Engaged employees are imperative for an organization's growth. An organization that fails to drive engagement among its employees will likely find it challenging to retain them. Data derived from recent research suggests that more than 63% of U.S. businesses with an employee base between 50 and 500 find retaining employees more difficult than hiring them.
Research shows that high levels of employee engagement directly result in a committed workforce that is low on absenteeism and turnover. Let’s break down the findings:
- 41% reduction in absenteeism.
- 24% less turnover in high-turnover organizations (organizations with more than 40% annualized turnover).
- 59% less turnover in low-turnover organizations.
Lower absenteeism and turnover contribute to higher productivity. Companies with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable and 21% more productive than those with low engagement. Disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses up to $550 billion per year.
With all this information at your disposal, the obvious question is how effective companies and businesses engage their employees. The answer is not promising. This study reports that only 33% of U.S. employees are engaged at work.
Here are four creative employee training methods to drive engagement and growth at your organization.
1. MAKE IT FUN
Starting with your employee onboarding process, your training goal should be to make your employees feel confident. Having fun from the first day at work ensures that your employees connect emotionally to your company goals.
Strive to make the process as interactive as possible. For example, prepare mobile-responsive employee handbooks as training manuals. These handbooks can be full of engaging elements, including short texts, images, and videos. These modules should playfully and interactively emphasize the core values of your company.
Gamified learning elements prove especially beneficial in these cases. You can design a gamified module, where each task that the employee completes is treated as a level in a game, and they can move on to the next only when they’ve completed the task.
One of the crucial outcomes of gamification is that it encourages the principles of positive competition. Gamified modules also allow employees to practice the job they will be doing in the field on an app. It makes them aware of the bottlenecks involved in the process and gives them time to prepare for the imminent challenges.
During the training process, your employees may have doubts and concerns about the new workflow they are about to commit themselves to. It is always a good idea to send a follow-up email so that they know that you are open to questions and concerns.
2. ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES IN TIME-DRIVEN COLLABORATIVE EXERCISES
Hosting conference calling sessions can be a convenient, low-cost solution to keep your team collaborative and on the same page. But go the extra step and have them engage in time-driven team exercises.
For example, involve them in a time-bound project, like a boot camp, where they get the chance to come together on a project that is about to go live.
Provide them all the coaching and mentoring they need to tackle the challenges of the project simultaneously. Employee engagement thrives on projects that are real and mission-oriented.
While these boot camp sessions require your employees to stay within the project’s pre-determined framework, you can also host larger-scale collaborative sessions, like “hackathons” at computer programming companies. These can range from a few hours to a full work day, and they allow your team the opportunity to let loose, flow freely with their creative instincts, and exchange thoughts and solution ideas.
3. EXPLORE CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORIES TO DEVELOP INNOVATIVE TRAINING MODULES
Customer success stories can be a highly effective tool to align your employees’ objectives with your company. While compiling these stories into case studies is common practice in many organizations, you can take it further.
Share the customer experience life cycle with your employees, including their doubts and challenges while implementing your solution. Sharing only the initial problem and the final triumph leaves out important elements that can help your solution feel more “real.”
Modules created out of the intermediate bottlenecks and how they were resolved can help your employees emotionally connect with the success story and inspire them to develop similar outcomes.
4. MAKE THE MOST OF REWARD AND RECOGNITION POLICIES
It is vital to acknowledge your employees for the work they do. Try innovative ways of rewarding employees, going beyond the usual gifts and bonuses.
Feature them on the blog or in the company newsletter. Give them a round of applause for their sales skills at a monthly luncheon. Recognition events should occur regularly, as irregularity can create confusion, dilute the goal, and lower the morale of your employees.
Businesses in employee-intensive industries, like manufacturing or consumer products, should be more attentive to how they reward their employees. Rewards should be unique and exciting to look forward to and relevant to the employees and the industry. Additionally, a well-devised and carefully executed reward and recognition policy can add to your company’s brand equity.
About the Author: Lindsey Wilcox is a digital marketing specialist for Pitchfunnel, with several years of experience in business marketing, writing, and content creation.