ACCORDING to a Gallup poll called the “State of the Global Workplace”, which studied employee engagement in 142 countries, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.

Isla Galloway-Gaul, the managing director of Inspiration Office, a space and furniture consultancy, said: “When people are engaged, they adopt the vision, values and purpose of the organisation they work for. They become passionate contributors, innovative problem solvers and are a joy to work with. “The answer to winning back disengaged employees and keeping the engaged employees engaged isn’t only pay, perks or promotions, but it is meaning – that is, giving work a greater sense of significance and making work matter.”

Here are ways to make people more engaged at work:

  1. Show people their work matters
    “Make time for employees to explore the purpose of what they do,” Introduce your team to their customers. Explain how their work helps others, even in small ways, and encourage them to share their own stories. Reframe the work your team is doing so they can understand how and why they fit into it.
  2. Create a learning environment to encourage personal growth
    Make space for people to create and execute their own learning plans, offering help along the way. Understand their different learning styles and attention spans, and provide experiences for growth expanding on what they already know, with immediate opportunities for putting into practice at work.
  3. Help make people feel valued and valuable
    “You care about your personal family and friends, but what about your ‘work family,’ whom you probably see the most? Do you ever ask how your employees are doing and care about what they say?” By showing employees their value, they will feel valued as individuals and in turn are more likely to live up to their value in the workplace.
  4. Involve people in decisions to create a sense of control
    Micromanagement can be a meaning-killer. “Including your employees in decisions and giving them space to get the job done helps them feel less like numbers and more like contributors. Whether it is where to put the new soda fridge or how to solve a million-dollar problem, don’t manage in a vacuum,” Galloway-Gaul advised.
  5. Allow people to bring their real self to work
    By being your authentic self, you give employees permission not to check their identities at the door, even if they are a quirkier than everyone else. Of course, this must be within the bounds of workplace professionalism.
  6. Make people see where they fit in the mission
    “Employees will never think that their work matters if they don’t know they matter. Achieve this by showing them the long-term vision and how they fit in it and contribute to it beyond the organisational chart of course,” said Galloway-Gaul.

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