According to a Gallup poll called the State of the Global Workplace which studied employee engagement in 142 countries, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.
Isla Galloway-Gaul, Managing Director of Inspiration Office, an Africa-wide office space and furniture consultancy said: ”When people are engaged, they adopt the vision, values, and purpose of the organisation they work for. They become passionate contributors, innovative problem solvers, and are a joy to work with.
“The answer to winning back disengaged employees, and keeping the engaged employees engaged, isn’t only pay, perks or promotions. It’s meaning – that is, giving work a greater sense of significance, and making work matter.”
Here are 7 ways to make people more engaged at work:
- Show people their work matters – “Make time for employees to explore the purpose–or profound why–of what they do,” So, introduce your team to their customers. Explain how their work helps others, even in small ways, and encourage them to share their own stories. Reframe the work your team is doing so they can understand how and why they fit into that work.
- Create a learning environment to encourage personal growth – Make space for people to create and execute their own learning plans, offering help along the way. Understand their different learning styles and attention spans, and provide experiences for growth expanding on what they already know, with immediate opportunities for putting into practice at work.
- Help make people feel valued and valuable – “You care about your personal family and friends, but what about your ‘work family,’ whom you probably see the most? Do you ever ask how your employees are doing, and care about what they say?,” said Galloway-Gaul. By showing employees their value, they will feel valued as individuals and in turn are more likely to live up to their value in the workplace.
- Involve people in decisions to crate a sense of control, and grant autonomy liberally – Micromanagement can be a meaning-killer. “Including your employees in decisions and giving them space to get the job done helps them feel less like numbers and more like contributors. Whether it’s where to put the new soda fridge, or how to solve a million-dollar problem, don’t manage in a vacuum,” Galloway-Gaul advised.
- Allow people to bring their real self to work – By being your authentic self, you give employees permission not to check their identities at the door, even if they are a quirkier than everyone else. Of course, this must be within the bounds of workplace professionalism.
- Help people see where they fit in the mission, and that the mission depends on them to achieve it – “Employees will never think their work matters if they don’t know that they matter. Achieve this by showing them the long-term vision and how they fit in it and contribute to to – beyond the org chart of course,” said Galloway-Gaul.
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