It’s one thing having a great team in place. It’s a completely other thing to constantly engage that team. Engagement equals happy, productive employees, and that — let’s face it — makes for a more prosperous company.
Look around at your staff. Are they engaged? According to an NBRII whitepaper, about half of them may be working on autopilot. These are not the employees who will go out of their way to ensure they do their best work for your company.
Why Engagement Matters
Engagement, or rather, lack of it, costs businesses money, to the tune of $370 billion a year. If employees aren’t happy in their work, they’re less likely to maximize their efforts, and you’re paying more money for less work. And they’re more likely to quit their job, if they can another one. That means you have a serious investment of time and money to fill an empty position with a qualified candidate and train her to get up to speed fast.
What You Can Do to Boost Engagement
If the numbers here scare you, they should. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to ensure you engage employees and keep them interested in their work.
Jeff Goldsmith, Head of Marketing at Keas, a wellness program that focuses on gamification and social features for engagement, says the new workforce is social-, mobile- and data-driven, and that using that to your benefit will increase engagement levels.
Goldsmith has seen social games improve the overall health and wellness of employees, as well as employee rewards programs that build company culture across geographies.
“Human resources is not immune to [the] dawn of data science – their results are just as reportable, trackable and open to analytics as any other discipline in the working world,” says Goldsmith, “HR wants to drive results – to lower absenteeism, to lower turnover, to lower costs, and raise productivity. Social tools and mobile connectivity can help drive their results HR needs to produce.”
Keas’ wellness platform allows employees to set up profiles, similar to other social media profiles, and form teams with co-workers. By choosing health goals and working towards them, they earn points and bragging rights at work. While this might not seem like something that would carry through to other aspects of work, it absolutely does.
Companies that promote health and well being, according to the World Economic Forum in January 2010, saw the following results:
- 3x more productivity
- 3.5x more creativity and innovation
- 4x less turnover in a given year
- 8x more engagement among employees
- 2.5x better employee performance
Whether you invest in a wellness program or not, start by paying attention to what’s happening around the office. Do formerly uber-productive employees seem to be turning in less work? Do you hear less laughter and chatter? What could be the cause of it? If your team is under a tight deadline, it might be temporary. But when the project is done, come up for air.
Keep communication open so you always know when engagement drops off. Find little ways to keep your employees happier so that they’ll stay with you for years.