A 2015 study shows that the lack of available candidates is a key factor in failing to fill job vacancies. It is more important than ever to motivate and retain existing trained and experienced employees. It goes beyond human resources and needs to be a companywide commitment.
As COO of a Los Angeles distributor, you need to implement procedures and policies that will empower your employees and encourage them to be a part of your business. Employee engagement activities can do that.
Why Are Employee Engagement Activities Important?
Before we get to specific activities, why does creating employee engagement activities even matter? Despite what might be thought, salary is not the main reason employees stay. In fact, according to a recent article quoting Google's Laszlo Bock and others, money isn’t even one of the top two reason for staying or leaving.
How the company makes the employee feel, and how the company fits in with the employee’s life are the biggest difference makers. Satisfied employees will be more productive, which leads to increased profitability. They will be healthier, taking fewer sick days, and they will stay longer, reducing the need to find new skilled employees.
Employee Engagement Activities You Can Implement Today
- Involve Employees by Giving Them a Voice – There are a number of ways to do this. The important thing is that employees feel they are being listened to and as such are an important part of how the company is run.
- You could have brainstorming sessions to find out employee issues and what they feel solutions may be.
- Periodically hold meetings to explain where the company is headed. Offering employees insight to the business strategy and getting their input builds a feeling of ownership, which builds loyalty.
- Start a company newsletter or intranet web site where employees can contribute articles and ideas about the company.
- Maintain an “open door” policy. Executive management needs to hear from staff and get to know their employees and not leave it all to lower level management.
- Encourage and provide learning opportunities – Set up mentoring programs, create in-house classes and training, or help pay for tuition to local community colleges or universities. Top reasons employees quit are the lack of challenge, the lack of learning, and the feeling there is no advancement or opportunity for growth. Mentoring programs have the added advantage of getting new hires adjusted quickly, giving them immediate insight into how the company is run and what is expected of them, which reduces stress and makes becoming part of the team easier.
- Make Time for Time Out – This can be as simple as shutting down operations early on Fridays and having a company meeting to talk about what was good during the week. Give out awards or a simple “thank you” for jobs well done. You could have occasional activities like an outdoor day of games or something similar to give your employees a break from the office and a chance to recharge. Have the employees choose a charity or cause and give the employees some opportunities to contribute time to that cause. Giving back can be rewarding and fosters a feeling that your company cares, which generates positive attitudes in your employees.
Evolve and Involve
It takes vision and planning to do this right, but getting your employees involved and feeling as if they have a stake in the company doing well makes for a happier, more productive staff.
You need a strategy to implement employee engagement activities to keep your staff members from taking those calls from other COOs wanting to lure away your talent. If you don’t, someone else will - and they will be making those calls.
What employment engagement activities do you find useful and productive? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.