25 Tips on Increasing Staff Involvement
It is not a secret that the modern job market is oversaturated. Employees quickly get tired of working in one and the same place and start looking for the new one. That is why many top-managers and HR-specialists puzzle over the ways to increase the staff involvement.
We have collected 25 tips that can increase the staff involvement. Here they are.
Think through the mission of the company.
The term “mission” is becoming more and more popular among modern companies. Surely, in most cases, it is aimed at the clients of the company - both the present and the potential ones. However, it is no less important that the mission is understood by the staff too.
Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: not only the salary and the privileges are important for the employees, they want to know that they work for a good reason. For example, while making an annual efficiency assessment, pay attention not only to the employee’s achievement. Tell how his or her work has helped the company.
Formulating the company’s mission, do not hesitate to involve the staff in the process, for example, have a big brainstorm (see below).
Clarify the goals and the responsibility of every employee
Every employee has goals and the area of responsibility. When a person doesn’t fully understand the role he or she plays in the company, his or her involvement decreases.
It is not always the poor management (though often it is the case). Sometimes certain problems are neglected in the daily workflow and one has to correct the consequences of the mistake instead of addressing the root cause.
When you start a new project or delegate a task to an employee, it is very important to discuss the slightest details. Spend time to answer to all of her or his questions - it will save you a lot of troubles in the future.
Take care of the health
Physical and psychological health is important for everyone. Sometimes it is easy to miss morning exercises or forget about a healthy diet because of stress or pressing matters. Such is the rush life in the modern world.
Some companies offer their employees gym memberships or paying for a masseur’s services - it helps to relieve stress and focus on the work better. And sometimes it is enough to fill the fridge with healthy food.
Any step towards a healthy lifestyle increases the staff involvement.
Offer employees a flexible work schedule
Few people like duties. Good managers aim at the result, not at the number of hours the employee has spent in the office.
There are many ways to give the staff more freedom. Allow them to work at home, do not set the strict time for the beginning and the end of the workday. It is also possible to allow an employee an extra day off - on terms that he or she finishes the work on time.
If an employee understands that he or she is trusted to manage his or her schedule, he or she feels respect and trust of the management and it helps to increase the staff involvement.
Still on the subject of trust: the staff want that the management doesn't conceal anything from them. The management and the HR department often neglect it which causes the decrease in staff involvement.
Share insider information with the staff, do not hesitate to invite them to important meetings. For example, ask your colleagues to come to the meeting with the management where you will discuss matters that will affect the future of the company.
You can add a notice “At your discretion” to the invitation. Not all employees will come, but your trust will not go unnoticed.
Celebrate personal achievements
When an employee accomplishes a monthly or quarterly plan, let it be the victory for the whole department - or even the whole company. Tell colleagues about the employee’s achievement and have a small celebration.
Praise your subordinates more often
Approving of the colleagues’ good work is the duty of not only managers or the heads of departments. If you know that someone has done an excellent job, don’t hesitate to come and congratulate the employee personally.
At the same time, it is important not to go too far: praising the staff too often can spoil them. So be attentive and watch their progress. Regardless of the kind of praise - be it a higher salary or a simple “thank you” - be sure to emphasize why the employee has earned it.
Brighten up the office
Very often the staff feels the lack of involvement when they get sick and tired of the dull grey office. So try to create a unique and comfortable environment for them.
Today open-plan offices gain more and more popularity. Try to go further: add plants, create a rest area. Some offices even have gaming machines - why won’t you take them as examples?
Decorating the office, be sure to discuss it with your colleagues - each one’s personal contribution will create a homely atmosphere at work. You can also gather a team of employees who are good at interior design.
Let the staff decide on the dress code
The dress code has a strong influence on the staff’s attitude to work. The question “How should one dress for work?” has been on the mind of many top-managers for decades. How to keep the balance between comfort and professionalism?
The best decision is to allow the staff decide on the dress code on their own. In the end, if you are sure in their skills, no doubt, they will perform their work on their best no matter how they are dressed.
Don’t forget about entertainment
Entertainment and work seem to be incompatible. Many people separate them like they separate their work from the private life. Well, they shouldn’t! There are many ways to combine business and pleasure.
Friday is a perfect excuse to shorten the working day and take up something pleasant. Sport, bowling, paintball or a simple walk - all these can help to unite the employees and give colleagues from different departments an opportunity to communicate.
The benefits of feedback for increasing the staff involvement have been discussed a lot. Turn down the “open door” policy, show initiative and ask the colleagues to share their ideas and worries anonymously.
Conduct a small survey of the staff. For example, ask the following questions:
- How do you feel? What is the spirit of the team?
- Is it possible to improve the team’s or the company’s work? If so, how?
- Are you satisfied with your career perspectives?
- How do you assess your relations with the manager?
- Are you satisfied with your salary?
Be sure to let your staff know that you have heard them. Some ideas and recommendations can be hard to fulfill at once, so break the work into several stages and keep the colleagues informed.
Get to know your colleagues
It is important for the head to know not only professional skills of the staff, but also take care of their interests. So you can make a contact with them and increase involvement.
