We don’t believe in ‘blue Monday’ but there are certainly reasons why January can be tough on our mood. The credit card bills from Christmas are starting to land on the door mat. Good intentions and New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside, and our next holiday seems a long, long way off.

Recruitment consultants and job sites report that January is one of their busiest times of the year. Low motivational levels can result in employees feeling the need for change. So, what can organisations do to engage – and retain – their employees?

Drivers of engagement

Our employee listening and research has identified eight key engagement drivers: organisational actions that are proven to increase employee advocacy, retention and commitment. 

We work with organisations all around the world and, whilst they are unique in their own way, they all have an engagement drivers ‘signature’: the engagement drivers that matter most to their employees. 

For the majority of our clients, those drivers are:

  • Challenging/interesting work
  • Recognition (generally non-financial)
  • Opportunities to learn and grow

What does this mean for organisations? How can the day to day experience of work be used to re-engage and motivate employees? Here are some top tips curated from our clients.

1. Challenging/interesting work

  • Use 1:1s to establish whether employees are satisfied with their levels of challenge and stretch. Identify opportunities that will help them achieve the right level of challenge/stretch.
  • Allocate projects and tasks to stretch team members and develop new skills.
  • Provide team members with opportunities to take on additional activities.
  • Provide team members with opportunities to step up, eg deputise at meetings, cover parental leave, holiday cover, secondments.
  • Ask the team for their ideas to work faster, better, smarter.

2. Recognition

  • Use 1:1s to ask team members how they would like to be recognised. Everyone is different. Some colleagues enjoy being in the spotlight, others prefer a quiet thank you during a 1:1.
  • Remember to say “thank you” when team members have put in extra hours or gone the extra mile.
  • Share successes at team meetings.
  • Recognise the team’s contribution: successes are rarely the result of individual effort.
  • Introduce simple peer-to-peer recognition.
  • We’re often trained to give feedback about poor performance: the situation was ‘this’, you behaved like ‘this’ and ‘this’ was the outcome.  Use the same method to give feedback on positive performance: help employees to understand the behaviours and actions that lead to positive outcomes. They’re more likely to repeat it.
  • Identify opportunities to promote team effort and successes beyond the organisation, eg share case studies, contribute to professional networks, enter external awards.

3. Opportunities to learn and grow

  • Ensure 1:1 conversations focus on learning and development as well as performance.
  • Ensure 1:1 conversations focus on future career aspirations as well as the development needed to perform their current role.
  • Find opportunities to share team activities across team members to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Delegate management tasks to team members where appropriate.
  • Give team members opportunities to deputise when colleagues are absent.
  • Develop strengths: enable employees to become masters of what they do best.
  • Encourage employees to share their skills and knowledge with less experienced colleagues.
  • Establish coaching/mentoring networks and communities of practice.
  • Promote available formal learning opportunities. Make it easy for employees to access development.

If you would like to find out more about how to use employee listening to engage and retain your employees, or to discover your organisation’s engagement drivers ‘signature’ get in touch or call +44 333 123 9366.