7 low cost, high impact employee engagement ideas


It’s been estimated that unengaged employees cost the US economy over $350 billion a year. As jaw-dropping as that number is, the great news is, that it’s relatively easy to fix and unlike many business mistakes, this one doesn’t have to cost a lot.

If you own a restaurant who has direct impact on your diners returning?

Who influences whether a customer returns to a retail store to purchase again?

What impacts whether or not your clients recommend your business to their friends? Or worse, they go on Twitter or Facebook and share a nightmare experience with their social network?

Your employees!

7 tips to improve employee engagement among your hourly staff:

1. Flexibility – According to the National Study of the Changing Workforce, 87% of employees report that having workplace flexibility would be extremely or very important if they were looking for a new job. Both the retail and hospitality industries rely heavily on part-time employees who often have other activities (school, another job, sports, etc.) packed into their busy days. Flexibility at their workplace allows them to live fulfilling lives outside their place of employment resulting in a happier workforce.

2. Transparency – At the end of the day, trust equals loyalty. Loyal employees have a great deal more value and are generally more engaged. The best way to build trust, loyalty and thus engage employees is through transparency. Giving your employees insight into decision making and the state of your business makes them feel included and important. A little can go along way.

3. Leverage technology – Social websites and other communication advances are so popular because they make life easier. It’s much easier to send an email or a text than picking up the phone to make a call. Facebook keeps everyone in your life up to date with minimal effort on your part. Making use of technology can help make the lives of your employees easier. Whether it’s scheduling with Shifthub, using a project management tool like BaseCamp or transferring product Knowledge using DropBox or Google Drive, these products can make your employees’ lives much easier.

4. Give consistent feedback – Consistent feedback goes a long way with employees for several reasons:
- lets them know where they stand within the company
- acts as a reminder of what’s expected of them, especially if they’re not meeting expectations
- a great opportunity for you to give them any positive feedback
- gives you insight into the employee perspective

Schedule regular, one-on-one meetings with your staff and invite them to provide you with feedback and tell you what they believe they bring to the team. Then, in turn, you can give them feedback to help guide them through the next few months.

5. Recognition – Time and time again, reports shows that employees who are recognized, even in the simplest form (a personal thank you) are more engaged and thus more valuable employees. Have a server of the month reward, jean salesperson of the quarter, “yes is the answer, what is your question” service award, etc. Get your employees involved and make sure everyone is aware of the rewards and benefits of participating. This is an opportunity for them to have a little fun while getting recognized for a job well done.

6. Celebrate the small wins – Both restaurateurs and retailers go through ups and downs throughout the year. So, in order to keep morale high, celebrate the small wins. Overtime, it will help loyalty amongst your employees, especially when times might be tough. Did you get an awesome write up on a blog? Did you win a local award? Did you receive positive customer feedback regarding one of your employees? Be sure to keep your staff informed and up to date with any news surrounding your business.

7. Be available, be empathetic – Creating a positive work environment will not only engage your employees, but will also make them feel more comfortable with you. Implementing the above suggestions will help you gain their trust and loyalty. To further this, it’s important that you’re available to listen and empathetic to their varying situations. Life happens, you need to be ready to deal with forgotten school assignments, sick workers and family emergencies. Being empathetic will give your employees reason to be honest and forthcoming, which allows you to more easily deal with what life throws at you.

How do you increase employee engagement among your staff? What positive effects have you seen?

Learn more about how Shifthub engages your employees so you can focus on growing your business.

Read our latest eBook and find out more ways to improve employee engagement among your workforce: Solving HR Problems Without An HR Department

  • […] the end of the day, trust equals loyalty. Loyal employees have a great deal more value and are generally more engaged. The best way to build […]