Written by Sam Dow | 24th May 2022

This year we’ve learned that employees are no longer willing to stay with a company that they don’t feel supported by, and they are motivated by flexibility and company culture more than pay.

People are also reflecting on their work experiences during the pandemic and may be looking to move on to a company that will offer them what they want. So, managers have to do more to engage their people!

Here are some practical suggestions from our team:

Get to know the individual

Managers need to stop, think and reset. How can you engage employees who think in different ways?

Taking a one-size fits all approach to employee engagement can work, but is not always the most effective. What motivates us is different for everyone, and understanding what motivates and engages each individual is the first step..

According to a Harvard Business review article, the extent to which an employee is motivated might actually come down to their personality and the level of motivation they bring with them to the workplace (rather than how motivated their workplace makes them feel).

Insights Discovery is a personality profiling tool that can help with this. We all have a combination of four colour energies – fiery red, cool blue, sunshine yellow and earth green – but we each have a natural preference for some which influences our motivation and behaviours. Your combination of those creates a unique “you”. This can help you understand yourself and your teams so that you can develop stronger, more respectful, productive and positive relationships, which will improve engagement in the long run.

Create wellbeing champions

If mental health and wellbeing are left unchecked, this can quickly lead to disengagement with an employee’s job role and the company as whole. Wellness needs to be a core aspect of your working culture to help drive engagement and wellbeing champions can support this.

In a survey of 84 Top Employers in the UK, 80% consistently have a wellbeing champion, which is someone responsible for driving wellbeing initiatives and supporting employees.

Wellbeing champions can take the pressure off you as a manager by identifying problems or areas where workplace wellbeing could be improved and feeding this back. They can also manage activities to improve wellbeing, such as team building events, or walking lunch breaks.

From an employee perspective too, wellbeing champions can prove to be a valuable source of support and encouragement, particularly for those who are disengaged with wellbeing initiatives or find it hard to confide in management. These people may not want to seek support from their line manager and feel more confident speaking to their peer.

Improve employee experience

It’s not always about the salary and job perks that keep people in a company, it’s their daily experience of working in an inclusive and supportive workplace.

People have gone through all sorts of change over the last two years and never has it been more relevant to increase communication with your employees and sense of belonging.

As a line manager listening to what your staff say about you and your organisation is so important. Use your regular catch ups, 1:1’s and speak to your team in a monthly meeting to get a better idea of how they feel about you as a line manager.  Employee focus groups or pulse surveys as well as the traditional engagement survey can be effective at getting this feedback.

Likewise, giving staff the opportunity to discuss ideas for improvements in the workplace can help them feel more involved in the business. If there is a situation that goes unnoticed or unaddressed by management, it sends a bad message to your staff and will affect engagement and motivation.

Show more appreciation

If an employee is feeling underappreciated, they may seem suddenly withdrawn, no longer enthusiastic about projects or they come to work and do the bare minimum. Reflect on how you have recognised and praised your team’s efforts during the pandemic – you may have increases this during the work from home period, but now it’s vital that you keep it going.

An absence of appreciation can be a recipe for staff turnover. As a manager, you need to build a culture of recognition, both formal and informal. A lot of people will just want reassurance they are doing a good job and others may want further praise and rewards.

Provide more learning opportunities

Many employees say opportunities to grow is a reason to stay at their job or go after another. To improve this, you want to give them time and resources to learn in areas that will expand their careers. The first step is to speak to employees and find out where they want to go, then choose training or coaching that will help them get there.

Lead by example

Effective leadership inspires employee engagement. According to an Impulse survey of 30,000 UK employees, employee engagement levels fluctuate based on that of their leaders. On average, employee engagement is 23% lower compared than leadership team engagement.

This is because more than half of employees (54%) don’t believe their organisation will take action as a result of them doing an employee engagement survey. If employees don’t trust their leaders to listen to them, they are less likely to believe positive change will come from an engagement survey.

As a manager, showing enthusiasm for work yourself, and taking the time to listen to employees, plan and follow up on areas they want to improve or develop in will go a long way towards improving engagement.

Our team can develop a tailored plan to assess your current levels of employee engagement and identify the key drivers that will motivate your people. For more information about our bespoke employee engagement programme please contact us at [email protected].