Work, regardless of industry, is often repetitive. It’s just the nature of the beast. And performing repetitive tasks for months or even years at a time can wear people down and keep them from doing their best work.
If you’re a manager or supervisor, you may have noticed your staff becoming bogged down by repetition.
There are also often many different external factors at play. Each employee has their own personal life, along with a host of personal problems and reasons to store stress over time.
As a boss, it’s not really your job to try to prevent every potential cause of stress and mundane activity. These things also just can’t be avoided for a number of reasons.
Instead, you may want to focus on different employee engagement ideas that work, that will motivate your workforce and improve morale overall.
We’ve listed a few such ideas below for you to consider trying with your staff.
Having one-on-one conversations with your employees is a simple and effective method for learning more about their strengths, their weaknesses, and their needs.
Hopefully, your office already requires occasional performance reviews in which you can sit down with each employee and discuss their own work performance in detail.
But you shouldn’t let performance reviews and required meetings like these to be the only time that you speak with each of your employees. Just the opposite, in fact.
No, you don’t have to become best friends with each person and pry into their personal life. Such efforts will probably be seen as disingenuine or even invasive.
Instead, just be friendly with your employees. Ask some basic questions about their hobbies, their families, etc.
And in turn, be ready to share some details from your own life as well.
These basic instances of small talk will help encourage more comfortable interactions in the future, always within the realm of professional conversation.
Open Up for Input
A successful office is one that communicates effectively. Certain groups of people are more willing to offer ideas than others.
It could be that your office has fallen relatively silent when it comes to brainstorming. This could be due to the fact that your company hasn’t made it clear to employees that they would appreciate ideas and contributions from staff members.
After all, why say anything if no one is listening?
Even if there’s a system in place by which employees can submit ideas for consideration to a head or corporate office, you should still encourage your staff to submit ideas to you, either in meetings or one-on-one.
Once employees know that the lines of communication are open, they will immediately be more inspired and likely to submit ideas in the future.
This is just another simple way to encourage employee engagement in the workplace.
Create Work Social Events
Social events sanctioned by the workplace are a great way to signal to your employees that you want them to engage with the company and with their fellow co-workers.
Depending on your location and the specifics of your staff, there are many different types of social events you can offer to your employees.
We’ve provided just a few sample ideas below to get the creative juices flowing.
You may also want to check out our article on how to have fun at work while staying productive.
Many companies have processes by which specific branches can choose a local charity and contribute to that charity either through a fundraiser or multiple volunteering opportunities.
Deep down, everyone wants to help those in need. Volunteering as a workplace team offers the perfect opportunity to do just that while also getting to know everyone better.
Hopefully, your office already holds holiday or birthday parties a few times a year.
If not, then this is your chance to give your employees something to look forward to as well as a brief break from normal workdays.
Try to always theme the parties to national holidays that everyone is happy to celebrate. Employees can bring in food, soft drinks, and even board or card games to enjoy during an afternoon office party.
Depending on company guidelines, you may be able to organize some casual get-togethers for your office staff.
If you have a nice backyard, offer to host a big summer barbecue event where employees can come out for a nice dinner and plenty of fun music.
Maybe you’d even like to start a weekly or monthly get-together where everyone can play cards or video games together. You can even turn it into an ongoing competition if you want.
Another way to break employees out of their routines and encourage office engagement is to expand their perspective on the workplace by cross-training.
Cross-training is the method of educating employees on a few different company roles, rather than leaving them to the same departments and areas of work all the time.
And while it won’t be practical to train a salesman to be an accountant, sharing specific, small aspects of other jobs around the office can be a great way to increase workplace empathy and perspective.
Assign Specific Employees to Business Trips
If you’ve noticed that a few employees have been lagging in their work lately, despite their inherent skill and talent, then you may want to assign these employees to a business trip or local conference.
It may seem like a simple solution, but a business trip can be a great chance for an employee to step out of their routine temporarily and perform different tasks in a new environment.
Try to assign employees who don’t tend to work together very often. The trip will give them a chance to get to know each other better, and they may even become friends.
Most importantly, remember to make a genuine effort when it comes to improving employee engagement in the workplace.
You do have to feel an appreciation for your staff and how difficult it can be to perform at high levels consistently and with enthusiasm.
Down the line, they’ll thank you for your interest in the wellbeing of the office and its standing within the company.