Keeping employees engaged in the workplace is becoming a hot topic among business owners and employers. You want your employees to be enthusiastic about their work and motivated to start their workdays – whether in the office or remotely. It will mean that they are more productive and happy in their jobs.
Why employee engagement is so important
A good level of employee engagement is vital for every organisation in order to be successful. Among other things, it ensures a better quality of work, dedicated employees and a greater commitment to the company. In fact, according to research by Gallup, organisations with engaged employees experienced up to 59% lower employee turnover.
And that’s not all:
- Engaged employees are 21% more productive
- Increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year
- Engaged organisations have double the rate of success compared to less engaged organisations
If that doesn’t convince you of the importance of employee engagement, we don’t know what will. So, you need to do everything you can to improve employee engagement. A digital workspace can help you do this in several ways. Not just for remote and mobile employees, but for those in the office as well. Let’s get straight into them!
8 ways to improve employee engagement with a digital workspace:
- Emphasise your mission, vision and values
- Congratulate and recognise
- Improve communication and collaboration
- Empower employees to work smarter
- Measure and gather feedback for continuous improvement
- Focus on physical and mental health
- Schedule team activities
- Have some fun with it
1. Emphasise your mission, vision and values
In order to truly be engaged, employees need to feel connected to the company, why you do what you do and how you operate. Your company’s mission, vision and values should therefore be front of mind. They should guide how you treat your workers as much as they keep your organisation on track.
You can simply do this by first of all branding your digital workspace, and use it to constantly emphasise your organisation’s mission, vision and values. Not just by straight out telling them, but showing them as well.
Is your company for instance all about celebrating successes? Share these successes in a celebratory way, for instance through Announcements, Yammer or with the help of a video. Share cases that got you one step closer to achieving your mission, and valuable lessons learned along the way.
If you truly live by your company values, it keeps the company spirit alive, strengthens the organisational culture and improves engagement at a multitude of levels!
2. Congratulate and recognise
Few things motivate employees more than being recognised for their hard work – and rightly so. This being done in public can even be more valuable. Within your digital workspace, you can create a platform where rock stars can be praised for jobs well done.
The Announcement Centre is the ideal place to blow some horns. It has social benefits for internal communication and encourages remote employee engagement from colleagues via Likes and Comments.
News and social feeds get good news out quickly. No need to wait for monthly staff meetings to find out who clinched a great new deal or who just had triplets.
And don’t forget to use video! There’s nothing like face-to-face congratulations with a top performer to bring them joy (or completely embarrass them – in a good way).
3. Improve internal communication and collaboration
To feel engaged with the organisation, there needs to be engagement with the people in it. The most important functions of digital communication channels are soliciting employee engagement ideas, being connected to and engaged with colleagues, and collaborating across services and apps. Within Workspace 365, we have several ways to improve communication and collaboration:
- Document collaboration. Employees can directly work together on documents at the same time, wherever they are, simplifying collaboration.
- Team to-do lists. To-do lists are great for individuals, but you can take it further with joint to-do lists that foster engagement with team projects.
- Social intranet. The new intranet has merged IT with Communications to improve automation, online collaboration and engagement. By using social intranet elements and tools such as Yammer, you bring communication and engagement to the place people go to every day to work. It allows people to post messages to which colleagues can respond or communicate news, ask for advice or collect feedback via a poll.
4. Empower employees to work smarter
It’s hard to feel engaged with a company when working there is unnecessarily complicated or cumbersome. At some organisations, employees can take up to an hour a day logging in to and switching between systems.
In order to make your employees feel more engaged, you can make their work as easy and smart as possible.
Workspace 365 for example streamlines work by uniting everything people need in one personalised workspace, that adapts based om their role, location, device and more. This way, they only see what’s relevant to them.
With features such as Micro Apps that bring specific tasks to the workspace and the Activity Feed, which can be used to connect third-party apps, receive important notifications and perform tasks through for example Microsoft Power Automate or Zapier, processes are streamlined or automated and people get a smarter, more task-oriented way to work.
This reduces errors and speeds up productivity, which in turn enables a happier work-life.
5. Measure and gather feedback for continuous improvement
It’s safe to say that the ones who know best about the level of employee engagement, are the employees themselves – especially how engaged they feel individually, and why.
So make sure to ask people how they’re doing, if they are happy and what the company or management could do to make them feel more engaged. A powerful tool to do this in a company-wide survey would be Microsoft Forms, which you can integrate within the workspace.
For singular, more informal questions you could also use polls in Yammer. You could also use custom HTML to include short satisfaction surveys in your workspace.
Of course, it’s always advisable to make sure people have one-on-one moments as well to discuss how they’re doing.
It’s also important to keep measuring your results to see if you’re making progress, and to be able to quickly spot when employee engagement drops. Use the data you constantly collect and make it visual, to make sure you can keep monitoring it. Use it to improve engagement efforts, and you may even discover connections between different sets of data. You can do this with Power BI, of which you can integrate the most important graphs into your dashboard.
Ultimately, the fact that you are taking the time and effort to show that you care about your employees and engage with them yourself is already a great step towards a better employee engagement. It assures your team(s) that you are listening to them, which will boost their morale.
6. Focus on physical and mental health
You care about your employees and their wellbeing, so why not show it and do something about it? Because you should.
Employees are people – yes really
It’s good to realise that employees are people who exist outside of the work sphere – which may sound logical, but is often still neglected. Caring for your employees goes beyond making sure that everything purely work-related is alright, such as the right desk chair and healthy foods at lunch.
Now don’t worry, you don’t have to go digging into their personal lives. But there are things you can do to take a more holistic approach to stimulate both physical and mental wellbeing.
Incorporating wellbeing into the digital workspace
You may already be familiar with companies offering their employees gym memberships or special compensations to stimulate them going to work by bicycle instead of taking the car, but there are several ways you can do this in the digital workspace as well.
You could for instance integrate fitness or meditation videos you can switch up once in a while so people can follow along.
Integrate mindfulness playlists from Spotify or share upbeat workout playlists.
Challenge each other to take a little hike everyday and use the workspace to post and compare results.
Get really creative with this! The integration possibilities with for example Power Apps and web content are endless. And a great resource for new ideas: the collective brain! Crowdsource new ideas from your employees.
7. Schedule team activities
As said before, connecting to the people within the organisation is vital in order for people to feel engaged.
A great way to do this is by scheduling outings and (online) teambuilding activities. You can do this from the workspace as well!
You could already start with voting for what (type of) activity you should organise, or asking people for ideas. Integrate calendars and schedules or (send links to) software such as LouLou App to pick a date and time that suits everyone.
8. Have some fun with it
Finding ways for your employees to have fun as a team is a great way to improve their working relationships while strengthening engagement.
Apps used in team-building exercises, for instance, bridge the gap between the digital space and the physical world, bringing workers closer together.
Features that are mostly used for work, such as iFrames, the Activity Feed and even Power Apps, can also be put to good use for fun things. Think of ways to integrate music, fun videos, challenges, maybe even fun little games to compete with colleagues.
Engaged employees have a holistic view of the company, their purpose, and where they fit in. It drives performance and decision making. They are happy, productive and motivated, and that should be your key goal. The rest will follow.
This article was originally posted on Workspace365.