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Getting back to work: How to boost employee engagement and motivation in the workplace

July 6, 2021

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An increasing degree of employers are considering a myriad of flexible working options for their employees. As organisations adapt, greater thought needs to be given to ensure employees remain engaged when they’re at work.

The salience of traditional working in offices or centralised environments has been essentially disproved by remote working. In fact, employees have worked harder and longer whilst working at home, not the reverse.

From the outset, engagement and motivation should be treated as separate but connected. Engagement examines how well your employees understand the significance of their work and their alignment with the goals of the organisation.

Their level of engagement is dependent on their interest in their work, which determines whether they are motivated to excel or simply exist in your organisation. How do you solidify their engagement, whilst considering the flexible options that may be on the horizon for your business?


Invest in wellbeing incentive programs

Organisations that have heavily invested in extrinsic awards systems have saturated the employment stratosphere with a variety of creative options, from stock options to footing the cost of an impending nuptial. The trend however is towards the intrinsic wellbeing focussed rewards. Employees expect organisations to encourage wellbeing, learning, and fulfilment in the workplace.

Whilst much of your workforce will welcome the return to a formal workplace amidst the tumultuous responsibilities of home life. For others, the hard-earned flexibility they’ve cleaved out for their own personal wellbeing will not be surrendered lightly.

Providing day-to-day wellbeing incentives or surveying employees to find out what would improve their experience, is a great way to keep them motivated at work.


Make sure your employees are in the right positions

One of the biggest growth areas during restrictions was personal development. Both the employed and the unemployed have engaged in a vast array of courses, from updating their technical skillset to engaging in personal creative development.

Ultimately, surveying these skills can indicate an individuals’ commitment to the organisation and development in general. Not only does opening this sort of conversation, engender good will, it can provide you with the tools to understand whether the scope of some roles need to be expanded or reduced.

It could mean you now have the perfect opportunity to rework the scope of some of your employees’ roles by utilising some of those skills.


Keep your employees on track with meaningful work

Employees that are doing fulfilling work are more likely to be productive. Steer clear of overloading employees with tasks that they aren’t enamoured by, if it’s necessary, provide them with a clear understanding of the contribution they are making towards your organisations’ goals.

Placing talent in an employment situation without clear scope, even if it’s for the sake of hiring a great talent, can quickly frustrate able employees.

Like many organisations, it’s likely your organisation diverted funds to improve your IT infrastructure and for remote work, it was essential. There is still an opportunity to capitalise on those improvements, using them to expand parts of your business for talented individuals or even keep you updated of their progress.

Checking in on the progress or reviewing your practices not only maintain motivation but ensure employees don’t feel as though they’ve been forgotten.


Discuss engagement with your employees in an authentic way

Successful teams and managing structures often discuss engagement regularly. Not necessarily in often time-consuming meetings but on a regular basis, ad hoc if necessary. It’s part of the feedback loop, that allows you to evolve and update processes with the help of your team.

Engagement could be as simple as involving everyone in a discussion. Employees are well aware when these aren’t authentic, it often comes in the form imposing solutions rather than offering them.

If all of your team have a stake in the conversation, then they are more likely to help you produce a solution that air-tight or at the very least gets you on the right track.

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