Employee engagement is an important facet of building business success that should not be overlooked. Besides creating a more welcoming environment in the workplace, better engagement among employees can lead to higher retention rates and heightened team productivity. Conversely, having disengaged employees can lead to absenteeism, low quality of work, and decreased productivity. As of 2022, a Perkbox study estimated that employee disengagement costs the UK about £340 billion annually.
Unfortunately, a significant number of employees lack proper engagement. As a matter of fact, 90% of the workforce in the UK feel disengaged from work and have expressed rising levels of stress in regards to their employment conditions. This only highlights the importance of setting up adequate initiatives to improve employee engagement, and here we have compiled a few ways to help you get started.
Introduce the buddy system during onboarding
Onboarding essentially sets the tone for your employees from the first day of working in your company or business. Not only does it provide vital information about expectations in the workplace, but it also informs them of your workplace culture and immerses them in the core values your company believes in. This ensures that new hires are a great fit and can adjust accordingly to their new environment.
With this, your company can try doing buddy programmes that pair new employees with seasoned ones who can act as a guide and address any questions. An added bonus of this is that new employees can more easily make friends. Studies have shown that workplace friendships are a huge engagement factor. As per a recent Gallup survey, having workplace friends boosts productivity while also preventing burnout. Apart from this, you can show your employees that you value their own goals throughout their tenure by crafting a professional road map with them. Through this, you can plot expectations and milestones that measure progress and keep them motivated in their career with your company.
Offer blue light protection
Exposure to blue light from phone or computer screens actually has some influence over employee engagement. Research on artificial blue light safety shows that gadgets today emit blue light that can disrupt sleep patterns and the body’s circadian rhythm. This can lead to poor sleep quality, which can affect employees’ productivity and emotional mood, leading to poor workplace interactions and decreased work quality.
With this, it’s important to have interventions that can combat these effects. This is where blue light glasses come in, as they have lenses that act as a protective shield. Blue light lenses block harsh light waves from devices and reduce eye strain, which can lead to better sleep. Additionally, they bring visual comfort to any wearer, especially those who have to look at a screen for long periods of time. As such, you should not only educate your employees on blue light safety, but you can also provide them with the means to get protective eyewear. Some eyewear providers can offer bulk prices for large orders that you can take advantage of. Alternatively, you can provide a budget to reimburse employees when they purchase blue light glasses so that they can feel encouraged to get fitted for a pair.
Provide ergonomic office accessories
Supporting employees’ holistic well-being is important for any company since they can feel more valued at work and have more reasons to stay. Companies usually achieve this by extending healthcare benefits to include employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and other initiatives to cover both physical and mental aspects of health. This ensures that employees are not hindered by illness and other discomforts that can lead to absences.
However, another way employees can sustain their well-being while in the workplace is by using ergonomic office accessories. Your company can provide accessories like adjustable tables, keyboards that reduce carpal tunnel syndrome, pivotal screen monitors, and chair arms with 180-degree adjustments for employees. These products are designed to reduce back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders for people who spend long hours sitting down at a table for work. Additionally, having ergonomic accessories can make employees feel more comfortable while working, which can boost their long-term engagement and productivity.
Develop financial incentives
When employees feel that they are doing a good job, their productivity can increase, and they’ll be more motivated to keep up the good momentum at work. In our previous post detailing tips to improve workforce productivity, giving incentives is highlighted as a way to properly recognise employee efforts. Having incentives reaffirms the purpose of an employee and can help them stay engaged with their work in the long run.
The kind of incentives to give employees will depend on the nature of your company, but some common ones include handing out retention bonuses, providing learning stipends to upskill their abilities, and reimbursement for fitness programmes and wellness initiatives. Not only can employees work to improve their skills and overall health, but incentives can boost their morale and motivation for work.