Employee engagement is a buzzword that has recently gained traction due to increasing resignations and staffing shortages worldwide. This phenomenon, which has been dubbed “The Great Resignation”, is showing signs of subsiding, but it was followed by a new trend called “Quiet Quitting”.
Quiet quitting happens when employees stay with the company but do not display any passion or enthusiasm for the job. This behavior is directly related to an employee’s productivity, which affects the organization’s overall output. As such, many business leaders have been looking for practical solutions that would help address these growing concerns, and one way of doing this is by improving employee engagement.
What Is Employee Engagement
There are different reasons why employees literally or figuratively quit their jobs. Still, a common cause that makes them want to stay is having a good relationship with the company and the other members of the organization.
When employees feel fully invested in their tasks and are satisfied with their environment, they are more present, productive, and communicative at work.
This emphasizes the importance of employee engagement not only as a way of increasing productivity but also to minimize onboarding costs and opportunity losses on the part of the organization.
To put it simply, employee engagement refers to the idea that when the organization supports, inspires, and challenges its employees, it will increase their satisfaction and improve their output. Setting goals, concern from upper management, pleasant physical conditions, and social ties with co-workers are some factors that lead to employee engagement.
It also helps when employees understand the purpose behind the work that they are doing, such as how it benefits society or how he is able to contribute to the greater goals of the company. Employees also need to feel psychologically safe, which means they can voice their concerns and opinions without fear, judgment, or backlash from their colleagues and superiors.
Of these factors, goal setting is one of the major components of employee engagement because it makes people look forward to their future in a positive light. As it is part of human nature to strive for improvement, having a goal pushes employees to do better and go further than where they are at present.
Improving Employee Engagement Through Fun Awards
To make goal-setting a more exciting affair within the organization, it is always good to align them with awards. While cash or other valuable items would be a popular choice, do not underestimate the effect of giving out trophies as awards for well-performing employees.
An awards system that specifically addresses the employees’ unique contributions to the organization lets them know that the management sincerely appreciates their efforts and is genuinely paying attention. Tangible awards like trophies help create memories that strengthen the company’s relationship with its employees.
When setting targets, make sure they are clear, concise, measurable, and aligned with the company’s values. You could also be more creative with your mechanics to add more fun and excitement to the whole activity. Here are some out-of-the-box employee award ideas that you may want to try in your organization:
1. Coaching Champion Award
This award recognizes the employee who becomes the go-to person in the team whenever someone needs a sounding board. They would also provide valuable feedback and advice when others become confused or hesitant about their decisions, helping to clear their thoughts and give them a sense of direction.
2. Excellent Feedback Award
A company that encourages employees to share feedback makes them feel valued and heard. Giving an award like this highlights the importance that the company places on making their employees’ voices heard. The feedback can be anything about their work, colleagues, superiors, and the organization as long as it is objective and constructive. Of course, the team managing this award should be able to separate legitimate opinions versus complaints camouflaged as feedback.
3. Improvement Award
When employees are constantly pushing themselves to improve and advance, the company will benefit as well. An award that recognizes the employees with the most improvement every year shows people that the company values and encourages growth. Improvement can be measured through training programs that the employees attended within the evaluation period or through the assessments of their immediate supervisors.
4. Model Employee Award
Companies must enforce discipline among employees, but many balk at protocols. A model employee award can change their perspective of discipline as a positive reinforcement rather than a type of suppression. This award can be given to the employee who was able to live by the company values the most during the year.
5. Team Player Award
To encourage teamwork and cooperation, you can run a team player award that recognizes the employee who contributed the most to achieving company goals. It can be someone who provided support to several members of the organization or the one who held the team together during a time of crisis.