is a tried-and-true positive approach to employee motivation. That’s why an important factor in staff engagement is to reward employees meaningfully.
Whether it’s completion of a project or getting through a rough busy season, reminding employees that there’s a carrot at the end of the stick makes a difference. An employee recognition and rewards system congratulates a job well done and also strengthens your team—two core aspects of a good work culture. At Blueboard, we specialize in experiential employee rewards like kayaking trips for two, spa packages, or even introductory glassblowing workshops. Consider offering employees a choice of one of these activities (or over 200 other experiential gifts for employees) and watch morale soar.
3. Inspire Growth
Showing your team that they have places to go will prevent one of the bigger sources of employee disengagement: the sense of a dead-end career. In fact, career growth is a top motivator for the majority of workers. While bigger strategies like rotating job roles require systemic change that comes from top leadership, middle managers can start by discussing what each of their employees wants from their career, followed by clearly mapping out ways to reach those goals. This tactic prevents boredom, allows employees to learn new skills, and make informed decisions about what path they want to take within the company. All of this will eventually lead to a boost in workforce engagement.
4. Create Purpose
When it comes to work, creating a sense of purpose is hugely important to any employee’s motivation; 73% of employees who feel their work is purpose-driven describe themselves as engaged (and even more-so for Millennials). Remind employees of the bigger picture and how their individual work contributes to it, and regularly reaffirm the company’s mission.
One way to do this is to host a series of motivational speakers who can tell success stories or highlight existing challenges that are relevant to the company’s work. Making an effort to be vocal about your own can-do vision for the team—as well as acknowledging theirs—creates a common ground ripe for motivation. Another way to encourage a stronger sense of purpose to your employee’s work is to bring your company values to life. Introduce them during your onboarding process or give out quarterly rewards to employees who amplify those values well. That way, everyone knows exactly what the organization stands for and plays a role in contributing to that vision.
These New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be a struggle. Simply start with one of the ideas we outlined above and add on the others gradually. We know you’ll be able to meet your goals for this year while also nurturing a happier and more engaged workforce.
For those looking for meaningful employee recognition ideas, we’d love for you to browse some of our experiential employee rewards here at Blueboard. To learn more about Blueboard and get in touch with our team, simply reach out via the Request Demo button above ^^.