How to engage your trade or construction employees in the workplace
As all employers understand, encouraging staff engagement is essential for a productive workplace.
In a recent survey by www.talentcodehr.com.au, 40% of the respondent businesses noted that build and retaining engagement with employees was a major concern and the number one concern for 2019. Secondary to this was the ability to recruit quality staff and retain existing workers.
So what should businesses focus on first?
It’s actually better to target all three of these challenges to get your employee engagement right. Here’s why:
If your employees aren’t engaged they will leave. Employment engagement can be defined as “levels of enthusiasm and connection with other employees and the organisation – how motivated they are by these connections and the commitment they have to complete objectives set by the business”
Fundamentally if your employees aren’t engaged, this will create an environment which will not encourage new talent to join your team.
But how do you encourage employee engagement?
Employee engagement is entirely dependent on the actions of the business, management and people teams – without strong employee engagement you cannot recruit and retain the people in your organisation. Free lunches and other rewards are always welcome, but employees in the 21st century are after more – and if your workplace does not work out meaningful ways to engage with your workers the business will under-perform.
An organisation should be providing its people with purpose, an ideal working environment and one in which they are supported to succeed.
Here’s some ways you can create a culture of engagement in your workplace:
Engage with your team from the start
Humans are social creatures which flourish under an environment with ongoing connections and social interactions.
A great way to build a sense of ‘community’ within a workplace is to connect senior team members with juniors to create informal mentoring teams.
This helps to skill up your newer workers, having no worker left behind. A buddy system is also a program that you can start. Have your more experienced trades take a new employee or apprenticeship under their wing and show them the ropes.
It is the small gestures that make a new team member feel more included in the team enviroment right from the start of their employment.
Likewise it engages your more senior staff so they can get the intangible benefit of feeling of ‘giving back’ to others and shows the workplace validating their skills and expertise by putting them in that mentorship capacity.
The more positive interactions you create like this can allow your workers to create strong bonds which encourage retention.
You can also foster this in a group setting, through group activities or events.
Organising a workplace retreat doesn’t have to be difficult – with programs and facilities which specialise in catering to these types of events.
Promote your business values – from the bottom to the top
Your company should live and breathe your values, and bring them to life every day of the year.
This starts at the top, where employees need to see their managers and leaders living the characteristics and behaviours they want their employees to display day in and day out.
In larger trades or building companies where leaders model the desired behaviour, employees are more focused in their work, more engaged and far more likely to stay at the company over the long term.
An example of this could be in record keeping – if staff are required to follow a documentation process, but if the manager/staff member,it can create an Us Versus Them environment.
Celebrate wins in your business
As a trades business owner you’re generally looking at the longer term vision – but can forget to acknowledge the successes along the way. Counting those small milestone wins can help bring your team together and encourage an environment of success. Nothing gets employees engaged and working towards the long term goals like showing as an owner that you’re seeing the small wins your team makes each day. Whether this is something as simple as a kind word of acknowledgement, lunch or vouchers/gifts – it can turn your team into a cohesive, focused organisation driven to progress further in producing results.
Staff breakfasts or a lunch time BBQ’s to celebrate achievements like quarterly results and acknowledging which members of the team are meeting the companies targets or benchmarks.
Every time you engage in celebrating success, it tells your employees that they are valued and their positive efforts contribute to the greater business vision.
Are you looking to help build better people processes with your business?
BusinessSight’s Trades and Builders Business Program mentorship program includes structuring human resource processes and systems to improve your business results – find out more by contacting BusinessSight today.
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