Getting top talent excited about working on your team shouldn’t stop once the hiring process is complete. Keeping your employees engaged and excited is just as important — if not more so — than getting job seekers to join your team in the first place.
Unfortunately, many employers fall short when it comes to employee engagement. A recent study from Achievers, an employee recognition platform, found that fewer than one in five employees (19 percent) consider themselves “very engaged.” Achievers surveyed 1,154 employees from organizations across North America.
When employees are disengaged, they’re less likely to be productive and, in many cases, will start looking for job opportunities elsewhere. So how can your team ensure you’re driving employee engagement? Here are some simple steps you can take.
1. Set intentional core values.
The Achievers study found that an organization’s culture and core values is the top factor influencing employee satisfaction. But many organizations make the mistake of simply developing core values, hanging the list of values on the wall, and not doing much beyond that. If this is the case, employees won’t necessarily be motivated to align their work with the values.
To boost employee satisfaction and engagement, set core values that will become ingrained in your organization on a daily basis. For example, on my team of more than 200 employees, core values are recited at the beginning of our weekly all-company huddles and in team meetings.
Our core values also drive how we run our business, and interact with one another and with customers. For example, one of our core values is “Create wow moments,” which encourages our employees to go above and beyond when working with customers.
2. Recognize employees for their work.
The Achievers study found that one of the top reasons disengaged employees are considering leaving their current employers is lack of recognition. In fact, 82 percent of those surveyed said they wish they received more recognition on the job.
My organization bases different forms of employee recognition on how well employees exemplify our core values. For example, employees receive “core value shout-outs” in our weekly company huddle, top performers receive annual core value awards at our company kickoff each January, and our core values inform some aspects of employee performance reviews.
Another one of our core values is “Own the result.” An employee might receive a core value shout-out for taking extra time to fix a problem or helping a teammate overcome a challenge.
Ultimately, seeing colleagues recognized for core values on both a weekly and annual basis helps keep employees engaged and driven to live up to the values on a daily basis.
3. Give employees opportunities to grow.
Another top reason employees lose engagement and start looking for jobs elsewhere is because they don’t see opportunities for career advancement. Rather than risk losing your top employees, think of ways to help your team grow in their careers.
One simple way to help employees advance is by building defined career paths across departments. For each career path, your team can outline actionable, measurable goals, such as a sales target for your sales team, so employees know what it takes to move up the ladder. Having challenging but attainable goals will keep employees engaged and boost productivity.
Another opportunity some employers might overlook is giving employees the chance to try different roles across the organization. Perhaps there isn’t a next step for an employee at his or her team at the time, or their passion and skills align better with one of your other open roles. Make it clear to your employees that they should speak up if they want to take a different career path at your organization.
On my team, we often open new roles internally first before sharing them on our careers page, job boards, or other channels. As long as employees get approval from their managers first, we encourage them to apply to different roles.
Some of our employees have successfully moved from the sales to the product team, from the customer success to the operations team, and more. In most cases, these transitions have worked out better in the long haul both for the individual employees and the company as a whole.
Engaged employees are more likely to positively contribute to your overall goals and stay with your team long-term. By having a plan in place to keep employees engaged, you can set your organization up for continued productivity and profitability.