Last Sunday, The New York Times republished a 2014 article, “Why You Hate Work”. Among other things, the article summarizes the results of a survey conducted by one of the authors, and reinforced challenges of employee engagement in the workplace.
They cited four things that make a difference in employee engagement and productivity.
1. Renewal – the ability to take breaks to refresh. A notable quote: “feeling encouraged by one’s supervisor to take breaks increases by nearly 100 percent people’s likelihood to stay with any given company, and also doubles their sense of health and well-being.”
2. Value – feeling appreciated by one’s supervisor
3. Focus – the ability to focus on the task at hand and effectively prioritize
4. Purpose – the ability to derive meaning from work
Many engagement challenges are magnified due to the blurred boundaries between work and home. Work hours extend way beyond 9 to 5 with access to technology being a 24/7 phenomenon.
Consider this example: People generate or respond to emails well into the night. If you’re inclined to catch up with your email late at night and send dozens of messages to your staff at that time, make it clear that you don’t expect responses until the next work day. This simple act can improve all four items mentioned above.
Try one small change and see what happens. Solicit feedback from your staff to see how the small action made a difference. Then, try another one. You’ll soon find what works best in your company and the improvement in results that occur as a consequence.
Have a great week!