5 ways to boost employee engagement and battle burnout
How do your people really feel about your workplace?
Your people, and the culture they form, have an incredible impact on the success (or failure) of your business. Employees who feel connected to their team, your shared values and your overarching mission are likely to make a positive contribution. They’re happy, you’re happy - it’s a win-win.
When you want to know what it’s like to work at an organisation, whose opinion do you trust most?
But this also means if your people are feeling burnt out, unheard or disengaged, it’s not just the individual who is impacted. The influence of a few unhappy employees can reverberate throughout your teams and affect your entire organisation.
The goal isn’t to control the workplace culture, but rather to facilitate opportunities for your people to feel heard, contribute to positive change, and be active participants in the journey you’re on together.
Here are our top five strategies to help boost morale and combat burnout.
1. Facilitate a culture of trust and open communication
Don’t let your culture be one where people sweep issues under the rug - provide opportunities to peel back that carpet and vacuum the dust bunnies away!
Ensuring employees are aware of official channels, such as Employee Assistance Programs or anonymous suggestion boxes, is just the first step. Make sure you don’t underestimate the unofficial, day-to-day interactions that really shape the culture.
Do your people feel safe talking to managers or leaders? Do they feel they have an opportunity to discuss pain points and contribute to change? It’s this daily communication that will have the biggest cultural impact over time.
Need a hand getting your key stakeholders engaged and aligned with your goals? Check out our EBActivate services for strategic planning and interactive workshops.
2. Own your WIP and address issues head-on
Open and honest communication only works if there is action attached. When your people give you a genuine, good-faith opportunity to improve, do you take it? Do they feel heard? Can they see the next steps happening?
It can be easy to get defensive, but remember that many employees won’t be able to see the bigger picture and the work in progress that HR leaders are working on. Take them on the journey with you, and be honest about your goals - avoid making promises you can’t keep.
3. Ensure your people can switch off
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for work-life balance or flexibility. Depending on your industry and workforce, you may be able to offer almost unlimited flexibility, or you may face unchangeable constraints. And that’s okay! The key is to honestly assess the areas where you can make the most difference.
For many organisations, the most important thing is that your people can “switch off” when they’re not on the clock. Working from home has blurred boundaries for many employees - acknowledge this, and promote a culture that doesn’t expect people to reply or engage after hours.
If you’re able, consider offering other flexible policies that will help with work-life integration, such as flexible start and finish times, nine-day fortnights and regular allocated days off.
4. Recognise and champion key people
Shaping a positive, engaged culture will do wonders to combat burnout. The key? Make sure your recognition feels genuine rather than putting on a fake smile to boost morale.
It’s important to celebrate professional achievements, but don’t forget about the personal milestones as well. Here’s a tip - at EBA, we ask our people for a favourite moment, a learning opportunity, and a shout-out for someone else at the end of every quarter. It’s a chance for us to regularly reflect, connect and celebrate each other’s wins.
5. Look to the long-term
Employee engagement isn’t something you can flick a switch on overnight. It’s built over time. And if you need to improve your workplace culture, you need to take a longer-term view.
It’s essential to involve your people on this journey. If they feel like a passenger, it’ll become easy to disengage. As active participants, they’ll be more enthusiastic about shaping the culture and the values.