As a human resources manager, you hold a unique and vital position at your company. You are essential in creating a positive company culture and ensuring employees feel seen, heard, and motivated to do their best work.
You know the value of your role, but you might also feel unsure of how to execute it and foster a supportive workplace culture. If that’s the case, these tips can empower you and help you make informed decisions that benefit you and the employees you oversee.
Why do recognition and engagement matter?
If you’re met with resistance from higher-ups to foster a culture of employee recognition and engagement, it helps to respond with facts.
Here are some crucial pieces of information you can share to explain the value of recognizing employees and keeping them engaged on the job:
- Recognition provides positive reinforcement and encourages employees to continue doing good work.
- Recognition helps employees feel valued as part of the team.
- Recognition motivates other employees to do better work.
- Employee engagement improves workplace happiness and employee morale.
- Increased engagement is associated with increased profitability and improved performance.
- Engaged employees are more likely to stick with a company long-term, reducing turnover and the expenses that come with it (as well as the extra work high turnover creates for HR managers and their teams)
Remember the details discussed above if you’re hesitant about implementing new protocols. Share them with others who might question your plan, too.
How to develop a culture of recognition and engagement
It’s much easier to feel empowered and stand behind your HR decisions when you have a clear plan in place. These tips will help you develop a culture of recognition and engagement among your employees:
1. Offer more flexibility
These days, employees are demanding flexibility more than ever before. They want opportunities to work remotely and choose their own schedule.
When possible, do your best to accommodate these requests and provide employees with a more flexible work environment.
Increased flexibility allows employees to work when and where they are most productive. As a result, their performance and ability to get things done increases.
You can also use flexibility as a reward. For example, if certain employees consistently go above and beyond, you may offer them the chance to work from home a couple of days per week.
2. Encourage employee involvement
If you’re worried about a lack of employee engagement, one of the most effective ways to mitigate that issue is to encourage employee involvement. In other words, find ways for employees to play a more prominent role in the company.
Maybe you work with managers and team leaders to develop special projects that cater to employees’ unique skills and interests. Perhaps you invite certain team members to participate in leadership meetings or brainstorming sessions.
Consider using multiple methods of involving employees, too.
For example, some might feel uncomfortable speaking up in a meeting. However, they may feel comfortable sharing feedback in a one-on-one session or submitting feedback through an anonymous virtual form.
3. Act on employee feedback
Remember that it takes a lot of guts for employees to speak up and share their opinions or offer suggestions. Employees might feel nervous about providing feedback, perhaps because they think they might be penalized or think nothing will change just because they shared their insights.
To combat this narrative and empower employees to speak up in the future, act on their feedback whenever possible.
You won’t always be able to implement every suggestion, of course. However, you can make some changes that show your employees you value their input and want them to continue offering ideas in the future.
4. Provide opportunities for growth and development
If your employees feel bored at work or stuck in one position without room for growth, their engagement will naturally drop. To combat this issue, provide them with regular opportunities for growth and development.
For example, if you know that some employees are interested in moving up to a different department, consider offering classes that teach the skills they need to make that transition.
You can also offer leadership training courses to help employees interested in becoming team leaders or managers develop essential hard and soft skills.
5. Recognize and celebrate employee achievements
A little recognition can go a long way when it comes to increasing employee engagement and motivating them to go the extra mile in the future.
When an employee does something good, from completing a big project to making meaningful progress toward a larger goal, celebrate them. For example, send them a message telling them you see and appreciate their hard work. You could also offer them a prize like a cash bonus or a gift card to a local restaurant.
Consider asking employees to share a list of rewards that they would appreciate the most. That way, you can trust that you’re offering incentives that are actually meaningful to them (and are more likely to boost motivation in the future).
6. Prioritize employee safety and security
Employees are more likely to be engaged if they feel safe. If they know that their employer is committed to protecting them from the hazards associated with their role, they’ll feel more confident and have an easier time being productive.
As an HR manager, developing and implementing safety and security procedures that benefit your employees is critical to your job. From badge systems and panic buttons to video surveillance, look for ways to give team members peace of mind and reduce their risk of accidents, injuries, etc.
Start building a better company culture today
Increasing employee engagement and recognition can significantly improve your organization’s culture and make your job as an HR manager much more manageable. Use the information and tips discussed above to create an effective plan that enhances company culture and produces significant results.