Four Free Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

Gallup Statistic on Employee Engagement and Business Success

Ideas for Improving Morale Without Spending a Cent

Any HR pro worth hiring knows that improving employee engagement, and attitudes at work, is an integral part of improving productivity, retention, and overall work culture. Rewards and recognition programs have long been noted as possible methods of improving employee engagement. Leadership programs, are another way in which HR pros have suggested improves employee engagement. Unfortunately, all of these methods cost money. Here are some ideas for free ways HR pros can improve employee engagement, and thus productivity, retention, and workplace culture.

1. Get to know employees personally.

Too many people in leadership positions go there whole career without properly acquainting themselves with their staff. Knowing employees names, personal preferences, and position details, is a great way to make employees feel appreciated. While it may not be entirely possible at very large businesses, you can at least get to know very basic details about every employee possible. It’s an HR pro must.

2. Have open office hours.

One way to make employees feel heard, and thus engaged and appreciated, is to be accessible to them. Having a time once a week or more, where employees can come in and talk about whatever, is a free and easy way to improve attitudes at work. During this time, employees should be allowed and even encourage to issue non-formal complaints. It’s a way to not only allow employees to feel heard, but to get to know them.

3. Keep employees informed about all possible business goings-on.

The quickest way to completely disenfranchise someone, is to make them feel out of the loop. When important business decisions are relayed to employees via office gossip, it can cause all kinds of problems. Instead, keep employees informed about any non-confidential issues via news letters, meetings, or even just personal conversations. It will not only avoid the inevitable drama associated with telephone-game-style communication protocol, but it will encourage employees. Knowing what is going on in your workplace will make employees feel engaged, involved, and more productive.

4. Be grateful.

A huge complaint among workers in this economy, particularly at large businesses, is not feeling appreciated. Many people spend more time at work than they do with their family and loved ones. The least you can do is recognize their work with a thank you. I know personally, having an employer thank me goes a long way.

An Attitude Change is Free

While some programs to improve employee engagement are expensive and time consuming, these ideas are not. Most are just simple exercises in good interpersonal skills. Instead of focusing on how you as an HR pro can invest in programs to improve employee engagement, productivity, and retention, perhaps you should look at it in another way. Think about the things that would encourage you to be more involved in a company where you didn’t have a high-standing. Most of the time it’s as simple as personal relationships, open communication, and feeling appreciated.


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