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How to use employee engagement as a motivation tool

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Are your employees are highly motivated and driven throughout the year or do they need a motivational boost? Does everyone buy-into your company mission statement; your vision and employer brand? Are they 100% loyal to the company? If the answer is no, then your employee engagement processes need some work.

Why is employee engagement of value?

  • Employee engagement can be used as a specific tool when HR has a specific need to motivate and enthuse staff.
  • To address a specific business challenge such as business change; if a company is going through a merger or acquisition or to address high levels of staff churn.
  • To ensure a company is developing its talent for the future.
  • To improve internal communications, strengthen employee brand and improve staff loyalty.

Firstly, plan: set down your goals for employee engagement, but firstly examine the challenges you face.

Communicate at all times: clear and honest communication is key to retaining engaged and motivated employees. Managers should provide regular feedback to employees every week, not just at appraisal time or at conferences or teambuilding events.

Use your staff as a sounding board

There's no point in putting in place an employee engagement programme if it does not meet the needs of your staff. So find out what makes them tick. You could try an anonymous survey asking them what motivates them; what teambuilding events they enjoy and what employee benefits matter most to them.

Teambuilding events - what are your objectives?

Be clear about your goals, a dedicated conference or event can work wonders in terms of engaging employees, solving specific business issues and boosting morale. But, these events can be expensive, so be clear about your objectives and make sure the format of the event will deliver your goals.

Make sure your format is fresh. Remember that some teambuilding events are considered tired and stale, so make sure you are offering your employee the chance the opportunity to learn something new at the event.

Learning new skills can enthuse and engage staff at all levels and it doesn’t need to be expensive. You could for example, take a team horse riding, gorge walking or abseiling – as long as they haven’t done it before, it will be new and exciting.

Sort out your logistics

If you're planning a large scale international event, then call in the experts to help you as event organisation and logistics can be time consuming and arduous.

Review employee feedback

It's critical that you ask your employees feedback about the event – you need to know if it worked and achieved the goals you set out. What are employee motivation levels like post event? Do people feel enthused about the business goals for the year ahead? Surveying your staff will help you determine how much more work is needed throughout the year.

Set up a rewards programme

Another way of engaging staff throughout the year is to implement a well planned rewards programme, which can be positive and profitable. However, do your research first and make sure the correct rewards are being offered – financial remuneration is not always the answer.

Financial planning of reward programmes

The financial planning of any reward programme is crucial to its success. It almost goes without saying that the incremental increase in profit created by the programme must outweigh the total reward cost (remembering to include calculations for any BIK tax implications).

Tell people how it works

The most criticised element of any incentive programme is the perception of it being ‘unfair’. In many cases this isn’t actually the case, but because the communication of the programme is not clear, and the calculation of the criteria is too complicated, employees do not understand and therefore assume the worst.

Employee engagement is ongoing

Lastly, remember, employee engagement isn’t about a one-off event or a rewards programme, it needs continuous work. Its success depends on business managers giving clear direction, leading by example and communicating honestly with their staff at all times. If an employee feels they are valued and included in the business plan, they will be engaged and motivated.

Measuring results

By expanding the horizons of employees they will be more open to learning new things.

  • You should expect a noticeable boost in employee motivation levels.
  • Internal communications will improve as everyone will feel more comfortable with each other having shared a new learning experience.
  • Staff may be keen to continue the process of learning and development during the year.
  • You should see a rise in productivity levels and experience a more positive working culture.
  • Employee churn may be reduced.

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