Oh my gosh, another article about employee engagement! You must be so excited right now!!!!
Or you’re not. After all, there are only 12 billion of these things floating around the Internet, so why bother reading this one? Don’t you know everything there is to know?
The answer to that is probably yes. You know that employee engagement is hugely important in terms of improving innovation and overall productivity, you’ve probably heard that most of us are not especially engaged at work, and a monkey could infer from those two facts that you should do things to make people more engaged than they currently are. I’m guessing you’ve come across several different ideas about what things you should do.
But I’m guessing you haven’t seen any of these suggestions:
Force People To Take a Day Off
Or better yet, have them come to work so they can get paid, but have everyone else pretend that they’re not there. If you structure this correctly, people will feel as though they can’t quite do their jobs as efficiently without so-and-so’s help – which is exactly the point. If you can show your employees how indispensable they are, rather than simply telling it to them from time to time, you’ll build a solid foundation of self-worth the value of which can hardly be overestimated.
Take a Field Trip
Seriously, drop everything and go to where your customers are using whatever product or service you’re selling to them. If that’s impossible, then consider bringing some of your customers into the office so that everyone (not just your front-line people) can meet them. Especially in jobs where the work itself is intangible, being able to physically see the people whose lives you’re impacting can be a powerful motivator.
Switch Places For a Day
That’s right. Let one of your employees sit in your office and give orders for 8 hours. Or have one of your engineers do data entry while a claims representative analyzes your supply chain. You’re probably cringing at the amount of chaos this might cause, which is why you’d never do it for an entire day – but even giving people an hour-long window into the duties and responsibilities of their peers might help them develop a level of respect for their colleagues they couldn’t otherwise get.
At its core, employee engagement is the result of three things – letting people know that you respect them; showing them how valuable the work they do actually is; and giving them the latitude to accomplish that work in whatever way works best for them. There are a million ways to check those three boxes. So instead of thinking of this as a chore, have some fun with it!
Or treat it like a chore and be bored until you retire. Whichever sounds better to you.