Top organisations around the world are starting to manage employee energy like a highly important strategic asset. They know that the ever-increasing pace of advancements requires more and more human energy. Any entrepreneur will tell you that it takes a tonne of energy to grow and build a business. The key is to manage it; sometimes you have to exert energy, other times you need to conserve it to go the extra mile, and after a sprint you need to replenish it. When teams are energised, they feel like they can achieve almost anything. But when there’s an energy gap among employees, it’s up to you the leader to bring back the necessary level of energy. You have to show the kind of energy you want to see. At the beginning it’s important to assess where your employees stand. Think about when they were at their highest energy levels, when they had a perfect day, what does the average day look like. These things will help you take things forward. Here are some of the best hacks in order to maximise human energy:
1. Spend time engaging with people.
Say hello in the morning and goodbye at night. Be approachable. Ask about their families and show them you care about other things besides work. When they miss work because their baby is sick, ask how the child is doing when they come back. Also, enable your teams to enjoy and get to know each other. One great and very simple way to do this is through team lunches and dinners.
2. Honor special occasions.
Celebrate every new hire. Acknowledge special occasions and make people feel special. For example, IBM used to give a gold watch to celebrate 25 years with the company, but most people don’t stay that long anymore. Don’t wait 25 years! You can celebrate every year and every other milestones in small ways by recognizing employees’ achievements in meetings or writing them personal thank you notes.
3. Careful with work hours
In the U.S. employees who are earning a salary of less than $47,476 must track hours and be paid for overtime. It’s wise to start enforcing this rule and discourage employees from doing work off the clock. Try and explain to your people that work-life balance can and should be achieved. Talk to each and every one of them individually to show them that you really care and you may see shifts in attitude towards themselves. It is also recommended that they take regular breaks during office hours in order to unwind. Encourage them to leave their desks, go out for a walk, stretch or even find a quiet space where they can relax.
Read also: Preventing Burnout in 5 Easy Steps
4. Allow creativity
Employees need to be reminded that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Even when an idea is not pursued, it can shift ideas into new territories.
From how employees decorate their desks to how they complete assignments, allow creative freedom, as long as standards of work are met. Encourage employee input, and, however possible, provide time and resources for meaningful, work-related smaller projects. Nowadays, companies now set aside time each week when employees can work on their own projects, as long as those efforts further the company’s goals.
Employers can’t remove all the stress of their employees’ lives, but they can make the workplace a source of purpose, focus and togetherness that can help prevent employee burnout.
5. Celebrate wins
Do fun things with and for your team. Take a break and take the team to a movie, or do some charity or volunteering work together. This can be achieved very easily and here are some examples:
- LiveOps have random Nerf arrow attacks and paper airplane contests.
- At AdMob and Everwise, the sales teams ring a gong when a big deal is done.
It’s especially important to do this even when times are hard. At eBay, there was a day in which they started to do a free listing day. Users were thrilled about it—they stayed up all night posting listings. The increase in volume was immense – a year ahead on volume projections. Although a great marketing ploy for the company, it was a nightmare for the people running the system. They worked tirelessly to make it through capacity problems, and when they finished they had a parade and turned the relief into positive energy.
It is essential that employees understand the long-term winning strategy you are trying to implement. Run the positives and negatives by them in order for them to analyse and understand why there is a change in policies.
We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.