Healthy employee engagement is good for any business, as committed, dedicated employees are more likely to help the organization achieve its goals. In fact, a study by Gallup found that business units with high employee engagement are 21 percent more productive than those with low engagement. However, many organizations struggle to attain their desired level of employee engagement. Though engagement among employees has made some incremental gains, only 34 percent of U.S. employees are engaged and committed to their work.
It’s certainly worthwhile to pursue some of the more common roads to improved employee engagement—recognition, training, and constructive feedback, to name a few. However, here are four rather unusual ways to boost employee engagement:
Considering the sheer number of hours most people spend with their coworkers in a given day, it makes sense that positive work relationships can help deepen employee engagement. In a 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) employee engagement study, relationships with coworkers and immediate supervisors were identified as two top drivers of employee engagement. In addition to lunch-and-learns, off-site gatherings, and virtual brainstorming sessions that help employees develop relationships and make deeper connections with their coworkers, a live org chart can help employees get to know one another and understand the organization better. A live org chart with dynamic employee profiles and gamified features such as a Who’s Who game can help facilitate conversation and camaraderie at the same time that it helps people learn more useful information about one another, such as a favorite sports team, where they went to college, or a special skill that makes them unique.
In this digital age, there’s no shortage of technology that can reshape work tasks and help people be more efficient in the workplace. In addition to helping employees become more productive, digital tools can also help boost employee engagement. For example, internal social media can help employees feel included, informed, and like part of their team. Collaboration tools such as Slack can provide a way for team members to get involved in key project planning and team decisions, no matter their location. In addition, a live org chart that integrates with platforms such as Google apps, human resource information systems (HRIS), and a native mobile app allows individuals to take resources and information they need about the organization wherever they go.
Most people have a hard time being engaged at work if they feel left in the dark or lack the ability to exercise some autonomy when it comes to how they perform their work. In one study, 70 percent of 600 employees surveyed ranked being empowered as an important element of their engagement. To help boost employee engagement, it makes sense to put more information about the organization in employees’ hands, taking the mystery out of who is responsible for what and how all the various teams fit together. Some of the key ways to provide employees with the necessary information that will increase their autonomy and engagement include:
Linking the org chart to the company intranet so people know where they can go to get information and see announcements about new hires and other staffing changes
Using a live org chart that integrates with their email, calendar, and contacts so that people don’t have to look in multiple places to find and connect with team members
Involving key leaders in workforce planning discussions and decisions that will ultimately affect their team
One of the most effective ways to drive strong employee engagement is by ensuring a positive onboarding experience for new hires. Newly hired employees can jump-start their understanding of their team and other teams if they have immediate access to the company’s live org chart and its searchable employee directory. In their early days as a new employee, individuals can see how teams align with broader organizational goals and can also get familiar with coworkers by viewing their employee profiles. In addition, new hires can share more about themselves with others by populating their own profile with personal facts such as where they went to school, their favorite movie, or any languages they know.
There’s no magic bullet for boosting employee engagement. However, a combination of strategies will help drive employee commitment and enthusiasm throughout the company. Trying some of these unusual activities to address employee engagement concerns may be just what you need to help keep employees informed, empowered, and connected with one another and the organization.