Wednesday, 6 May 2020

As a manager, you have experienced employees who start out driven, motivated and behaving as an ideal team player. However, sometimes after a while, their enthusiasm wanes.

Regrettably, this is all too common a scenario faced by managers in many companies. The obvious result is a negative impact on overall business productivity and performance.

The key question is how do you keep your employees engaged and committed? Here are six guidelines you can use to boost employee sustainability and productivity in your organisation:

1. Take time to lead

This tip is not something new yet it often gets pushed aside during busy work days and weeks. In a managerial role, do you take the time to coach, encourage and guide your team members? If not, consider for a moment if there is anything that you do which has more potential impact?

As Ken Blanchard pointed out in his book ‘Catch people doing something right’   (1999), you could start by taking the time to notice your people doing things right.  This displays your enthusiasm and support for your team. It also helps their job satisfaction and allows you to see (and share) positive examples of improvements and quality work accomplished. As a leader, your people look up to you for overall inspiration and your attitude towards their work makes more of an impact than many leaders think.

Demonstrate your leadership abilities by giving clear direction, sharing company goals and delegating tasks whilst owning the responsibility. You may be in charge of conceptualising strategies, however, it is your team who deliver the strategy. Getting them involved in the process can increase ‘ownership’ and therefore outcomes, successfully contributing to the company’s goals. This way you create a culture that values the team’s opinion and input and as a consequence they tend to feel driven and invested.

Leaders should dedicate time to regular acts of leadership and coaching ahead of reports and administration.

2. Modern working approach

As mentioned, it is beneficial for companies to gain employees’ participation across the business. Outdated ‘dictating’ work practices like “this is the way we’ve always done it” or “just do what you are told” should be eliminated to retain and engage employees in this modern working environment.

Employees feel empowered and invested in their work when they can contribute to the overall company’s strategies. It is key to involve them in the bigger picture, soliciting valuable input regardless of their job position. Your employees subsequently strive to perform to their full potential knowing that their contributions are directly shaping the company’s strategies and overall success.

It is also fundamental to have frequent discussions incorporating modern practices like agile approaches and digital processes that contribute to the effectiveness and success of projects. Encourage employees to collectively express new ideas and techniques like organising hackathons events. These activities may also result in improving team effectiveness by encouraging collaboration between departments.

Open-minded leaders create positive work experience and stronger cultures – boosting employee engagement and performance.

3. It’s more than a job

In any role, one needs to have a clear understanding of their job responsibilities and expectations. It is important for leaders to clearly define the job requirements, company directions and goals. With proper skills, guidance and constant communication, leaders can align employees’ goals with the company’s objectives. In turn, employees tend to gain a sense of satisfaction, motivation and pride in producing meaningful work.

It’s important to note that sometimes the business directions may change. As such, communicating these shifts early with your employees is crucial or you are at risk of losing their engagement and creating dissatisfaction. Build a culture of open and transparent communications to ensure your people contribute to the shared vision and empower employees to make decisions where possible.

Generally, a large portion of our day is spent at work so employers should look into ways of creating your workplace that employees love. As Mark Twain famously said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

4. Flexible working

With today’s technological advancements, there is a significant shift towards working remotely – from homes, cafes or co-working spaces. It is especially relevant to work from home during challenging times such as during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Flexible working has become more widespread as companies seek to facilitate better work-life balance. Both employees and employers benefit from this new way of working as it produces happier employees who positively impact productivity.

No doubt that some companies fear change, however, several case studies show that employees perform better outside the office. Having flexibility provides motivation, drives passion and is seen as a form of reward that encourages employees to achieve higher quality yield whilst continuing to enjoy their flexible work culture. This new shift has also seen less staff turnover in such organisations.

Ultimately, companies are becoming more focused on results rather than the number of hours spent in the office.

5. More than money

For many employees, money may not be the main motivator. It is a crucial part of the equation but there are other contributing factors.

Investing and developing skills make your employees feel more valued. This benefits both parties as they enhance their skills and talents which benefit the company further. The new skills development also allows them to evolve both personally and professionally.

Another way of showing your appreciation to your employees is by providing good employee benefits. Having good incentives says a lot about the company especially concerning employees’ health and wellbeing. The standard range of medical insurance coverage offered by most companies are hospitalisation, in-patient coverage, personal accidents and disability insurance to protect them and their family. Other ancillary benefits that companies may offer that contribute include company vacations, gym memberships, dental and optical coverage, to name just a few.

Companies with good employee benefits packages help to boost employee performance and help attract and retain talent. A company that offers great benefits demonstrates that they truly care about their teams and their families.

6. Show Respect and Appreciation

A simple “thank you” goes a long way. Expressing your gratitude to employees for the work they have done is important. By letting them know that their contribution has meaning could keep employees engaged, driven and thrive to increase their performance to further benefit the company. Yet all too often this is not routinely done.

Encouraging teamwork and acknowledging appreciation would inculcate a positive work culture. Employees who can work with different teams, share ideas and work towards a common goal, strengthen the entire company.

It is also good for organisation leaders to applaud employees periodically for their efforts and contributions. Many organisations tend to prioritise the sales teams however, it is essential to acknowledge the roles that everyone on the team plays.

Final thoughts

There are many guidelines you can apply to keep your employees driven and satisfied. By showing that you care and invest in your employees’ future, you will not only build a good working environment but also encourage them to want to work harder and reward you with their loyalty.

Consider picking just one idea here and share your thoughts with your team to support your company’s overall success.

Want to learn more about employee benefits insurance and other relevant insurance for your business? Head over to and view the various packages based on your business industry.

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