4 Ways To Increase The Level Of Engagement In The Workplace

How can companies, universities, and organizations increase the
level of engagement at the workplace? Includes tangible strategies to apply to achieve greater levels of happiness and productivity and cultural norms that can be put into place.

4 Ways to increase the level of engagement at the workplace. 

1.) Create a leadership style that values each persons personal reward system. Based on the famous situational research studies by Stanley Milgram all humans have an innate need for acceptance. 

Each  person however has a different reward system in which they interpret that acceptance. By finding out if an employees reward system is public appreciation, private appreciation, respect, inclusion, raises, or time with others (to name a few ) you can engage employees. 

Doing a personal reward inventory on employees can tell an organization how they should reward employees so that they can as we say "ignite in them the willingness and most importantly the desire to do not just good , but extraordinary work". 

2.) Use tangible strategies to achieve greater levels of happiness and productivity such as was seen in the GM plant in Fremont California in 1950. GM had 20 percent absenteeism, 2,000 unresolved employee grievances, and an assembly cost 30 percent higher than it's other factories. GM used a job reclassification system where employees were allowed to choose their own job titles and have business cards. As one of the employees said after the reclassification this created a sense of "personal responsibility for the cars". This culture change created a sense of respect for the work each employee did, that created a drop in absenteeism to 2 percent, zero unresolved grievances, and dropped the assembly cost to the same as the other factories. 

3.) Change cultural norms to include appreciation of employees, quality, efficiency, and putting an importance on morale, this creates an environment where the need for acceptance can be met and a sense of respect for a job well done can create greater levels of happiness. 

Strategies for changing cultural norms include speaking to and finding out how to engage and facilitate a change in attitudes of subunits of an organization. The Marketing department and the HR department may have different cultural norms as subunits of your organization, therefore you must help facilitate change differently in each subunit to match the level of engagement you want for the organization as a whole. 

Assessments of subunits can help you find employees deep why or why they work for your organization. Ask questions and get feedback to find the dominant attributes of each subunit, use morale building activities, and create a sense of personal responsibility. This will facilitate a change in cultural norms based on a baseline. 

Once you have assessed the current norms you can use the information you gathered about personal reward systems to find the best ways to create a change. 

4.) Allow for innovation. By allowing employees the freedom to innovate they will be more engaged in the companies goals. Allow opportunity to be challenged, to explore, and to innovate. The best companies give employees the freedom to create and grow the company.

While allowing for innovation acknowledge when the company has an accomplishments in new innovations. Everyone wants to be acknowledged for the things they have accomplished. Take the time to do the same for your employees. Celebrate the small wins. Ring a bell if an employee meets a deadline that puts you ahead of your competition, give small or large gift cards when new ideas lead to sales, have a bowling party if you meet your monthly goal, give a year end bonus no matter how small to say thank-you for keeping us ahead of the competition. 

Innovation will allow your company to increase engagement, collaboration, and interaction.