7 tips that increase engagement at work

Employees' lack of engagement in their work can lead to big losses for employers. According to a study, only 13% of Finns say they are engaged in their work. See our tips for improving employees' engagement.
Helén Hägglund
Helén Hägglund 
Senior Advisor, HR & Employee Benefits

When engagement increases, everyone wins

According to the annual State of the Global Workplace survey, only 13% of Finns feel committed to their work. A poor reading indicates that there is a lot of room for improvement. Better commitment would benefit both employer and employee. Our expert Helén Hägglund, who consults global HR teams, sees a direct connection between commitment and the company's financial results.

"Increased commitment leads to increased productivity, better employee well-being, reduced sickness absences, and reduced staff turnover. All of these have a significant impact on the company's financial performance," he says.

The pandemic period clearly reduced employee engagement. A large number of employers do not know how to build an internal culture and engage personnel in the new hybrid working environment.

So what's your advice? Many Finnish companies have begun to oblige personnel to return to the office at least on certain days of the week. A mandatory return to offices full-time has also been hinted at as a solution. But does that solve the problem?

“I don't think it would work very well. The younger generation requires flexibility from their employer and has had time to get used to remote working already during their studies. Many others also had time to get used to flexibility regarding their workplace during the pandemic. If remote work is not allowed or it is difficult for the employee to do it, recruitment can become significantly more difficult," says Hägglund.

How do you recognize a committed employee?

Since so few are truly committed to their employer, committed employees are even more valuable to companies. Committed employees are almost always more self-initiative than others and strive to find solutions to the challenges they face.

Committed employees also act on their own initiative as company ambassadors outside the company. They are proud to work for their employer and represent the company's brand. It is good to be aware that this is a very important part of the formation of the entire employer brand.

"Engaged employees are constantly looking for development opportunities and new ways to move forward. They are guided and motivated by seeing the results of their work. Commitment often improves when employees feel that their voices are heard, are closely involved in the business, and feel that they are valuable to the company. These employees also understand what the management team wants and what is the overall significance of their own contribution," says Hägglund.

Hägglund believes that it is possible to identify a higher level of commitment than usual: "Committed managers of a company can be recognized by their good communication skills. They are skilled at clarifying common goals and generating trust in other employees."

Disgruntled employees come with hidden costs

Eight out of ten employees say they only do what is expected of them and nothing more. They simply don't think the extra effort is worth it. The work also does not excite them in the same way. These disgruntled employees cost the company the most. They are tired of their work, they have more sick leave than others or they spread bad feelings and energy around them as well.

"If you want committed employees, you have to create good conditions for commitment. You have to find out what your organization's situation is now and why it is. By asking the right questions, analyzing the answers you get, and taking measures based on the results, you can correct things and increase commitment," says Hägglund.

Many personnel managers know how to answer what staff turnover and absences look like in numbers. But how many can tell you why? After all, sick leave can cost a company a lot.

"Sickness absence costs are a big expense for many companies. That's why it's always worth finding out what causes sickness absences and whether they can be reduced with measures taken by the employer. The measures can be related to improving occupational health services and finding out their true effectiveness, but also to the organization's own internal operating methods," says Hägglund.

However, the number of sickness absences does not always give a true picture of how the organization's employees are doing. In some organizations, employees even work when sick - especially when work can be done remotely. In this case, the statistics are significantly distorted. That's why it's important for supervisors to stay on top of each employee's well-being and workload on a personal level.

7 tips that increase commitment to work

We've collected some tips to help you start improving your employee engagement right away.

1. Strengthen the professional identity of your employees

Meet each other and give positive feedback and help. Create an atmosphere and operating methods for your team where everyone has the opportunity to invest in their own strengths and receive praise. Always give "credit to whom it is due".

2. Create clear job descriptions

Make sure that everyone knows what their job description includes, and that the roles are clearly described. What tasks does the person's job description include, what matters can he decide on independently and what is expected of him? Is the workload realistic? Clarity brings commitment.

3. Let go of power structures and protect corporate culture

Have zero tolerance towards bullying and discrimination and communicate the matter clearly and often. A toxic corporate culture is unhealthy, while kindness does wonders for well-being and engagement. Make sure that the employees can set the rules for the culture together. What is important to them in order to be successful in their mission?

4. Be positive and open to new things

We are all different. By accepting differences, utilizing everyone's individual strengths and seeing opportunities instead of obstacles, we can get much further. Be open to other people's opinions and accept that your opinion is not always the right one.

5. Trust your colleagues and employees

Trust is one of the most important things when choosing an employer, because everyone wants to be trusted. As a leader, you should not control more than necessary, but delegate things. Instead, offer your help whenever the need arises. Trust gives the opportunity to be vulnerable as well, which strengthens human relationships in the workplace and increases commitment and well-being.

6. Invest in employee benefits and joint activities

In terms of productivity, it is important that your staff can also relax, have fun at work, and have space for joy, laughter and attention to colleagues. This has become even more important in hybrid work. Investing in everyone's personal well-being is also worthwhile.

7. The contribution of the management team is crucial

The ability of senior management to inspire and point the right direction to employees is very important. Management must clearly communicate where the company is going and why. They must also demonstrate that they understand that employees are the company's most important asset. That's why it's also worth investing in management commitment, well-being at work and job security.

Need help?

Would you like to know more about how you can increase the commitment of your employees through functional employee benefits and better occupational health care? Contact us using the form below, and we'll get back to you soon!

Let's be in touch!

Send us your details using the contact form and we'll get back to you soon.

How you heard about us

Submitting this form let's us store your contact information. We use the data within our group, and we do not share it with third parties outside the Söderberg & Partners group. We may contact you to market our services. You can withdraw your consent at any time by sending an email to viestinta@soderbergpartners.com.