The concept of employee engagement has been a hot topic in recent years as studies explore how valuable yet rare engaged employees really are. According to Gallup’s 2015 engagement report just over 70% of the US working population is not engaged or actively disengaged. The specific statistics are more frightening: The longer an employee has worked for your company, the less engaged they are, engagement scores decrease the further down the organisational ladder they go and engagement scores are lowest with employees in customer service/sales positions. That means that the people in your organisation that are directly relating to your customers are simply going through the motions to get their pay cheque.
Disengagement costs money. Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%. So how do you create an organisation that people want to work hard for? Team building activities play a huge role in identifying the reasons behind disengagement and providing a path towards engagement.
One of the major problems with engagement in organisations is the belief that there is no opportunity for progression within the organisation. In a lot of companies the potential for upward mobility is there, it just has not been clearly communicated, or displayed as a viable option for all staff members. Communication is a huge issue when it comes to employee engagement. Between managers and employees and the reverse. It appears that workers are not communicating their dissatisfaction to the appropriate people at the appropriate times. The once yearly performance review is also not proving effective enough a medium for communication. Rather regular ‘pulse checks’ are preferred for understanding what your staff are thinking and feeling.
Communicate through film
Working on the lines of communication can really help boost your team engagement. One of our favourite communication activities is Film Making – Company Creativity. Film Making is a time sensitive, complex, stressful and rewarding activity that requires tight military-style communication. You need to communicate with each other efficiently while working out ways to communicate your ideas to the audience. Film making can be really effective when you switch up the leadership roles. Make the boss your production assistant and see what happens!
A lot of the talk about engagement levels puts the impetus on the employees to be more engaged. The same Gallup study, however, revealed that only 36% of people in management positions are engaged. There is nothing more disheartening than working beneath someone who is not motivated. Who wants to put their heart and soul into their work when their boss is doing nothing?
Leaders need to be inspirational, they also need to be hands on. Absolutely no leader who locks herself in an office and does less than her employees is going to motivate anyone. Leadership training and team building exercises with leaders is essential for the health of your team. If the leader in question is unable to motivate his staff at the end after training and encouragement, perhaps it’s time for him to go.
If you are a leader, you should always be sharpening your leadership skills and discovering ways you can lead more effectively. We offer leadership coaching which is in small groups or one on one and a fun and outside of the box activity – Leadership and Motorbikes, discover how riding a motorbike can improve your leadership skills
Too often in organisations it seems that the client/customer is the enemy. You are in a working partnership and the fonder you feel for your client the more energy you will happily put into your work for them. Unfortunately, customers can be difficult, demanding and unreasonable which is often exasperated by the manner in which you respond to them. Great leaders can encourage better communication with their customers. Emotional intelligence is essential here. Realising where the ‘enemy’ is coming from can help prevent a lot of misunderstandings and improve client relations. Also the odd compliment that a client is ‘lovely’, ‘always professional’ or a ‘top bloke’ can really change the thinking in a team.
If your team needs help getting in tune with their customers then we have Find the Fugitive treasure hunt style activity. When used in conjunction with reinforcing your business message it is a powerful tool to display how fun and an accepting attitude can easily put you in flow with your fellow employees. This flow will transfer to employees interaction with customers.
There is nothing more disheartening than feeling like you are being ignored. If you are contributing ideas for how your company could improve and they are ignored or they are listened to but never put into action it can be very discouraging. If you are a leader then you should be encouraging ideas for improvement from your team. While not all of them will be suitable it is important that the good ideas become realities, not only will this lead to increased engagement but also encourage others to become active problem solvers.
Onboarding employees is far more important than it appears. A 2007 survey showed that employees were 58% more likely to stay at a company for over 3 years if they had a structured onboarding process. While the process may appear time consuming it actually will save your organisation time and money in the long run. Also structured onboarding processes are directly linked to increased engagement rates as from the first day employees understand where they fit into the organisation. It is a lot easier to iron out lingering issues in the onboarding process. For example, if your pet hate is unnecessary emailing, let this be known on the first day. It will nip the problem in the bud, make the new hire more confident for knowing what not to do.
If you have a few new hires at the same time this is the perfect opportunity to stage an icebreaker team building activity like Activate. Activate is a wonderful activity to initiate new employees into a team. Group events ease new hires into the team quickly and effectively.
Team building is the act of working on a team’s processes. If there are processes which are not working or have been broken for some time it has a huge impact on the ability for your employees to feel engaged. Take time to work on your team and get everyone communicating, empathising and leading together towards a common goal. If you would like more specific information on the correlation between employee engagement and team building events contact us and we will find the perfect one for you.