OK. You know, I know it: we don’t do enough to engage our employees. Truth is, companies—especially new ones—often dash aside employee engagement in favor of concentrating fully on their customers. Big mistake!
If your workers don’t feel like a valued part of the team, expect to replace them (reminder: replacing team-members is expensive and time consuming).

The Engagement Institute pegs the price of poor employee engagement at around $550-billion (that’s with a b).
So let’s go ahead and make employee engagement a top priority for the second half of this year. We can start by pushing these five easy-to-implement strategies to make your employees love you and your company!

  1.  Make Onboarding Awesomely Engaging. Onboarding: it’s the first real handshake you share with new employees. Onboarding needs to do a couple of things really well to be effective. It needs to communicate your core values, it needs to reinforce what your company stands for, and it needs to get employee buy-in for your strategic vision. The rub? In order to communicate and get REAL buy-in, the message needs to be one that excites people and sticks in their brain. That’s where highly memorable whiteboard videos help. These videos are proven to boost employee engagement, train people more effectively, and communicate guidelines and key information better.
  2. Say “Thank You”. Sounds pretty simple, hey? And when you’re a five-person operation, maybe it is. But as you grow, and increase the complexity of your operation, people’s work can be forgotten or overlooked. Don’t! You want employees to know they’re appreciated: Employees with supportive supervisors are 1.3 times more likely to stay with the company and are 67 percent more engaged[1]. So make saying “thank you” more than a habit—ingrain it into your management DNA!
  3. Gamify Your Workplace. Did you know that Ford Motor Company gamified its learning process? Their teams became experts on the newest car models, tech, and financing plans. How much did gamifying help, exactly? Well, Ford saw a 417% increase in worker use[2]—skewed particularly to younger employees. This resulted in a huge uptick in sales and customer satisfaction, as well. A well-drawn-out gamification plan—usually including interactive videos of one sort or another—can provide lightning-fast feedback, transparency, crystal-clear goal setting, and exciting engagement, especially for the younger generation.
  4. Volunteer as a Team. You might already know that approximately half of all people report being relatively unhappy at work[3]. That’s such a sad statistic! But when you encourage your employees to volunteer for causes they believe in, you become a force for good and help them become one, too—and who doesn’t love that feeling? Instant engagement! We know a highly engaged workforce is way more likely to work harder, to stick around longer, and to increase output, sales, and profitability of your company, so this is a no-brainer.
  5. Lead By Example. We saved the best for last—walk the walk! No more do-what-I-say-and-not-what-I-do implementations. If you want your employees to be engaged, then it’s important to start from the top. Doing so is the single-most effective employee engagement strategy. According to the NYT, employees are 55 percent more engaged, 53 percent more focused and more likely to stay in companies where leaders model the behavior they desire in their employees.
Not fostering employee engagement is like running a race with your shoelaces tied together: you’re going to trip up eventually, often with catastrophic results. Thankfully, starting your employee engagement plan doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to start. Just remember these five tips:

Make onboarding an experience that draws them in to your culture.
Say thank-you when they do something great.
Gamify their improvement.
Bring teams together through community volunteering.
Make sure management walks the walk.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to making your employees love where they work and being one of the few companies with employees who are inspired and dedicated to help you succeed. Achieve that, and no obstacle will be too big to overcome.
[1] http://blog.accessperks.com/employee-engagement-loyalty-statistics-the-ultimate-collection
[2] http://www.cio.com/article/2453330/careers-staffing/how-to-use-gamification-to-engage-employees.html
[3] http://blog.teem.com/2017-employee-happiness-survey-results

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