One of the reasons why some companies are successful and have long-term working employees is because of the rewards offered on successful completion of the project or constantly motivating with perks. Some of the traditional employee engagement methods followed are - salary hike, outdoor picnic, in-house party, the rise in the position, etc. However, as times change, innovation becomes important. A company has to put importance on the different ways they engage their employees, and this is only possible when innovation is adopted. Innovation in employee engagement is a part of an organization's success mantra which cannot be denied.
MacLeod and Clarke in 2009 came with the case study named McLeod Report representing a clear indication of how high-levels of employee engagement are correlated with innovation. In fact, it also provided a clear report of how service companies boosted innovation and cultural-shifts by emphasizing more on employee engagement. The report concluded how the performance of employees increases with innovation.
Before we dwell into innovative employee engagement ideas, it is important that we learn what exactly employee engagement is all about:
David Macleod, author of The Extra Mile: How to Engage your People to win” defines employee engagement as "This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”. It is completely based on trust, two communication, and commitment between leaders and employees. This approach certainly helps companies to engage in business success.
- Employee engagement is a process of understanding the role of the respective employee and giving them the desired reward for the promising work in the given role.
- Employee engagement is about working with the team and is focused on work goals. Receiving and giving constructive feedback to develop new skills for the betterment.
- Employee engagement is about being positive in terms of attitude and thoughts towards the company's benefit.
- Employers cannot achieve employee engagement through a mechanistic approach which can be manipulated and works against the innovation. It is important that both employer and employee have a clear idea about the work and approach.
A shift in the Mind-set:
As times are changing, there is a shift in HR mindset and are adopting a more holistic approach with innovations. Innovation can be small or big, but this mindset shift is essential. Welcoming ideas from employees, giving them a chance to implement the process and allowing their voice to reach higher-authority are some partly used ways by companies. This helps employees to engage more for the growth of the company. According to one study presented by Krueger & Killham, it was found that more than 59% of employees engaged with the company are happy with their employer's strategies to bring out creativity from them.
What employees really look forward to?
Apart from receiving a timely salary, employees need recognition that will satisfy them, leading to better work. Work environment matters a lot for employees. In addition to this, too much work pressure, long hours of work and less appreciation certainly create a negative impression among employees towards the company. This is when innovation in employee engagement ideas comes into the role. The study presented by Quality of Working Life 2007 presents that workplace which follows innovative management has low sickness and absence rate.
Innovation in an organization plays a major role to bring more business and stage ahead in the crowd. Innovative organizations like Nike offers employees the freedom to perform or tray and fail. This gives them the challenge while working on the assignments. According to the report by Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in the work. Well, this certainly isn't a good sign for companies with a large employee ratio. One of the reasons for gaining more engagement in employees is the enthusiasm to work. This enthusiasm comes when innovation is adopted.
If you are looking forward to accomplishing company goals and want to keep your employees happy then here are some innovative employee engagement ideas that can help in developing a progressive organization:
- Defining Strategic Roles:
This is the very first and an effective way of getting innovative in employee engagement. Earlier, the HR department was solely responsible for the engagement, but time has changed and so is the process. Today, senior leaders and managers take up the responsibility to improve engagement and culture of the company. However, the question still remains. How will you make sure that employees contribute towards the engagement purpose? One way is by adopting- The Collective Engagement Approach. With this, leaders can hold every employee accountable for the engagement purpose.
- Offering Awards and Recognition:
Rewarding an employee with recognition is a part of the acknowledgment the company can offer. This, in fact, is the best way of increasing engagement and motivating employees for better performance. There are ways to reward employees, and one way is by using online programs. Xoxoday's rewards and recognition programs are designed to bring together diverse culture, thoughts, and departments. The 360-degree solution is offered in the form of-customised Xoxo voucher, enterprise portal and experience box. Employers can also choose from point-based engagement and reward. With Xoxoday rewards and recognition, you have complete control over your account; choose from the extensive choice of gift vouchers and special perks for employees.
- Implementing Feedback Routine:
Feedback from employees is as important as seeking feedback from a customer regarding service and product. This isn't only limited to employers, but employees perspective too. Employees need timely feedback about their work progress and where they stand. Organizations today move at a fast pace and employees need continues feedback. It is the duty of employers and top company leaders to get provide real-time feedback to their employees. There are three ways of working towards Feedback Routine:
- Give Feedback: While giving away the feedback make employees understand that feedbacks are important and it is just to help in growing better.
- Collecting Feedback: While collecting feedback, as a leader, you should make sure to improve further and serve best for your employees.
- Acting on the Feedback: As a manager or leader of the organization, it is important that you act towards the feedback given. If the employees suggest ideas, implement it for the betterment.
- Making Workplace Fun:
Employees tend to get bored with long work hours and non- engagement in other creative sessions. A monotonous workplace without any creativity involvement can lead to boring work life. This also takes a toll on their mind and may skip work on certain days. So taking up the step of having fun at the workplace is the best way to keep the enthusiasm high. Conduct Friday fun activity or take a break to have team lunch, or allow employees to take part in fun activities in the office. Many companies conduct fun activities once a week that can refresh the minds of employees and do something different than the monotonous work.
- Encouraging Experiment:
Experiment in the workplace always brings positive change. This experiment in an innovative way helps employees stay focused on the work they do. However, during this change, there is a chance of a mistake, and employees should be aware of it. In fact, they should find making mistakes comfortable and should be open to overcome the mistake. As a leader, you need to be positive that the employee will make the changes accordingly and be creative enough. Practicing transparency and setting up clear goals is the best way of encouraging experiment and being confident to tray innovation.
- Encouraging Knowledge Sharing in Creative Way:
Creativity and innovation are always applauded, and allowing employees to share their knowledge towards the workplace will certainly bring change. Create an open sharing space, where employees can come together to share their ideas and updates on the learning points. To make these meetings fun and actively open, you can add themes for sharing sessions. For instance, add Mafia Movies theme, where the team will decide to share updates like a mafia gang. This will encourage more and more people to be creative and provide updates in an interesting way.
- Promoting Wellbeing:
This innovative employee engagement idea is to not only promote wellbeing among employees but also promote a healthy lifestyle during work life. Employees work in different stressful environments which can literally turn them into robots. So they need a change, and by following the right wellness in the workplace, will certainly help to be innovative and increase engagement with leaders.
- Creating on-board fun:
For a new joiner, it can be quite a stressful situation to work in a new environment and among new people. So why not welcome them with the innovative method by adding introduction games or meet. This actually boosts their confidence and has a better engagement with people around. Different companies have different methods of on-boarding new joinee which is quite a change for existing employees.
Establishing Right Connection with Innovation:
Using collaborative innovation based on management platforms can help in harnessing the hidden talents of employees. To establish the right connection with innovation, below three steps can be helpful:
- Meaningful Challenges: Find out the challenges which people can identify and aligned well with the business.
- Capturing Different Profiles: Select people from different profiles and let them contribute to self-ideas. This will give a good chance for every employee to share ideas.
- Use of Gamification: Implementing game techniques are always a helpful and innovative way to develop more engagement.
No doubt, innovation is the biggest tool for employee engagement and taking time to understand what makes employees engage with an organization and the employer is a better leadership method. Learn from innovative organizations on how their employees work so creatively and dedicatedly for long years. It is not just about a month-end paycheck, but other prospects too, that can push the organization towards success.