It is not just about hobbies. Sometimes when an employee cannot focus on work, professionalism might not be the reason. For example, they are upset that they couldn’t visit their daughter’s matinee because of the inconvenient working schedule. (see paragraph 4).
Create the air of enthusiasm and positive energy
Monday is a hard day, so charge the staff with positive energy in the very morning. Gather a morning meeting or send an email with a motivating quote to everyone.
Periodically (for example, once a month or a quarter), invite motivation speakers to the company. They will help employees to realize how important their role is in the company, inspire them and set them for productivity.
A useful advice: the lecture should not necessarily be connected with the work of the company. Take the employees’ interests into consideration: someone may be interested in listening to a professional musician, a sportsman or a writer.
Arrange continuous training
The word combination “training of the staff” is usually associated with the probation period or the first months at work. But this is not so: according to the research conducted by Deloitte, the staff involvement rate is 25% higher in the companies that offer continuous training.
Some employees search for training opportunities on their own, but the majority prefers the initiative to come from the top managers. Arrange regular meetings where you can discuss what courses would be useful to take for the staff to work more efficiently.
Establish communication inside the company
Ask managers to organize weekly meetings with the staff. The goal is to discuss the workflow, what resources are needed and what ideas they have got.
You will see that not only managers but also the staff will look forward to these meetings because they not only allow to work more efficiently but also improve the company on the whole.
Forbid the staff to use the corporate messenger once a month. If they have a question, they will have to come up and ask it in person. A personal talk is a priceless way to increase involvement. Remember that.
Introduce newcomers to all the staff
In many companies, new employees are introduced to only colleagues and managers of their department.This is a wrong approach: newcomers need to get acquainted and build relations with all the colleagues.
When you hire a new employee, make a tour around the office for him or her. You can arrange a small party, so the new employee has a chance to get acquainted with the new colleagues in an informal setting.
Do not complicate the transfer from a department to a department
Sometimes the employees, especially novices, cannot decide at once, in what direction they should advance their career. If someone wishes to change his or her area of activity, do not complicate this. Otherwise, it will be easier for the employee to change the company than the department.
Sometimes it is worth to show the initiative
Make a list of vacant posts and offer the employees to take them for a couple of days or exchange their roles - these often helps to increase the staff involvement.
Finally, a similar approach can be employed for single tasks. Discuss with a certain employee, what tasks he or she dislikes. Offer his or her colleagues to take this responsibility - for example, boring statistics for a person from the humanities can be a paradise for a tech-minded specialist.
Celebrate holidays and achievements
Obviously, every employee should be congratulated on their birthdays and other important dates: the birth of a baby, the wedding, the anniversary of working in the company and so on. Don’t hesitate to ask the founder of the company to sign the greeting card - this would be a pleasant gesture for any employee.
Don’t forget about professional achievements. Every time when an employee fulfills an important task, congratulate him or her and tell his or her colleagues about it - in person or by email.
Stimulate the staff not only with money
Certainly, few would refuse the wages rise. But not every problem can be solved with the help of money, sometimes alternative ways are much better.
When an employee is doing a good job, you can reward him or her with:
- An additional vacation
- Tickets to concerts or sport matches
- Gift certificates
- Useful books
Don’t hesitate to include a small card in the reward.
Make a development plan
The individual development plan will set career goals which will define the direction of development, provide the necessary motivation and help to increase the staff involvement.
Arrange a dinner together
The key to not only a man’s but also every employee’s heart is through their stomach. From time to time, you can go out for the dinner together with the whole company or order food delivery to the office or arrange going out together for ice cream in the hot summer time.
You can go further and appoint the day of the week when one employee should bring tasty things for the colleagues in the office. Also, suggest bringing exotic food from vacations or business trips.
Start an email distribution for the staff
Corporate distribution is a common tradition in many companies. However, it is usually the duty of the top management or HR department.
Try to entrust volunteers with this task or involve every employee in turn. Tell about the company’s achievements. The phrase “The clients are satisfied, keep up the good work” is not enough. Share numbers and point out the most successful employees.
Arrange an open brainstorm
The meeting doesn’t necessarily need to have a purpose. Arrange a meeting without an agenda and an expected result to increase the staff involvement.
Listen to the employees’ ideas, discuss problems and think about the solution together. Suggest the area of business which you would like to improve to set the direction.
Set a rule: new ideas must not be criticised during the brainstorm otherwise there is the risk that the colleagues won’t wish to share them.
Offer money to those who want to quit
Many have probably heard of the policy of the Zappos company. New employees are offered to leave the company after a week in exchange for a bonus of $1000.
In fact, the seemingly crazy decision allows filtering out the employees who do not share the company’s views. The truly motivated person will never take the money if he or she really likes the job.
By the way, every tenth new employee of the Zappos call-center accepts the offer.
Make the employees shareholders
In the Brazilian business conglomerate Grupo Semco the employees decide on their wages and working time on their own because all of them are shareholders of the company. The post of the Director General passes to one of the six top managers every six months.
Give the employees an opportunity to see themselves as a part of a larger whole.
Many companies use such a strategy to increase the staff involvement and reduce the turnover rates.