At the end of the day, we’re all looking for something similar from our jobs. Whether we’re at the bottom of the organisational chart or managing a high performance team, we want to feel appropriately challenged and adequately valued.
Any joy we can find from our work is definitely a bonus. The relationships we can foster can be abundantly rewarding both socially and professionally – job satisfaction is a number one desire for the millions of us in the workforce. So how do we work towards ensuring our entire workplace achieves maximum satisfaction? We do what we can to facilitate balance between engagement and enjoyment experienced at work whilst also supporting growth and moving towards an optimal work life balance for all.
It’s a sad fact that job satisfaction isn’t often a norm in many industries. So many of our population go through the motions of getting up every morning, kissing our family goodbye, and heading off to a thankless and unrewarding job in order to pay the bills. In an ideal world we’d all have access to jobs that excite us and encourage us to strive for the best. While we aren’t actually there yet, there are many steps we can take to help ensure our place of work is a breeding ground for engagement. It just might surprise you the many ways it can improve not only the output, but the well-being of all staff.
Employees who are properly engaged by their workload have been proven time and again to have a higher level of productivity. This stems from the fact they are interested and invested in their job. The sense of achievement and value that comes from their role motivates them to go the extra mile. It also improves their capacity to focus on tasks and increases likelihood for ideas to improve on efficiency. A combination of pride in their work and the belief they are contributing to a bigger picture invariably increases the quality and quantity of output when compared with disengaged employees.
Better Employee Health
It’s all a game of dominoes in the end. Employees who feel valued, who have a strong sense of belonging in their workplace and who have an optimal work life balance are in turn going to have higher levels of physical and mental well-being. Not only are they more motivated to care for their own health, they also feel a sense of loyalty and achieve a satisfaction from their work that boosts whole body functioning. It has even been proven that high employee engagement decreases likelihood of obesity and chronic illnesses and increases the likelihood of partaking in physical exercise and improving that person’s diet. How, you might ask, does this benefit the company? It is a proven fact that healthier employees are less likely to take sick days that interrupt workflow. They’re also much more likely to provide quality work due to a higher level of stamina and the ability to focus.
Higher Levels of Retention
Having to hire a replacement can be painful enough when it’s few and far between. One of the highest reported reasons for employees leaving jobs is lack of engagement, another is being overworked and undervalued. The time spent by your Human Resource department advertising and interviewing candidates followed by time taken to train up a new start accumulates to quite a costly endeavour. Time taken from your team in order to train is bad enough, but the time wasted by your HR department leads us back to that domino effect. If that time was focused on organising training sessions, team building events and high performance team development, not only would you be seeing better outputs and higher levels of growth, you will also be increasing engagement and retention. It’s one of those fields where you have to give a little to get more. Try to target exiting staff before they hand in their notice, figure out why they want to leave and try to work out ways to keep them on – the knock-on effect will far outweigh any costs this incurs.
In all your efforts to promote that elusive engagement of your employees throughout your company do not overlook it’s sister, enjoyment. Enjoyment of the job may sound like a fairy tale idea bred from an artistic flourish, but it’s much more achievable that you might think. Enjoyment of a job doesn’t have to mean really loving Excel or getting excited about that board meeting. The job in question might be mundane or even tedious, but it can still be enjoyable with just a little bit extra.
Start a Social Club
Tried, tested and true, this is an easy way to bring a bit of fun to the workplace. Generally, these clubs will have a volunteer committee made up of staff from multiple departments who will come together to organise social events. Dress up days with people wearing the best colour eye contacts Australia has, competitions such as a Friday afternoon quiz or special Morning Teas all work to bring camaraderie to the workplace. If necessary, a small annual fee can be collected from staff who wish to partake. This will allow the club to come up with more extravagant events and make it a little more exciting. The social club can also assist with the organisation of seasonal events such as Christmas and Halloween parties. Activities such as themes (best Halloween contact lenses Australia anyone?) and secret Santa (please let it be the Boveda cigar humidor) can all be handled by the club. Socialisation outside of the workplace has been proven to facilitate networking between teams as well as promoting interdepartmental projects along with improving a sense of belonging and loyalty.
Regular Team Building
Many of us will roll our eyes at the thought of another team building event. They can often be seen as corny or cliché, but there’s a reason they’re still around. Despite all the grumbling, these workshops are known to build better problem-solving skills, better and more frequent collaboration, an increase in innovation, develop communication patterns and procedures, and lastly, leads to job satisfaction. If nothing else, the disinterest in the whole affair will give your employees something to bond over.
In the end, a little bit of extra engagement and enjoyment will go a long way and could have the workplace working wonders.