Even with so many of us working from home, your employees are the backbone of any successful business. When staff enjoys their job, they work better and also take less time off of work. On the other hand, if employee engagement is low, the negative effects can be seen in every facet of your business. Keeping engagement and morale high takes leadership, friendship, and most importantly, trust from your employees.
Share Your Mission
Most people are usually more willing to give it their all when they know the reasons why behind their efforts. Share your vision about where you want your business to go and what your goals are. Even though you're the boss, your employees should know what your core values are and how they can help. Outline your core values and goals and provide appropriate training to help them reach them. You should also lead by example. Asking employees to strive to meet your expectations but not doing so yourself will create a hostile work environment. Without a positive company culture, your business can't thrive.
Offer Constructive Feedback
No one is perfect, so if your employees need a little guidance, offer it in a kind way. There's a big difference between offering constructive criticism and attacking someone's character. If your employees surpassed your expectations, let them know how much you appreciate them. If they fell short, then tell them why and offer ways that you think they can improve. Feedback will help both your business and employees grow.
Invest in Management
As a business owner, you may already have management in place. These are the first line of defense your employees go to for guidance. Make sure your management team is engaging, helpful, and also believes in your mission. How management treats your employees does affect job performance. When employees feel disrespected or disregarded by management, job performance suffers.
Employee Education and Training
In order to build a strong work culture, educating and training your employees is key. Without the proper training, employees will be running around in the dark. Obviously, this would make it difficult to promote genuine engagement. As their employer, it's your responsibility to show your employees the ropes and help them develop their skills further.
If you plan on promoting one of your employees to a higher position, they’re going to need more extensive education. This means they may have to go back to college in order to meet the job requirements. Your employees may also be working to pay off their pre-existing student debt. However, if you offer tuition reimbursement as part of your benefits package, you can help your employees pay for their education.
Here's how tuition reimbursement works. The employee pays the necessary amount for their tuition. Then, once they've completed the course and acquired the credits, you pay them back either a fraction of the entire amount they paid. You can also encourage them to take out a student loan from a private lender, so they can pay for education with ease. Private lenders tend to offer lower interest rates than credit bureau or bank would. In addition, your employee can also consolidate their previous debt into the new one, which makes it less of a hassle to pay back.
Recognize and Reward Hard Work
Promoting employee engagement doesn't have to be a long-winded process. Sometimes, all it takes is a little recognition on your behalf. Rewarding high-quality work performances are sure to keep your employees happy and feel fulfilled in their job. You can consider giving them a slight bonus to their paychecks or give them a gift card of their choice.