Let’s face it: we’ve all made a new year’s resolution we’d absolutely no intention of really keeping.
Be it getting off the couch and down the gym three times a week, to giving up alcohol, saving for that big lifestyle purchase or finally getting around to putting up that shelving unit you bought on a whim… we’ve all been guilty of not living up to our own expectations to some degree.
But don’t feel too bad if you’ve broken a well-intentioned resolution – it’s thought that only around 8% of people who make a promise at New Years actually keep it, let alone achieve it.
Of course, the idea behind a New Year’s resolution is often to help achieve a personal goal or make a difference in your personal life. But what about your professional life? If you had the chance to improve the quality of life for both you and your fellow employees, would it perhaps give you a little more impudence to achieve those resolutions?
2020 IS GOING TO BE A BIG YEAR…
Yup, 2020 is looking like a biggie.
There’s the prospect of the UK finally (maybe) leaving the EU, local elections, football’s European Championship, the Olympics and the US Presidential Election – not to mention any number of local and national events that are sure to capture people’s attention throughout the year.
Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering what events in 2020 have to do with New Year resolutions? Well, with so much stuff going on – not to mention the economic challenges businesses will likely be facing thanks to the ongoing ‘will we, won’t we’ Brexit saga – organisations will be under pressure to keep staff motivated and focussed on their normal duties.
Think about it for a second: the last football World Cup which took place in 2018 saw matches taking place during normal weekly working hours, and these carried on for nearly a month! And we’d bet that virtually every computer screen, mobile device or shared space in your workplace was reverberating to the sights and sounds of footballing agony and ecstasy. 2020 is sure to be no different.
This poses a problem for virtually all employers. Whilst many organisations won’t deny their people the chance to keep tabs on all the events taking place, it does mean that there will be a negative impact on their productivity. After all, time spent following activities outside of work means there’s less time in the day for day-to-day activities to be completed.
This is potentially a really, really big problem. With every business already under serious pressure to be both profitable and productive in a post-Brexit world, a distracted or unengaged workforce is the last thing anyone needs. So, what can be done?
This is where those New Year resolutions come in.
MAKE ENGAGING YOUR EMPLOYEES YOUR PRIMARY FOCUS IN 2020
Did you know that most people cite insufficient recognition as the main reason for their disengagement with their employers? And the thing is, we’re not talking recognition in the sense of grand gestures like a big bonus or pay rise; it’s the little things that improves the quality of life for everyone.
Saying thank you for going the extra mile, giving people time back when they continually give up their time for work… even just acknowledging someone’s loyalty to a business can make a heck of a difference!
Employee recognition is just one aspect of positive company cultures that can make a world of difference when it comes to boosting your employee engagement, and doesn’t just have to rely on monetary solutions, either!
Check out these top 5 New Year resolutions you should try that will boost your employee engagement in 2020 and beyond:
RESOLUTION #1: HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES SAVE PRECIOUS TIME
Time is money, yet it’s also a source of stress when you're stuck in traffic day after day!
On average, people around the world spend close to 40 minutes on their daily commute to work (and the same on the way home). That adds up to an eye-watering 300+ hours a year, the equivalent of more than 10% of the time spent at work. Also, when you consider we now live in an ‘always on’ and always connected world, getting a healthy work-life balance can prove difficult.
With those figures in mind, an effective company policy on travel can make a real difference when it comes to both your employee engagement and productivity.
New advances in technology now make it much easier to work from home or a remote location than ever before; so, it’s worth considering whether your workforce can work at home one or two days a week just as effectively as they could in an office.
Of course, introducing a work-from-home policy does require regular monitoring to ensure it’s an effective benefit, and one that’s not taken advantage, either!
However, when you consider that studies in the United States have found home workers work on average 1.4 days more per month than their office-based counterparts, it would be crazy not to consider it!
RESOLUTION #2: GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES’ BUDGET A BOOST – WITHOUT SACRIFICING YOUR OWN
Financial security is a growing challenge for employees. People under financial strain spend an average of 13 hours a month dealing with their problems in the workplace.
However, employers can introduce specific measures to reverse the trend and provide a real catalyst for engagement.
For example, a survey by US firm Willis Tower Watson found that 54% of Millennials in the US and 50% of all employees in India said they would change employer for this kind of support! Here in the UK, 57% of employees believe that organisations should do more to financially support their staff beyond their annual wages.
Simple, cashless solutions can really ease the strain on your employees' day-to-day finances and help improve their quality of life, too.
Staff cashback cards, discount vouchers and discounted cinema tickets are just some of the cost-effective examples you can try that’ll not only boost that all-important staff engagement but cover a huge range of applications!
RESOLUTION #3: HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES TAKE CARE OF THEIR HEALTH AND YOUR BUSINESS’ HEALTH WILL IMPROVE, TOO
Healthcare can be a worry for employees, especially given that it’s estimated that there are currently over 4.4 million people who are having to wait for hospital treatment; with over 500,000 of them having to wait over 18 weeks for routine operations or treatment.
To help reduce the chances of ill-health affecting your people, a targeted wellbeing programme can help your workforce live better both physically and mentally. Nutritional coaching, help with quitting smoking and mental wellbeing programmes are all simple and effective ways to encourage your employees to make the right dietary choices and live healthier lifestyles.
Look at this way: when people feel at their best, they’ll perform at their best. So, helping your workforce to live healthier lives can only be of benefit to your business!
RESOLUTION #4: LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES AND HONE YOUR ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY
A global survey shows that 40% of employees believe the benefits and rewards they receive are not enough to support their needs. But, before you introduce a benefits and rewards scheme in your company, it’s essential to first set out a clear strategy to properly support these schemes and ensure they are put in place properly.
To do this, you’ll need to use reliable data.
Using the data available inside and outside the company (on the efficiency of the transport system, availability and cost of local services and childcare, etc.) is crucial to objectively assess needs and choose the most suitable solutions.
Luckily, the means to capture that data is relatively simple. You can begin by conducting a survey of your employees and build on internal data to tailor your strategy to the company's organisational priorities. Easy!
These initial assessments will help you ensure the benefits and rewards you offer mirror their expectations and truly engages with your workforce.
RESOLUTION #5: GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP THE COMPANY GROW
Last, but by no means least, financial benefits, rewards and incentives are not the only way to boost employee engagement.
Personal development and career growth are just as important as salary or one-off rewards, and in some cases rank higher, especially amongst a workforce that is now containing more Generations Y and Z’s than ever before! In one survey, 54% of Millennials said career development opportunities were the most important criterion in choosing an employer, ahead of salary (44%). And guess what? Millennials now make up more than 50% of the UK workforce!
Conventional training programs may be complicated and costly to set up, yet there are more flexible alternatives that are just as effective. Examples include Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and mentoring programmes, which have proven their effectiveness and are a lot easier to implement.
Knowledge sharing through your own specialists is another valuable source of improvement: especially when you consider that 90% of Millennials believe the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation bring substantial experience and knowledge to the workplace. And don’t forget one-on-one coaching, either! It’s often very effective and a lot more rewarding for employees than group training sessions that don’t exactly fit their expectations and needs.
These are just some ideas to help boost the levels of engagement in your business; but of course, you may have your own ideas – why not give them a try in 2020?
IS YOUR WORKPLACE GEARING UP FOR CHRISTMAS?
Christmas may still be a couple of months away, but we'd guarantee Christmas will be on the minds of many of your employees - and not always in a positive way!
Discover how you can beat the winter holiday slump and download our free e-book today - just hit the link below to get yours!