hey say money can’t buy happiness. And they (whoever they are) are partly right. Money, specifically the amount you are willing to offer as a salary every month, is a big reason why prospective employees are drawn to your company in the first place. But it’s not what makes them stay in the long run.
Employees may be well paid and still fall into a place of demotivation and disengagement towards their job and their employer. As a manager, it’s important to keep your people energized and happy or else you could send them running. Or worse, they might start to falter in their daily tasks, delivering bad results.
There are a lot of ways to boost team engagement: provide constructive feedback on a regular basis, offer a clear view over the work ahead and how it’s progressing, encourage leisure time, by planning team engagement activities in office or team building activities in the great outdoors.
Here’s what money can buy: tools. There are a lot of apps and websites you can use to help your team reach its full potential. We have highlighted a few we really believe in.
Trello is a web-based app that allows you to make lists. Like Buzzfeed, but for professionals. You can create a Trello board for each one of your projects. Then, you just need to define all tasks that will move between statuses (backlog, in progress, to analyze, done, etc.). Anyone that you invite to your board has an overview of the whole project, who the tasks are assigned to, when each is due and so on. It’s a great way to help people keep track of their workload and have a clear perception of how they’re contributing to projects.
Betterworks provides companies with a collaboration platform for managing strategic plans. As opposed to Trello, where you define clear, daily tasks, on Betterworks employees define more global goals they want to achieve, both from a business and a personal development perspective. It’s helpful from teams to check how their work is aligned with the company’s strategy and targets. For managers, Betterworks offers a useful tool to schedule regular check-ins and conversations and it allows them to collect peer feedback about each of their team members.
TapMyBack is similar to Betterworks in which it’s a tool used for feedback giving among employees. But it’s more fun to use. On TapMyBack, colleagues award each other medals to give credit whenever something is done right. It can be purely related to work, but it can also be used to reward punctuality, creativity, and other accomplishments.
In my previous job I was an advocate of the saying “Slack is not a work tool”, which goes against Slack’s tagline “Where work happens”. I’ve come a long way since then and have learned that Slack, when done right, is a great tool for employee engagement. It can be used for company wide announcements, project updates and event planning. It also helps people connect, by providing a space where people can exchange instant messages. And let’s face it, Slack is fun. You can create non-work related channels to discuss movies, books or cats. It even allows you create custom emojis of your co-workers. What can be more entertaining than that.
Officevibe is all about putting people first. It allows managers to see in real-time how their teams are doing, through simple visual data. At the same time, it gives them actionable tips on how to address team challenges, drive performance and engage employees. For team members, it’s an easy tool to use to give feedback and make their voices heard, which can help improve relationships with managers and make them feel involved in decision-making processes. It’s a win-win for everyone
A while ago, at a team offsite, we did a team building exercise that consisted of choosing two people to give you kudos in front of everyone. It went well, but it could have gotten awkward. The good news is, there is an app for that: Cue Kudos. This tool allows teammates to recognize other teammates’ achievements from the comfort of their own desks. Feeling that you’re not appreciated in the workplace is one of the top reasons why people leave their jobs, so this tool is really one to consider to keep your team engaged with the business.
Culture Amp is aimed at HR and People & Culture leaders. The tool makes it easy for them to collect, evaluate and act on employee feedback. It provides useful insights with personalized dashboards for both regular employees and managers. Not only that, but it’s designed and supported by psychologists and data scientists that help build a feedback program that will work for each organization. That, paired with its machine learning algorithms that combine engagement and performance data, makes it a top-of-the-notch tool that shows where action is needed.
Communication is key to any relationship. That’s why Beekeeper wants to help your business connect frontline employees and on-site colleagues across locations and departments in real-time. This internal communication platform aims to be the one hub your teams needs where they can not only talk to each other, but also find important information, get access to tools and keep track of their calendar. Information is distributed instantly to everyone, removing the need to search through computer folders, Google Drive or Dropbox to find documents and making for more efficient teams.
The hypochondriac in me would love for this to be a blood pressure measuring tool, but it’s not. TINYpulse Engage is a tool that sends short and frequent surveys to employees to measure opinions about company culture or policies on a more regular and instant basis than if you’d send out one big quarterly survey. It also allows employees to anonymously upvote shared issues that matter most, keeping them involved and inciting managers and executives to make changes where needed the most.
Some jobs more than others can be very repetitive and leave little to no room for creative thinking. This can make employees feel disengaged towards their daily tasks and the company all together. Coursera is a great platform for your employees to have access to online training and specialized courses that keeps their minds sharp. They can enrol for classes that help them dive deeper into a skill that could be useful for their job or for a career move they’re thinking of making, or simply give them the opportunity to learn more about a topic they’re interested in. Even if your team members sign up for ancient Chinese pottery classes, just by providing them with the learning platform, you’re making them feel valued.
At Teamy, we truly believe team engagement is at the core of a great workplace. Professionalism, career development and ongoing feedback should be paired with more casual and relaxed activities, for employees to feel valued, but also connected to and, ultimately, happy at work. You know the saying “Happy wife, happy life”?. It could just as easily go “Happy employee, happy…” whatever rhymes with that.