Disengaged employees are unproductive employees. From entry-level positions to top executives, a lack of connection to the organization and its mission can mean a loss of profits.
In fact, a recent study from McClean and Co. estimates a disengaged employee costs an organization roughly $3,400 for every $10,000 in salary. A Gallup study found disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year.
Here are 9 ways to improve productivity in the workplace.
- Refine the onboarding process. Give new hires the help and support they need starting day one. It doesn’t have to be a long process, but simple things like giving them a managerial mentor can decrease stress and start their productivity off on the right foot.
- Create a unique culture and environment. The workplace should be inviting, but that means something different for every organization. Adding artwork and branded dishes to the breakroom or sharing employee playlists on social media can make a big difference in an organization’s atmosphere.
- Cross-train departments. When employees know how hard other areas of the organization work to meet mutual goals, it encourages them to keep up their end of the bargain.
- Simplify goals and duties. Decrease confusion and time lost trying to navigate complicated processes or shifting priorities.
- Promote health and wellness. Provide gym membership discounts or ask your team to join you for a walk during lunch. Healthy employees are productive employees.
- Hold standing meetings to improve group performance. A Washington University study suggests decreased territoriality sparks a team’s creativity and enthusiasm. It also provides accountability.
- Encourage internal and external networking. Employees should be connected through professional social sites like LinkedIn, but companies should also encourage employees to attend trade shows and conferences to meet their peers and share ideas.
- Provide continuing education opportunities. Showing employees you want to help them advance professionally is crucial. Paying for classes or giving them time off to attend a workshop lets employees know their success is important and makes them willing to go the extra mile to show their gratitude.
- Have some fun! Nothing builds comradery faster than putting people together to have a good time. Holding contests or ordering in pizza for lunch on a random Tuesday can go a long way toward endearing employees toward your organization.
Boosting employee engagement and productivity must be a company-wide initiative supported by management. Changes won’t happen overnight, but the payoff will be well worth the efforts.
UCO’s Workforce Advantage Certificate teaches specific strategies to increase employee engagement and productivity. To register for our next class, click here.
Karen Youngblood is the executive director of UCO Customized Education.