Credit: Getty Images by Luis Alvarez
The question of employee engagement has never been more pressing. Coming out of the pandemic, there has been a shift in employee expectations about both pay and working conditions. With potential economic headwinds — e.g., debt becoming more expensive because of Federal Reserve policy — it’s becoming more important to maintain stability wherever possible, and no area is potentially more important than identifying the best employees for the business and continuing to place them in positions to succeed.
These three key, often overlooked areas of constructive criticism, self-care, and creative contributions are essential for determining possible staff and maintaining the skills on your team. Organizations can promote a culture of growth and development by focusing on these characteristics, leading to improved performance and success.
1. The Power of Constructive Criticism
The ability to give and receive constructive criticism can greatly benefit an employee and their work.
- Employers are responsible for creating the right environment and building trust for honest feedback.
- Employees who can provide appropriate feedback are invaluable.
- Employees might provide useful feedback on workplace culture and practices.
- Feedback shown by recognition processes such as employee of the month awards and recognition ceremonies.
- Employee engagement can be increased by involving employees in decisions.
- Employees who feel trusted with decisions are more likely to be engaged, share ideas, and perform best.
2. The Importance of Self-Care
Every manager wants dedicated employees, and there’s an important balance to strike. Vacations have both mental and physical benefits, from improved heart health to clearer thinking.
- Recognizing the significance of wellness and time off is essential for a healthy organization.
- Employers should empower employees to take vacations and refresh themselves to avoid stress, burnout and turnover.
- Employee turnover can be avoided by encouraging time off so that employees return to work with a clear mind and renewed energy.
While it might appear counterintuitive to want employees to take time away from the office, there’s compelling evidence that employee fatigue costs an enormous amount — $136 billion per year, according to some estimates. That should be avoided at all costs. Over the long term, employers will probably benefit from reduced insurance premiums, increased productivity, and less turnover if their employees feel rested and healthy.
3. The Value of Creative Contributions
Employees who bring new and innovative ideas to the table can greatly benefit the company and its performance, leading to potential recognition through such awards as employee-of-the-month plaques.
The greater the number of ideas and minds working on a project, the more likely it is that a valuable idea will emerge. Employers should continuously strive to solicit ideas for internal processes that save time (e.g., rules for meetings) or externally focused ideas (e.g., revenue-generating ideas). Southwest Airlines, for example, empowered pilots to find solutions to increase productivity and fuel savings in its Orlando office.
Giving employees key performance indicators or economic targets and asking them how they can help positively affect the company’s bottom line can build a more profitable and engaged workforce. With hiring becoming more expensive and potential economic challenges on the horizon, it’s critical to examine the most valuable employee traits. Although hard skills will always be important, one must look beyond those and dig into some less-explored areas.
Businesses must consider the welfare of their workers and establish an atmosphere that encourages trust and open communication. Businesses can boost productivity and organizational strength by promoting employee self-care and offering professional advancement opportunities.
Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products.
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