In the corporate learning and development world, engaging employees is all the rage. Employees who are engaged are defined as being dedicated, loyal and committed to the company they work for. They’re those who are always chiming in with new ideas, coming in early and staying late, and the ones working even when the day is over. The epitome of a perfect employee- right?
Some may say yes, while those who’ve seen this same employee leading a fast track to burnout would disagree. The perfect employee is engaged, but they are equally energized. Without energy, engagement puts your employees on a path to depletion.
You may be thinking, but how an employee stays energized has to do with their sleep and caffeine intake, not their work life. While sleep and energizing supplements play a big role in staying vibrant, there are many things an employer can do to promote an engaged and energized workforce.
Here are 7 tips to keeping your employees energized in the workplace:
1.) Provide an energizing company environment. This involves everything from a fully loaded break room, to an area with a comfy couch. Give your employees comfortable places to relax and digress throughout the day. Make sure you have coffee, tea, snacks and water available whenever they need it and allow them the time and space to enjoy a break without disruption. Think of it as a recharging station. If you don’t give them a quiet, relaxing space to recharge, they’re on the path to a burnout.
2.) Offer good perks and benefits. Working hard every day and into the evenings will be worth it when the employee has that vacation to look forward to. Think of providing good perks and benefits as imperative to retaining your employees’ skillsets. Take Dropbox for example. Not only do they offer free food options, game room hangout space and traditional benefits, but they even offer on site fitness classes. Read about their awesome company perks and benefits in this Forbes article. They need (and deserve) perks for their hard work. Your employees’ work should be mirrored by their opportunities to rest. If you give a little, they’ll give a LOT. Keep their hard work paired with great benefits and incentives to refuel them.
3.) Set realistic expectations. An eager new employee is trying to prove their worth after being hired and will never tell an employer “no.” So it’s up to the employer to ensure they’re setting realistic, practical and attainable goals for their employees. This helps the employee execute to the best of their abilities without getting overwhelmed and eventually, burnt out. In order to set realistic expectations, try articulating your needs to your employee and give them an opportunity to share their expected bandwidth. Open communication is a great way to level set with your team and to make sure expectations are being met. Try using a cooperatively developed timeline and sticking to it- this way your employees have enough wiggle room to have some creative freedom, but know exactly when their work is due.
4.) Schedule social time outside of work walls & hours. An easy way to excite and energize employees is to give them the opportunity to get to know each other outside of the office. Schedule happy hours or employee events that promote a relaxed vibe and give your employees the chance to make friends with the people they work with. Having friends as opposed to just coworkers on their side can make the workplace more relaxed and cooperative.
5.) Broadcast accomplishments. When employers publicly announce accomplishments, achievements and successes about their employees, this promotes employee confidence and recognition. They will be excited that their hard work is being recognized and will continue to perform at that level. This gives them an energizing boost that helps them continue striving to attract attention for their great work.
6.) Keep energy in mind when you’re hiring. You want your employees to be excited and energized even before you hire them, so make sure whoever you hire already is excitable and enthusiastic. It’s much easier to get a naturally energized person excited on a day to day basis, then someone who doesn’t seem enthused from the get go. Find energized and insatiable employees during the hiring process, that way your efforts to continue engagement will be more likely to succeed.
7.) Allow flexibility. Flexible employers are the most attractive to the best employees because life is chaotic. Having an employer that understands this is key to keep employees energized. Allow employees to stay connected when they are working remotely. More and more work is happening outside of the office and even outside of a desk. Allow your employees to connect on any mobile device, whenever and wherever works for them. This allows you to get more quality work from them, more consistently.
Keeping your employees excited, energized and engaged is easy to do with these seven tips. Being flexible, realistic and encouraging will set you up with the best employees who are there for the long run. Now get out there and energize your team!