As January comes to a close, the glow of the New Year starts to shine a little less bright. Employees that kicked off the year with “new year, new me!” mantras start to fall into familiar routines over time. Sometimes this may cause employees to gradually disengage from their jobs, leading to a rise in employee absenteeism and decline in office morale.
What can a small business do to keep everyone engaged year-round? Let’s look at a few engagement strategies that every business, from a big corporation to a small startup, can utilize for their employees.
Celebrate the big and small wins
The big wins are usually pretty obvious office celebrations. These are the holidays, like Halloween and the winter holiday season, where you can participate in gift exchanges, dress up, and host potluck meals. Other big wins include promotions, employee of the week/month initiatives, and celebrating life milestones like graduating from college and baby showers for pregnancies.
What about the small wins? These wins tend to be understated, like a customer writing a special email saying how much they liked working with a certain sales rep from the team. Celebrate smaller wins by congratulating that team member in person or through a mass email to everyone in the company. Don’t keep continually giving the same person pats on the back either. Make it a point to celebrate wins from as many team members across all departments throughout the year, too. This gives everyone an extra recognition boost and makes them feel like their contributions matter.
Foster positivity in the company culture
How motivated would you feel to work in an office where the company culture is consistently toxic? My guess is you wouldn’t want to stick around in that job for too long. On top of lowed productivity, morale, and absenteeism, turnover rates can also be a big factor for employee engagement.
Leaders are in a prime position where they can make the change they wish to see. If you find the culture of your business has turned toxic, go to the source and start making changes to turn it around. Every change you make gets you closer to creating a positive workplace where everyone feels respected and happy to be there.
Give pep talks
What are we doing? Why are we here? What’s the greater good we’re working towards? (Don’t answer any of these questions with “here to get paid” either.)
It can get easy to get lost in a fog of projects and assignments and forget about the mission of the business. Make the time as a leader to give in-person pep talks. Email your thoughts over for an additional inbox boost.
What should you talk about? Go back to your roots during these pep talks. Recall the company’s mission statement and values statement. Remind everyone about the specific purpose of the business and what makes it meaningful.
Share the vital role each employee plays in growing the business, both on their own and together as a team. Talk about the goals you have already accomplished together, and all the goals ahead that you feel confident you’ll be able to reach. Add in a favorite inspirational quote or TED Talk to watch and listen to, if you’d like! Sprinkle in a few thoughtful pep talks throughout the year to ensure everyone’s on the same page and right track moving forward.