The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

Three Ways to Keep Employees Engaged

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Stephanie Davis

At this point, you have learned what employee engagement is, how money may or may not affect engagement, and now you’re ready to learn how to keep employees at your small business engaged. Perhaps you have the money to give everybody raises, but if you don’t, there are plenty of ways that you can still keep employees engaged in the work they are doing. 

Talk About Growth  

As we have discussed in the previous parts, engagement isn’t solely based on salary. When an employee has been doing the same job for years, with changes far and few between, it’s natural that they will reach a little burnout and stop being as engaged in the work they are doing. They know what to expect each day, and while they may not mind the work they are doing, it may not be exciting enough to keep them engaged. Talk to your employees and see what else they would want to work on. Maybe they are looking to expand their knowledge of accounting and could help you manage your books, or perhaps they have great marketing ideas to better reach your customers. Perhaps they want to become more of a leader and could benefit from managing an intern. By understanding what else your employees want to do, you can make that happen before they go looking for it somewhere else.

Strengthen Team Bonds

Work hard, play hard. Teamwork makes the dream work. Quotes about workplace teamwork are endless, because it’s an important part of a work environment. Think about how much better projects flow when everybody is working together, and genuinely seems to get along. Now we aren’t saying everybody needs to be best friends and do all activities together, but it’s nice to find a nice balance with your team and do activities that don’t focus on work all the time. Perhaps you have a monthly happy hour, pick a day a quarter to volunteer together, or just even spend an hour a week all sitting down for lunch. However you want to build those team bonds that fits your employees and small business structure, do it. When employees can get along and work well with each other, they will likely feel more engaged because they are surrounded by a strong support system.

But Don’t Forget About the Individuals

It’s great to be fostering a workplace that is team focused and has everybody working well together. However, similar to our first point, don’t forget about the individual talents that make up your team. Give one-on-one feedback to employees and sit down with them to check in on how they are feeling and what they are thinking. By having these regular touch points, you can easily fix something before it gets too broken. It can be easier to spot engagement issues with these frequent meetings and therefore, easier to find a quick solution before the employee leaves. Employees want to feel valued, and you meeting frequently, truly listening each time, shows your employees that you care and want to help them succeed.

Bottom Line

Employee engagement is not something that has a universal fix. Each situation is unique because of the company and the employee. While offering big raises to every disengaged employee may work at one company, spending more time on personal growth may work better in another, and what makes one employee more engaged, may not do that for another, even if they are at the same company. At the end of the day, you want employees that you can count on to get strong work done for your business. At the same time, your employees likely want to be helping you and produce strong work, but they may just not always know how or are looking for other resources. Bottom line – by keeping open lines of communication between you and your employees, you can fix employee disengagement before it even begins