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How small businesses can build employee engagement

How small businesses can build employee engagement

As entrepreneurs start to think about what comes next, higher productivity and growth are very much on the agenda. One of the keys to achieving this goal is to boost employee engagement. 

BY VIRESH HARDUTH 

As much as it sounds dry and corporate, employee engagement matters as much for smaller businesses as for large organisations. It’s not to be confused with concepts such as ‘employee satisfaction’ or workplace happiness. One’s employees can be happy or satisfied without being truly engaged. Employee engagement goes further – it is about how emotionally invested colleagues are in the business, its goals, and their role in it. A satisfied employee will come in 9 to 5 and do the bare minimum asked in their job description. An engaged employee will put their heart into helping the business, their colleagues and their customers succeed. 

So, how does one build engagement as a small business? Here’s how: 

• Prioritise employees’ wellbeing 

Caring is a two-way street. Showing employees that one cares is not just about their mental and physical wellbeing, but also about their growth and happiness will help boost their motivation and engagement. Whether it’s offering them access to a psychologist in these difficult times,providing them with paid tr aining, or simply remembering their birthday, these gestures can energise a team. 

• Offer appropriate rewards and incentives 

Want employees to go the extra mile? Offering the right rewards and incentives is key! In a tough economy, where many small businesses are barely hanging on, the incentives can’t always take the form of a big financial reward. However, one can reward people who go the extra mile in a range of other ways such as s thank you note, public recognition or even a bonus day of leave. 

• Give employees a voice 

Employees will feel more engaged when they feel like their voice is heard. They will feel more committed when they have a say in planning and goals. Colleagues like to be asked for feedback, whether in a formal process like their performance review or an informal chat. 

• Provide employees with user-friendly tools 

The right technology and tools can make a massive difference in employee engagement and the employee experience. If people have access to easy-to-use software that makes their lives easier, they can focus on the enriching parts of their job rather than on fighting processes and technology. Today’s cloud-based solutions are slick and easy to use. One can also use cloud-based tools to keep employees engaged and connected during this time via digital self-service and employee communications. More engaged employees mean better productivity, better customer service, and better business outcomes all round. It’s an ideal place to focus as one rebuilds after a year that has left many people feeling burnt out. 

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