You’ve probably seen it at your workplace. An employee spends hours on non-business phone calls, Facebook browsing, or shopping. This is a disengaged employee. A lack of employee engagement can manifest in many ways, but when we focus on merely correcting these behaviors, we miss the holistic picture, and your employee does not feel seen or heard.
At WorkLife Assistant, our Platform focuses on the entire picture of who your employee is. Rather than thinking of behaviors as problems to correct, we see them as manifestations of something going on in this person’s life—things we can help people with. Life’s journey is not linear; things happen. Our Platform provides the tools and resources to help your employees find the solutions.
Some possible reasons employees are not engaged at work:
- The employee has a health concern, or a family member is sick
- The employee is experiencing grief or loss of a loved one
- The employee is bored with current job duties, and is ready to learn more and experience career expansion
- The employee must pay for college and is worried about the upcoming financial burden
- The employee experiences anxiety or depression, which limits the ability to focus at work
- The employee has an elderly parent needing assisted living support
- The employee has several of the above factors going on in life, and therefore has less time to socialize
The WorkLife Assistant Platform can provide your employees with solutions, to focus on your employee holistically. Our five principles of well-being include Mind, Body, Relationships, Money, and Career.
Did you notice that last bullet-point above?
This is where focusing on the entire employee in a holistic way can help. Because each of these areas of our lives do not exist in a vacuum—everything affects everything else. For instance, when you or your family member experience a serious health concern, often you may also have to deal with financial concerns when the medical bills start to pile up. One thing that we set aside all too often when things start to get busy in our lives is our social life.
I recently read an article written by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, Ph.D. In the article, they talk about a study that was done on how having a supportive social network physically lessens the time it takes to heal from injuries. To me, this is further proof that everything is interconnected. This is why, at WorkLife Assistant, we don’t just want to focus on the physical or the financial well-being of employees alone. We want to focus on helping the entire employee become more engaged, with tools for all five principles of employee well-being.
Since our social lives are sometimes the first thing we abandon during stressful times, consider encouraging healthy socialization within your organization.
Three Ways to Encourage Workplace Socialization and Create Engaged Employees:
- Allow employees to find ways to socialize that compliments their personality style. Be aware that not all of your employees are outgoing or extroverted, but introverted employees need to be social too. There are different ways to socialize, which feel right according to your personality type. An introvert may not feel comfortable yelling out answers during a brainstorming meeting, but quietly writing down answers on pieces of paper on their own time and placing them into a hat may be more appropriate.
- Encourage volunteering, either at the individual or group level. Volunteering allows people to socialize with others while bonding towards a common goal to help others. Offering the ability or incentives for your employees to volunteer with other employees or individually will encompass the personality differences of your employees and allow for everyone to feel comfortable with volunteering on their schedule and terms.
- Inspire workplace socializing. Sometimes companies frown upon workplace socializing, perhaps because they think social activity will hinder getting the work done. However, research proves that the opposite is the case. When employees create workplace friendships, they are more likely to be committed to their jobs and they will be happier and more engaged at work. And more likely than not, if an employer frowns upon a bit of social banter, this creates feelings of mistrust which will do more harm than good.
Simple behavior correction is not the way we can create engaged employees. Instead of focusing on the what (the behavior), a more holistic approach would first aim to discover why your employees are not engaged at work. By encouraging your employees to be more social, you can help them to feel accepted and included at work. When someone feels a kinship with the people surrounding them, this boosts loyalty, which can create more commitment to the work itself. Employees who are encouraged to be social can also find empowerment in speaking up about innovative or problem-solving ideas. When employees are more engaged, not only do they contribute to their own success, but they can also contribute to the overall success of your company.