According to seminal studies, over half of the American workforce is disengaged, costing organizations between $450 billion and $550 billion annually.
If you’re interested in boosting employee engagement this year but don’t have extra money to spend, here are five things you can do.
1. Give Employees More Challenging Tasks and Projects
According to a Korn Ferry survey, employees are disengaged and demotivated at work because they’re bored. When survey respondents were asked why they wanted to leave a job, the number one reason they provided was, “I’m bored—need a new challenge.”
But if you provide your employees with challenging work and projects or make tasks and projects new and interesting on a rolling basis, they are more likely to remain engaged and stay with your organization long term.
2. Provide Regular Feedback
According to research, most employees want regular feedback, especially generations that are newer to the workforce. So, if you want your employees to stay motivated and engaged, provide them with more feedback about how they can improve, as well as more feedback about what they’re doing well. And be sure to provide them with feedback multiple times a week, or at least more than once a year.
For more insight, read “Businesses Are Saying Goodbye to Performance Reviews, and You Should, Too.”
2. Recognize Employees
Gallup research uncovered that the highest employee engagement levels come from employees who are regularly praised. Employees who receive recognition from their managers and peers are far more productive and committed to their organizations than employees who don’t receive recognition.
What’s more, additional research discovered that recognition is tied to employees’ meaning and purpose at work, too. And when employees experience a sense of purpose and meaning at work, they are much more engaged.
3. Offer Flexible Work Options
Flexible work options keep employees more engaged and productive. Why? Because employees who have access to flexible work options are happier, can work when they’re most productive, are much less stressed out, and more.
For more details, read “How to Implement Flex Schedules that Work.”
4. Care About Employees
Above all else, if you want your employees to remain engaged, you need to care about them as people. You need to care about their learning and development plans, their career aspirations, what makes them tick, what they’re good at and where they excel, the obstacles they need to overcome, etc.
And you need to make sure that they are not stressed out on a day-to-day basis. Otherwise, you won’t be able to interest them or keep them engaged with relevant learning and development opportunities or with everyday work tasks and responsibilities.
Boost your employees’ engagement levels this year by doing the five things listed above—all without spending a single dime.