Thursday, 09 November 2017 16:46

5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement

There’s compelling evidence that employee engagement in the workplace is not where businesses would like it to be. As recently as January of this year, a Gallup report indicated that more than 65% of employees “are disengaged at work.” This lack of engagement can lead to increased turnover, which in turn leads to additional time and resources spent on the recruitment, interview and hiring of new employees.

Companies within the hardwood lumber industry are not immune to this. Improving employee engagement is defiantly a focus of ours as well. We’re committed to doing what we can to make sure our team is motivated, goal-oriented and recognized for the great work they do.

improving employee engagementBut there’s always room for improvement. So that is why we have emphasized a few best practices company-wide to enhance employee engagement. Maybe these might work in your organization.

  1. ABC (Always be communicating). You can’t expect employees to feel engaged with their organization if they don’t know what’s going on. Senior leadership team should commit to sharing information on strategic thinking, as well as plans for new projects or other changes. For us, that could be something as visible as installing a new kiln or something as little as changing the company holiday calendar. Employees informed about the company’s direction have a greater stake in the final outcome and will feel more engaged in future growth initiatives.
  1. Check the pulse of your employees. The people you’ve hired are undoubtedly intelligent, hard-working and good at what they do. So it only makes good business sense to continuously tap into what they’re thinking, and to frequently communicate your own expectations for performance. Look for opportunities to ask your team:
  • How can we improve operations in your area?
  • What suggestions do you have to improve the customer experience?
  • What obstacles do you encounter that hamper productivity?

One concrete way to get real-time employee feedback is by conducting employee pulse surveys on a regular basis. These surveys are brief and highly specific, with no more than a handful of questions focused on a key area or process. “Try to vary the question(s) each week,” advises Officevibe, “but keep in mind that some questions make sense to be asked over and over to measure trends over time.”

  1. Communicate opportunities for career development. Employees stuck in the same position with the same responsibilities year-in and year-out will naturally feel disengaged from their employer. Take every opportunity to give your employees new tasks to learn and new ways to contribute to the team. Promote from within when the situation is right and communicate these success stories in your employee newsletter, on your website’s career page, and in other venues. Employees who receive recognition due to their hard work and contributions have more investment in the company’s long-term success.
  1. Celebrate achievements. How much effort does your company presently make in terms of employee recognition and rewards? When businesses recognize both individual and team achievements, they generate renewed excitement and energy among the workforce and, just as importantly, a sense of pride in what gets accomplished.
  1. Grow your company culture. As we’ve said before, “Businesses with the healthiest work environments are, we believe, those that embrace inclusiveness—the recognition that encouraging employee engagement and welcoming their contributions will lead to greater success with customers.”

We try to encourage these characteristics with all the leaders in our facilities. Whether it be at one of our sawmills, in a lumber concentration yard, or in our administrative offices. We think it helps.

What efforts are you making to better engage your employees? We’d love to hear from you!

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber
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