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Three ways to boost employee engagement

While technology can be a distraction, it can also help with employee engagement. Sarah Dawson explains.

Insights from Forbes, PwC, HBR and human resources professionals show the cost of replacing staff can fall anywhere between 20 and 231 per cent of an employee’s salary.

Negative job growth has struck the property industry in the past five years, while the employment outlook nationwide indicates a rise on the horizon, with an estimated growth of 5.9 per cent. This was previously -3.3 per cent.

If the outlook statistics are right, our industry will also see about half of our professionals change jobs in the same period.

That’s a lot of movement. So why do people change roles? How can we engage our employees, our leaders and our teams to retain good people in the business for longer?

Here, we take a look at some of the top things team members want and share three hotly-contended approaches to improving engagement. We’ve also found some cool tech to make it simpler for you to get started.

1. IMPROVE TEAM COMMUNICATION SIMPLY
A sense of community and belonging is paramount to engaged employees, creating the family vibe at work.

However, email isn’t the best place for this chat to happen.

Email is already overcrowded without adding inter-office communication.

One single place for messaging and sharing across the team can save everyone time.

Staff can see information relevant to them and even collaborate more effectively.

With communication channels available, keep the social plans, the business plans and the results and recognition contained in individual lanes.

We use Slack. A widely used team collaboration software tool, it’s ideal for general communication as well as being awesome for running projects across multiple teams.

2. WHOLISTIC RECOGNITION
Formal recognition and performance management are still highly sought after, but progressive businesses are enhancing this with peer-to-peer recognition.

Our peers see things every day that others don’t.

It might be that special moment supporting a client, customer or teammate that would otherwise go unnoticed, or the completion of a challenge that doesn’t register on a goals sheet but played a big part in someone’s week.

The SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012, shows 41 per cent of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen marked positive increases in customer satisfaction.

Peer-to-peer support is 35.7 per cent more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.

There are lots of recognition apps available, so finding one you like, that integrates with Slack, ensures you avoid the hassles of yet another communication channel.

We like HeyTaco! It allows peers to “recognise each other, have fun and celebrate” the often-forgotten moments of not just the quarter, but the day.

3 EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION
If you want to know how a group of over-sharing Gen Z employees thinks about working with you, perhaps the best way to find out is to ask them.

The team at the Harvard Business Review believes that employee surveys are still one of the best ways to measure engagement.

They predict behaviours give people a chance to feel heard, and can be a part of behavioural change programs.

Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, found that an engaged team can boost profitability 21 per cent, reduce staff absenteeism by 41 per cent and cut turnover by 59 per cent.

A staff member who feels heard is 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

These statistics are pretty compelling.

Kicking off employee satisfaction reporting in the first instance sets the benchmark for current sentiment, and then it’s over to everyone to formulate the improvement strategy.

You can ease into it through a simple SurveyMonkey inhouse survey, or step it up with purpose-built software.

Check out BambooHR, it’s a tool to assist with employee onboarding and offboarding, and it can measure cross-business engagement and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

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