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3 tips to keep employees engaged and happy

A large number of small business owners are faced with uncertainty when it comes to keeping employees happy and engaged, according to a recent study from Deloitte, a leader in human capital consulting.

Coworkers sit around a table while working

Deloitte's third annual " Global Human Capital Trends 2015" stated 87 percent of business leaders claimed a lack of employee engagement is their chief concern, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. The survey polled more than 3,300 business leaders across 106 countries.

Despite business leaders recognizing employee engagement as a key to success, 6 of 10 survey respondents said their company does not have a sufficient program to measure and improve employee engagement. Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, said it's vital for businesses to recognize the dynamic between employers and employees is changing.

"As demand for talent picks up, the balance of power in business is rapidly shifting from the employer to the employee," Bersin said in a release. "Moreover, workers are becoming more mobile, contingent and autonomous, and as a result, harder to manage and engage. In this new world of work, organizations need to re-imagine the way they manage people and come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas to make themselves relevant."

1. Improve employee satisfaction
When an employee is engaged and satisfied in the workplace, he or she is much more likely to have a vested interest in their employer and will be less likely to leave for another job. But how can a business owner keep his or her employees happy?

In poll of more than 850 U.S. employees, The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated found a simple phrase could make all the difference in the world: Thank you.

The study stated appreciation and positive recognition from management tends to spur engagement. Working alongside coworkers with a positive frame of mind also has a similar impact. The study added employees who received a "Thank you" from their manager were twice as likely to find satisfaction at work than when receiving public recognition for a job well done.

But positive feedback from fellow employees provided the most satisfaction. Seventy percent of respondents said receiving positive acknowledgement from coworkers provided the greatest sense of satisfaction.

2. Make investments in employees
Invest in your greatest asset - your employees. Solid employees are a company's greatest asset, according to Forbes, which is why harboring a strong manager-employee relationship can make a difference.

But the study from Deloitte showed business owners aren't investing enough in training their employees. A large portion of respondents - 85 percent - stated learning and career development was a top issue, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.

"There are significant shifts happening in the global workplace that business must actively manage," Brett Walsh, Deloitte's global human capital practice leader, said. "In addition to workers' changing expectations of employers, skills needed on the job are changing faster than ever. Organizations are quickly falling behind on developing the right skills across all levels."

Walsh said organizations need to place an emphasis on leadership development and employee learning programs. This will not only keep employees engaged, but also keep your hardworking employees from feeling burnt out and static.

3. Keep the office fun
It's important that the atmosphere of the office promotes creative thinking and collaboration among all. This includes salary and hourly employees, management, and executives. A positive work environment creates a desire to accomplish the tasks of the day with enthusiasm.

According to a recent poll by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, one of the top five workplace trends of 2017 is the priority to focus on the office experience to drive increased engagement. Data from the poll suggests that most organizations spend more on recruiting new talent rather than developing the top talent they already have within their organization. In order to make this happen and retain talent within a company, resources must be added, dollars must be spent, and managers must be all in.

What does this mean for you as an owner or business manager? Look for ways to make the office experience more rewarding more transparent, and more fulfilling. Understand what motivates and drives your employees by gathering feedback from within the office and taking action from what you learn.

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its affiliates and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.