Actionable Steps to Boost Employee Engagement in Startups

Building a new business can be difficult, especially when you start employing people too. Startups naturally need to bring new people in as they start to grow and expand, but engaging people in the tasks they are doing and getting excited about the future of the company can be a difficult task because they don’t have much to go on seeing as your company is so new. Here are some actionable steps to help you boost the engagement of your employees.

  1. Team Building Exercises

You may roll your eyes because you may think it’s pointless or cringe-worthy, but it’s actually a very effective way of bringing your employees together to form a collaborative and cohesive team. They can also improve relationships and build a strong foundation for good company culture. You can play either do some job-related activities to liven up your staff members’ day-to-day tasks or you can play random fun games to increase engagement at work. No matter if you have employees working at the office or remotely, you can include everyone in games like these. Here are some ideas and why they can help:

  • Two truths, one lie: employees can get to know each other and become more comfortable with one another. They can learn people’s strengths, weaknesses quirks, and personalities.
  • The human knot: this one is for office employees. The group holds hands and forms a knot, and then they work to untangle the knot. This helps to improve communication and collaborative problem-solving.
  • Quizzes: either some general knowledge or even questions focused on your business, this can get your staff members competitive. They’ll also learn or revise some things they need to know about the business.
  • Who Did It Better: you can split the group into however many teams you need to complete a task that is done often in the business. Whoever finishes fastest but also to high-quality wins. As well as improving the engagement between employees, you can also analyze how teams carry out the task. This can help you learn how you can streamline processes in your business. 

Show Gratitude

Showing appreciation for your employees can motivate them to work hard. If they feel like they are a valued member of the business, they will be more compelled to engage with their tasks, which will improve productivity. It’s within human nature to seek praise and validation so by saying a simple “thank you” or “well done”, could make all the difference. Ensure that you are offering opportunities to employees too, such as promotions, and offering rewards, such as bonus schemes or extra time off.

Improve Employee Well-Being

An individual’s engagement is likely to drop if they are struggling through something. Ensuring that your startup is a pleasant place to work is vital in helping them not to become overwhelmed and stressed, which could lead them to resent working for you, even if don’t mean to. You need to constantly and actively work to improve employee well-being. You could even offer counseling services or mental health days, as well as work to create a good company culture.

Vary Their Tasks

If there are different tasks that can be performed by numerous people then make sure to switch them around between people. Although an employee might be able to become very efficient at one task, splitting them between people can actually help improve their engagement with what they are doing. It’s healthier for them to have various things to do so that they don’t become passive in their work and grow bored. 

Listen To Employees

As you are a startup, you may not be used to having people work for you; it could be helpful for you to take a course, or do some research on how to be a better manager. One such way is to make sure that you take on board employee feedback and give them opportunities to suggest ideas. You can hold frequent one on one meetings to check in with them to see how they are feeling and what they think needs to be improved. Providing an anonymous suggestion box or sending out a survey can also be a helpful tool because it allows for more honest criticisms.

Allow Some Flexibility

The age of 9-5s seems to be coming to an end, or at least it is becoming more uncommon. Employees now expect to have more flexibility in their working schedule and even some work-from-home opportunities. It’s not just that your employee may expect it, but it also has benefits for you. When an individual can work to their own schedule and needs, they can come to work more refreshed and ready to work. 

To summarise, team-building exercises and varying the tasks of employees can help reduce boredom, which in turn can improve how employees engage with their work. Showing gratitude, listening to staff, and allowing flexibility can also boost employee engagement in your startup company, which can improve productivity and performance too.