Enjoyable work, a good team, and flexible working – these are the three things that most engage UK workers. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet many of us still struggle to make work a rewarding experience for our staff.
We spend around 50 years of our lives at work, which, let's face it, is a long time if we're unhappy in our jobs!
And while many organizations may be catching on – almost half of UK businesses have workplace well-being initiatives in place – nearly a fifth (19%) of employees report they are mostly unhappy or even miserable in their job.
Is employee retention worth the effort? With the average cost of replacing a skilled worker typically 150% of their salary, and firms with engaged employees doubling their revenue, the answer is a resounding yes.
Increasingly, workers are placing greater value on things like wellbeing and working conditions, where flexible working, collaboration, career progression and a great team spirit are part of the company culture.
So how do we retain our best employees? Here are 10 culture hacks to help you engage your top employees:
In the UK, the highest ranked factor contributing to workplace happiness was ‘doing meaningful work’ and feeling connected to a purpose.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest we are motivated at work by things other than money and that, as long as we are relatively job-secure and earning a reasonable wage, the quality of working life is at least as important.
Just over a third of UK respondents said their company’s mission and vision strongly resonated with them – suggesting there is plenty of room for improvement.
Trust in businesses and leaders is on the slide. Barely a third of employees trust their senior leaders, and the proportion of people who think that British businesses behave ethically dropped by 10 percentage points since last year to 48 per cent.
Your employees are at their most engaged when they know where the company is headed, the plan to get there, and their share of the task. They need to see values that are lived and not just spoken, leading to a sense of trust and integrity.
Role ambiguity is often cited as a common cause of workplace stress. Without clear job expectations, your employees can waste effort due to a lack of priorities, waste time due to unnecessary work, and endure increased stress because of uncertainty.
It’s bad news for both employee engagement and business success! If you want to avoid staff burnout and engage employees you need to set clear expectations.
Teamwork is about creating connections throughout the organisation, across all levels. Close connections at work are extremely important for boosting employee engagement with research showing work friendships can increase our happiness by up to 50%.
Know your employees
We all like to feel valued for who we are rather than how much money we make. Employees are no different. In fact research shows 83% of engaged staff say “my supervisor cares about me as a person” compared to just 3% of disengaged workers.
It’s clear getting to know people is worth it!
One of the best ways to engage your employees is to show you value their opinion, by asking for their feedback. Gathering meaningful feedback on everything from training to the staff social helps ensure you understand your employees’ needs.
Remember to act on the feedback to maintain employee engagement. Taking action matters, with 70% of engaged staff saying they feel their feedback is acted on, compared with just 2% of disengaged staff.
A well-designed employee survey can capture feedback on leadership practices, fairness of pay, workplace relationships, team spirit and personal development opportunities.
Modern workers are motivated by purposeful work and career progression opportunities. In fact 65% of today’s employees cite career opportunities and training as their key motivators.
So, to engage employees, give them what they want – personalised training and development to suit their needs! Developing staff skills boosts the expertise, productivity and engagement levels within your organisation.
Connect employees with customers
Employees want to understand the impact their work is having, and the best way to achieve that is to keep employees and customers connected.
Flexible Work Hours
Bill Gates once predicted that as competition for talent gets tougher, “companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge.” And, he might be right.
According to recent research from the UK’s Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (Acas), flexible work arrangements can actually improve the effectiveness of both individuals and teams—with 91% of HR professionals reporting that employees were more engaged and satisfied.
On top of that, three-quarters of millennials say they would take a pay cut to work for a company that offered flexible hours.
Having the right mix of health and wellbeing employee benefits and perks can have a massive effect on engaging your employees, which can lead to greater staff retention and recruitment.
Engaging your employees doesn't have to cost a fortune. Mix up softer benefits and perks that appeal to the ‘here and now' with protection-based employee benefits that are designed to look after employees in the longer-term.