By now we all know that workplace engagement is the corporate equivalent of Steers chips sprinkles, Schalk Bezuidenhout lockdown motivational's or free anytime data when you’re stuck at home - you can’t have enough of it! Here’s the thing though - employee engagement initiatives are often most needed at times when budgets are tight and fiscal wiggle room is non-existent. It’s the ultimate corporate catch 22.
Fortunately, we happen to know of a few budget-friendly ways to promote workplace engagement when you need to amp up morale and get your team fired up during trying times, and we’re happy to share. Let's get started:
1. Start with a warm welcome
Most companies with an actively engaged workforce have a solid onboarding program. After all, when you're trying to keep your overheads low, it makes sense to keep your top talent around and avoid the hidden costs of unwanted employee churn. It all starts the day a new team member crosses your threshold. Instead of handing them off to a junior member of staff, have their direct manager show them around and take the time to get them settled in. A 'fresh recruit' intranet space where they can find training materials, FAQs and vital company info is also a nice touch.
2. Make work-life balance a priority
Provide employees with the option of organising their time according to an established flexi-time schedule to promote a healthy work-life balance where possible. After all, if a new parent has the option of waiting out traffic in the morning to ensure that their offspring is safely in the care of their childcare provider before coming to the office, they’ll be far more productive at work. Similarly, your active employees may prefer to come in early so they can leave earlier to squeeze in an MTB excursion or run on the prom before heading home for the day.
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3. Create opportunities for wellness pursuits
Speaking of healthy activities, another cost-effective way to promote workplace engagement is to create opportunities for wellness pursuits whenever you can. Organise optional hikes on local trails over the weekend, arrange for talks on nutrition (who knows - you may have a health enthusiast on the payroll who’d be willing to share their knowledge free of charge!), and get your corporate medical aid provider to do annual assessments onsite. There are plenty of options when you start thinking in this vein.
4. Keep your finger on the pulse
One of the simplest ways to lay the groundwork for employee engagement is to give your workforce a voice beyond the input that they get to give, in a colour-by-numbers annual satisfaction survey. Keep the lines of communication open so you can address any simmering issues head-on before it becomes something major. Pulse surveys and regular manager check-ins are very useful in this regard.
READ MORE: Why pulse surveys are all the rage right now
5. Foster a strong sense of identity
If you want your employees feeling proud of where they work, you need to find ways to help them identify with your company values so they can see the big picture and get invested in the future of the business. Simple ways to do so are to offer friends and family discounts on your products and services, creating a line of affordable branded company wear (caps, Ts, lanyards, etc.) that can be given out as rewards, and sharing their successes and contributions on your social media.
6. Do some good in the world
The need out there is great, and volunteering your time and expertise as a team is a great way to build some much needed cohesion. Head out to a shelter to walk some dogs over the weekend, do a clean-up of a green space or beach near your office, help to build houses and schools and repair infrastructure in vulnerable communities - there are endless ways to get involved with local charities. You could even encourage your employees to mentor, teach, coach and support young people with school homework, sport and life skills.
7. Be transparent
Bring your employees into the loop where your business goals are concerned. When everyone is on the same page and has a good idea of where the company is headed, it's often easier for your team to understand certain controversial business decisions, etc.
8. Be liberal with recognition
Recognise your team’s efforts regularly and timeously. While a small, meaningful reward (e.g. lunch with the CEO, a gift card from their favourite coffee shop or book store, etc.) is a nice gesture, often all that is needed is a public acknowledgement that a team member has gone above and beyond the call of duty to live the company values.
These fool-proof, budget-friendly workplace engagement strategies can be implemented at just about any business. Try out one or two to start, and see what a big difference it makes in the morale and productivity of your valued workforce.
If you’re serious about finding a cost-effective way to streamline recognition and rewards at your company, we’d like to invite you to take a look at our employee engagement platform that's been tailored with the needs of a changing workforce in mind.
We're offering you a FREE trial so give it a go and see how a focused reward strategy can pave the way for truly epic workplace engagement. Simply click the button below to get started 👇