Many employers lose good staff when thinking that a pay rise or bonus will keep them going. Indeed, money doesn’t really make jobs more enjoyable.
The link between money and employee engagement
Does money engage employees?
The most persuasive answer to this question is the meta-analysis by Tim Judge and his colleagues in 2010. The authors here reviewed 120 years of studies to synthesize the findings from over 90 quantitative studies. The results show that the association between wage and job satisfaction is really weak. There is less 2% overlap between pay and work satisfaction levels. Also, the correlation between pay and pay satisfaction was just slightly higher, showing that employee satisfaction with their salary is mostly independent of their actual salary. When the authors conducted group-level comparisons, they find out that employees that earn wages in the top half of their data range the same levels of job satisfaction to the employees that earn wages in the bottom-half of the data range. According to the employee engagement research on 1.4 million employees from 192 organizations in 49 industries and 34 countries by Gallup – a U.S research-based, global performance-management consulting company, there is no considerable difference in employee engagement by pay level.
Overall, the results have significant implications for HR management: if we want engaged employees, money is clearly not the exact answer. Money doesn’t really buy employee engagement. To be worse, the more employees focus on their salaries, the less they will focus on learning new skills, having fun, and those things are closely related to their work performance.
There are many ways to buy employee engagement, attain higher productivity and bring out a happier business culture – without money. Below are proven ways that you can refer to.
How to boost employee engagement without breaking the bank
1. Make work fun
In some places, meeting deadlines or doing the work itself is really stressful enough. A little fun will make the day more enjoyable. That, in turn, makes it easier to come to work.
2. Give extra time off
Often, time off is a strong motivator. Hold contests and let your employees compete for extra time off (extra half hour off, etc.). Let the winner choose when they would like to take that time off – for example, turn up late at work, leave early, or have longer lunch hour. For some firms, they set team goals and let everyone leave early when the goals are reached.
3. Create a sense of unity
Spending 8 hours per day with colleagues tends to develop a feeling of family. A strong employer can develop this with some changes – for example, picture of all the workers in a prominent place. Also, occasional company-wide social gatherings (Halloween or Christmas parties) can bond people together. Another nice idea is creating such clubs as ‘Cookie Club’ where different workers sign up to, once a week, bring in homemade baked good. You will be surprised at how fast your employees bond when food is involved.
4. Create a positive working environment
Many studies have pointed out that work quality is associated with employee’s surroundings. A filing space, comfortable chair, necessary office supplies, a few plants and the like can considerably improve your workers’ productivity levels as well as overall morale. Survey your staff’s working conditions with an unbiased eye. What changes can you made to better their productivity? Those minor infrastructure expenses can prove nothing next to turnover costs.
5. Give ample face time
A strong employer is the one who has time to effectively listen to their employees, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Providing your employees with ‘face time’ shows your care. That time can be spent for employee development or just taking some minutes to listen to their concerns, feedbacks or other comments. Spending some minutes of your day with one of your high performers can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
6. Give creative job titles
When you consider a job title for a worker, be creative. Ask your employees to give you their input for the correct tile for a job. The right title is significant and enables a person to be proud of their position at the firm.
7. Connect their work to higher purposes
To capture your employees’ hearts and minds, you must help them seize how their specific job impacts the end product or service. Also, on their on boarding process, rather, on their first day of working, let them know about the corporate missions, vision and values and how their work contributes to the company’s growth.
8. Facilitate progress by removing obstacles
What happens on a great working day? In a study implemented by Harvard researchers, more than 12,000 work diary entries were studied to find out what happened in an employee’s daily work life that was important in the highest levels of creative output and work satisfaction.
The most common event that triggered the best working day was reported to be any progress made by individuals or by their team. Every a humble step forward counted. How about the most common event that triggered the worst working day? It’s a setback.
Does your company have old-fashioned policies and procedures, labour disputes, or workers who don’t have tools and resources they need to do their job? To boost your employee engagement and emotional commitment, you have no choice but to remove those obstacles to success and make sure your workers can make progress in their everyday work.
9. Celebrate successes whether big or small
We tend to focus celebrations of work success at big events – for example, achieving record performance, launching new products, landing new customers, or hitting the year-end results. Those are important reasons to celebrate. Still, why not celebrate many steps along the way that are successfully completed by workers to achieve those great victories? Are your leaders trained and encouraged to watch for and give those recognitions?
Indeed, acknowledging employees’ achievements can raise business morale. As employees understand their work will be acknowledged, they get to perceive that they are valued. A valued worker is a happy worker, and thereby a productive worker. A simple thank-you, high-five, a little pat on the back or personal note can go a long way to raising your workers’ emotional commitment.