Human resources management is always talking about ways to improve employee engagement, get people tuned in at work and functioning as part of a team to produce quality output and make positive contributions. Actually making that happen, though, gets complicated for some managers, because they can’t force employees into feeling more productive and at ease while at work, they can only encourage it.
Finding ways to encourage motivation, creativity and connectivity need not be expensive. That’s good news for companies still struggling along like the rest of the economy, where free ways to increase employee engagement are like gold.
Working on Improving
Nobody is born being the best at something. Talents require a lifetime of practice, finesse and continued education to refine them into usable skills, and in corporate culture, that can add up to a huge return on employee investment for businesses that are wise enough to see the growth potential there. As workers are the biggest asset any one company can lay claim to, it makes sense that they should divert the most attention toward this pursuit.
Small changes can make all the difference in a learning-friendly environment. In other words, instead of spending thousands of dollars to send workers to private schools or training seminars, imparting them on a regular basis with incremental skill boosters and other low-cost solutions is sufficient to encourage more motivation and interest in learning.
What’s more, the source pointed out that presenting workers with a large cache of information at once reduces the likelihood that they will remember as much of it. Wasting resources is not a solution any business wants to indulge in, so using cheaper alternatives like eLearning, which allow the user to connect from wherever and pace their interactions, will increase the value workers take from these utilities.
Avoid Cheap Incentivizing
On the one hand, companies want to reduce budgets. On the other, they want to show workers they care. Finding a middle ground can be difficult, as HR professionals want to express appreciation yet don’t have adequate funding to do so. The worst possible choice in such situations is to aim for the grey area between the two where poor performance rewards exist.
It might be laughable to some managers to think of offering top employees a bowl of nachos or a candy bar, but these are just a few examples of strategies previously employed by some very successful organizations. Considering why people are being rewarded, rather than what they’re given, can help employers focus in on things that will actually be appreciated. Simply saying ‘thanks’ may feel flimsy, but making that same interaction public draws attention to a single person’s achievements and makes them noticed by the rest of the office. Public acclaim is definitely worth more than a Snickers.
Do it Yourself
Chances are there is somebody in your organization who already knows how to do the thing you want to hire someone else to do or is capable they just need the training. This means you don’t have to spend all that money on a third party advertising firm for your Facebook management, or get an accountant to do what your HR payroll system already does, and you can spend that money elsewhere on things that aren’t Snickers bars.
The other major benefit to this strategy is that it makes employees feel much better about their workplace. They are secure knowing their jobs won’t suddenly dry up or be renegotiated to some other service. They are confident that they will continue to have a job. They feel like they can count on their bosses, even in a tough economic climate, to look out for them and maintain them, and they know that HR and payroll will admirably balance budgets to keep things going. It shows that a business is competent and confident in its people and has no intention of shedding employees when there is already a wealth of value in the current workforce.
The best solution when the economy is in a slump is to focus on existing assets. Just like a business wouldn’t run out and buy a whole new data storage array, instead opting to find better ways to running that system, so should HR professionals help management understand the cost of replacing an employee far outweighs any cost savings in the present.
Maintaining a happy, motivated staff doesn’t cost a lot of money. It just takes smart HR and payroll professionals, savvy management and a willingness to think outside the box.