The past few years have affected professionals in various ways, including how much they engage in their jobs. Engagement among adult employees in the United States has been declining; only 32% of employees were engaged in 2022, a drop from 36% two years prior. Around 18% of employees are also actively disengaged in their organizations. This causes billions of dollars in lost revenue as disengagement can cause absenteeism, human error, and talent turnover. With other phenomena and movements such as ‘The Great Resignation’ and quiet quitting, workers may likely continue to leave in droves if they don’t see changes. As such, organizations risk losing their best talent and seeing their profits plummet.
Fortunately, there are many ways to foster employee engagement without resorting to cash incentives. According to an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants report from last year, up to 80% of employees are more encouraged by benefits than salary. As such, you can offer many perks that aren’t monetary, and your staff will still find value in these efforts. Here are some ways to keep your employees engaged without falling back on financial rewards:
Upskilling and training
Most employees seek chances to learn and hone their skills to help them grow. In fact, a 2022 Leftronic survey found that 74% of employees want further learning opportunities. Providing staff with professional and personal development training opportunities can improve their skillsets and capabilities, helping them improve their performance and focus at work.
One such example is financial literacy training, which Forbes shares that 51% of surveyed workers think employers should provide and 60% think will make them stay at their jobs. Financial literacy can teach workers how to manage and budget money, empowering them with better financial stability. For companies with a strategic finance department, financial analysts familiar with investment decisions could be good instructors. They’re adept at analyzing financial data and information to make smart choices and predictions to benefit a business or individual. They also oversee tasks such as assessing, auditing, planning, budgeting, and taxes, among other things. With this expertise, financial analysts can easily impart realistic tips and strategies that can aid regular employees in their finances. In doing so, financially empowered employees are more likely to be able to concentrate on work.
Increased days off
If you notice your staff constantly watching the clock near the end of the workday or coming into the office exhausted, it might be time to increase their number of days off. After all, burnout has become a common issue among workers over the last three years. Since 2020, burnout rates have risen to record levels, with a 2022 Vox article noting that 77% of companies reported that their employees are feeling burned out. Eventually, prolonged feelings of burnout can cause employees to clock out, literally and figuratively. Thus, it might seem counterintuitive, but offering more time away from work can improve productivity and performance in the office and, in turn, engagement.
Rewarding loyal or well-performing workers with more vacation time reduces stress, which can boost brainpower and mindfulness, which aid in making work more efficient. It also increases their health and happiness, something everyone needs to enjoy life beyond the office. Giving staff more days off also lets other employees know that you appreciate and care about their time and contributions to the company, and their motivation to do well and stay engaged will increase.
Socializing isn’t always easy for employees; they might be too preoccupied with work, or hybrid and remote setups prevent them from interacting frequently. But with more employees sharing that they feel lonely and isolated, employers need to provide platforms for connection. As a Harvard Business Review article stated, work friendships are strongly linked to better engagement, business outcomes, safety, and retention.
A simple way to form and build workplace relationships is through team building or team gathering efforts. Allowing employees to spend time away from work to enjoy each other’s company can enhance team cohesion and work culture. Get-togethers don’t have to cost a lot or take too much time. You can organize potluck dinners, game nights, sports days, and more to help reduce stress and keep morale high. Allotting a few hours after work on a Friday or Saturday once or twice a month for these gatherings can do wonders for employee engagement and collaboration.
Cultivating an office space that makes employees want to clock in daily can increase their engagement and enjoyment. Allowing them to personalize their desks or stations and giving them the technology that suits their needs and personalities can make the office a more inviting place. Perks and amenities like food and drink stations or game areas can lessen their need to leave the office and make working more comfortable and fun.
Another simple way to improve the office is to provide equipment for an ergonomic workstation that can make working more comfortable and injury-free. Ergonomic chairs and standing desks can make working less strenuous on the body so they can happily focus on work—and avoid sick days in the process.
If you are looking for non-monetary ways to keep your employees engaged, follow these tips.
By: Roseanne Jade