Poor employee engagement is costly – not just in terms of high staff turnover and recruitment fees, but also because of the impact it has on a business’s output quality and quantity.
For office workers, an intranet can be a powerful tool for improving employee engagement by using communication, performance tracking and progress management. But how do you achieve those things with employees that don’t have access to a computer?
There are of course mobile phone based apps and intranet services that can bridge the gap between office and non-office based workers to create a more joined up workforce but let’s look beyond computer screens for once and look at practical ways to boost morale, engagement and collaborative thinking on site or on the factory floor.
1. Make more space on the walls for posters and charts and even add in some TVs for displaying internal news and updates
With eyecatching colours and design and attractive messaging, you can get the attention of your workforce very easily with the odd poster. What’s more, these can be displayed all over the workplace, from the site entrances or factory floors to toilet cubicle doors for people to read.
2. Set a regular time every week to down tools and come together to discuss issues and news
Variety is important at work so make sure employees are given the chance to step away from the daily responsibilities to learn, chat and solve problems.
This is one of the most effective employee engagement ideas if done correctly so find a large enough space for everyone to gather comfortably, keep the meeting brief and ensure that you give employees the opportunity to talk; not just listen. This could form a valuable way of gaining feedback or testing employee sentiment.
3. Surprise them
Another great employee engagement activity is direct marketing.
If your employees each have a locker to store personal items while on shift, can you slide in leaflets, invites or vouchers to reward them for good work?
4. Encourage team activities
If your staff spend their days on construction sites or factory floors, they’re likely to be very fit. Why not put that physical strength to good use by creating sports teams and entering local leagues? This is a great way for people to meet each other, form strong friendships and enhance the team mentality at work too.
5. Step up the training and personal development
With hundreds of employees on a site or in a factory, it’s likely they don’t get a lot of attention. Show each one that you value them by investing in their development. From learning a new skill, to enhancing their ability to do their job, provide them with ways to develop and progress along their chosen career path.
If budget doesn’t allow to send staff on special courses, why not bring the training to site by finding guest speakers who can talk through best practices or how to overcome challenges. There doesn't need to be a certificate; people just need to learn something that will stick with them.
6. Senior bod roadshow
There’s no better way of showing your staff that management care than having them take the time to meet everyone. Schedule days for your leadership team to walk the factory floor or spend time on site, getting to know the employees, thanking them for their efforts and taking an interest in the work they’re doing.
Aside from the fact that it will boost morale, they could learn a great deal about the quality of equipment they’re using, if something is due further investment, or if certain people are owed some financial recognition for the incredible contribution they're making to the company every day.
7. Evening events
You want better employee engagement but you also have targets to meet. So how do you avoid disrupting the working day too much?
Even a small gesture like putting a few hundred quid behind the bar once every two months will go a long way to making staff happier. Just make sure it’s not on a school night!
8. New uniforms and kit
Think about how good you feel in a new suit or with your hair done. Everyone wants to look their best at work and if they have to spend every day in a worn, old uniform, how can you possibly expect a good performance?
Make sure everyone’s uniform and equipment is replaced regularly and you should soon see that it's more than their clothing that you've “refreshed”.
9. Take line management seriously
It’s so easy when you’re busy to miss the odd appraisal but don’t do it! It means a lot more than you realise to your employees to get constructive feedback and a clear plan for the future. It doesn’t need to take a long time to record objectives and monitor progress, particularly if you have a good performance management system in place.
Even if you just put one of the above in action, you'll make an impact on the morale and engagement of your workforce. But why not go one step further by introducing an app based communication and performance management system and employee engagement may be something you'll never need to worry about again.