5 steps to creating a highly engaged workplace culture

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5 steps to creating a highly engaged workplace culture

A highly engaged workplace culture is what makes a successful business. This means that employees across the board have a strong sense of motivation, purpose and commitment to their jobs and employer. Beyond that, they are willing to go the extra mile and contribute to the business’ mission and goals long-term.

But, with 43% of employees likely to consider changing jobs this year, it’s clear that businesses need to work harder to build a workforce and culture that’s happy, motivated and engaged. Without making this a priority, this can result in low levels of productivity and employee retention, and it can impact your business’ bottom line.

If you’re looking to create a highly engaged work culture in your company, you’ll first need to understand the five steps necessary to succeed.

Step 1: Align Company & Employee Values

Having clear company values that set out your business’ expectations of employee behaviour is a critical part of building a strong and purposeful work culture. But, for your culture to be centred around employee engagement, you need to ensure these values align with your employees’ own beliefs. By doing this, your workforce will be more likely to invest in your business’ vision and feel engaged personally.

This is especially important for Gen Z employees, who will make up to 27% of workforces by 2025. According to research, only 19% of Gen Z would work for companies that don’t share their values. On top of that, 67% said that company values are more important than who the CEO is. So, while it’s important your company values reflect your business’ ethos – it’s also critical they resonate with your team.

Business leaders should take time to consider corporate values because of the impact they can have on not only employee engagement, but the recruitment of future employees. Whether you already have values in place or you’re in the process of deciding on them, why not roll out an employee survey to discover the values of your team? Aligning your company and employee values from the outset will put your company in a better position of creating a highly engaged workforce.

Step 2: Invest in your Employees

Your team’s needs, interests and values (as we’ve mentioned) are key to unlocking their potential and maintaining optimal levels of engagement. But actions speak louder than words which is why investing in your employees is essential. Allocating a proportion of your business’s yearly budget solely to the workforce will demonstrate to employees that the business values their needs and interests, naturally making them feel more positive and engaged at work.

On top of that, investing in your workforce sends a clear signal that your business prioritises its people, which is what having a highly engaged culture is all about. In fact, multiple research reports demonstrate that investing in employees pays off in terms of reducing turnover and increasing productivity. In addition, people-centric businesses are more appealing to job seekers because individuals will know that they’ll be valued and supported.

Whether this investment goes into learning and development opportunities, a compelling employee benefits package, a valuable rewards programme, or all of the above and more, your business putting its money where its mouth is in terms of supporting and rewarding employees will highlight that people are the priority and build a culture with engagement at its core.

Step 3: Recognise Accomplishments

To build a highly engaged culture, recognition needs to be an everyday part of life in your business. Not only should your employees be encouraged to recognise their colleagues actively, but your business should regularly acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of team members.

Far too often, employees feel devalued by their employer because their efforts to go above and beyond aren’t adequately recognised. So, by taking the time to acknowledge the actions and achievements of individuals, you’ll make your team feel valued and encourage future positive behaviour.

Recognition can be delivered publicly or privately – there are benefits to both methods. Through our smart recognition solution, team members can publicly thank their colleagues via an interactive social wall, which gives individuals wider recognition from the rest of the business. At the same time, users can send private recognition or download and deliver digital certificates that provide a more personal way of saying “thank you” and demonstrating appreciation.

 Step 4: Deliver Rewards

In the same sense as recognition, delivering regular rewards also boosts employees’ sense of worth in the workplace and is an effective way to build a highly engaged culture. Put simply, the more you reward your employees for their achievements and milestones, the more likely they’ll be to work towards other goals and feel engaged at work.

Rewards and motivation are linked, which is clearly defined by the incentive theory. This theory suggests that we are motivated to perform certain behaviours and actions directly from outside incentives. So, giving your employees the opportunity to receive rewards, whether that’s for Long Service, performance, or simply living your company values, will drive them to engage with certain behaviours.

A points-based reward system whereby employees can exchange their points for an item of their choice means that your rewards will always have personal significance to individuals. They could buy furniture for their home, an experience they’ve always wanted to try or a voucher for their favourite retailer, which gives them even more choice. But it’s important to make sure these rewards have meaning and value. Otherwise, your team simply won’t be motivated by them.

Step 5: Get Regular Employee Feedback

An engaged workforce and culture are built and sustained by facilitating ongoing communication between business leaders and employees. Giving employees valuable opportunities to share their views, challenge ideas and bring their expertise to the table gives them a bigger role in the future of the business, which will heighten an individual sense of value, purpose and engagement.

Employee Voice is one of the Four Enablers of employee engagement, according to Engage for Success. This means that a business actively invites their employees to participate in important discussions and welcomes employees’ ideas, views, and feedback. Creating this open, inclusive culture means that every employee has the power to initiate change in the business and this responsibility often translates into high levels of motivation, commitment and engagement.

So, to take that first step in prioritising Employee Voice, make sure your business regularly captures employees’ feedback. A monthly or quarterly feedback survey where employees can openly raise concerns, highlight key challenges and provide an honest review of the business will give you valuable insight on key areas to improve. You could even set up focus groups or nominate key spokespeople from across the business to deliver feedback on a regular basis.

Taking the first step is key.

Now that we’ve gone through the five ways to create a highly engaged workplace culture, it’s time to take that first step. With our spaces employee engagement platform, you can deliver your initiatives through one easy-to-access place. From a points-based rewards programme to employee feedback tools, we have a range of fantastic solutions that helps your business build a happy, motivated and engaged workforce.

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