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Having all your employees checking in on time does not necessarily mean that your team is working at full capacity. While not necessarily a new phenomenon, employee disengagement and “presenteeism”, the idea that someone is physically at work though their focus is absent, is estimated to cost businesses in the US up to $150 billion dollars a year.

The problem is clearly a large one but with an ever-increasing amount of ways for employees to become distracted, how should a manager actually go about improving employee engagement? To help you out we’ve put together some of the most effective employee engagement ideas so you can keep your team firing on all cylinders.

Build a rewards package that encourages engagement

Increased salary and bonuses for hitting certain targets are a tried and tested way of improving employee engagement but they’re not the only rewards mechanism that can help to keep people focused. Creating collective rewards, either monetary or in the form of free perks or extra days off that everyone receives, can build a sense of working for the team rather than just one’s own specific role.

Talk about disengagement

Communication is key when it comes to nearly every aspect of management and employee disengagement is no different. Talking with your team about how much of a problem it is and sourcing ideas from them about how to change it will put the topic on the table and help you and your team to improve on the issue.

Explore ways of making work more meaningful

Having meaningful work is very fulfilling and can be excellent for improving employee engagement. Whether it’s through a corporate social responsibility program, linking your work with outside projects or simply understanding how their work helps the organization to grow and improve, there are many paths that can be explored to demonstrate the importance of an employee’s work.

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Empower your team to take breaks when they want them

Sometimes disengagement can come from tiredness, over-work or work-related stress. In such situations, sitting at the desk and simply hoping that things will change is not the solution. Encourage your team to take a break whenever they feel like they’re zoning out. The most important thing is that objectives are still met and that can often be easier to do by working smarter, not longer.

Make sure people are the right fit for their role

Another major cause of employee disengagement is if someone doesn’t actually suit the job that they’re doing. Altering this requires a holistic effort from HR and management to find the most appropriate people for specific roles and also understanding what makes each team member tick and where their interests and talents lie. Be considerate when talking with employees about disengagement, it might just be that they aren’t being put in roles that would get the most out of their skills.

Explain how team members fit into the bigger picture

One of the biggest driving factors in disengagement at work is not feeling that one’s work is valued or has any importance. One of the simplest but most effective employee engagement ideas is to individually let team members know how their work forms an integral part of the whole organization’s productivity.

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