How to reignite the spark in employee engagement

It’s been a tricky year for business management. From pandemic fatigue to workplace burnout, startups of various sizes are faced with a similar challenge – to rethink and reignite employee engagement. Some might approach this as a one-off event – like a holiday bonus. But leaders in their fields know that it demands a long-term approach. It’s an opportunity to start listening to the needs of your team members and committing to ongoing adjustments.

As the Great Resignation continues to sweep across the globe, the world of work is still in flux. Across all industries, business owners need to ask an all-important question — what do start-up teams really want?

For those who don’t know where to start, here are some ways to go about it.

Quality training for startups

Career development plays a huge role in attracting and retaining talent.  As organisations navigate The Great Resignation, quality training is of key importance. In fact, SafetyCulture research in partnership with YouGov indicated that seven in ten team members describe training as either very important or a top priority ahead of a competitive holiday allowance.*

The benefits of training are multifold – boosted employee performance, driving ownership, increased engagement and more. We aren’t talking about your run-of-the-mill, old-fashioned training though – that’s no longer enough. For training to be valuable and meaningful, instead of long courses with interruptions, go for training that’s fun and engaging. Mobile learning is quickly becoming a popular way to get the training done, whether your team is on the go or working remotely.

Start-up leaders may think that quality training is out of reach from a budgeting perspective, but training has never been easier and more accessible to teams. Especially in the mobile microlearning space, you’d be surprised to see the options available for all business sizes – both big and small.

Make things simpler

There is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but burnout is something many of us are still navigating. A Harvard Business Review study found that the vast majority of respondents — an overwhelming 85% — reported declines in both general and workplace well-being in 2021. There are a few things we can do to help pandemic-weary employees manage their cognitive load better.

Start by tackling process fatigue. This means improving efficiency and day-to-day processes in the workplace. Depending on the nature of work, you could take a number of approaches — digitisation of manual processes, eliminating unnecessary red tape or streamlining cumbersome training into easily digestible formats. Simple checklists, repeated often, can be an effective way to keep track of things in a fast-paced environment.

The time and energy saved can help startup staff solve problems that really matter – in most cases this is why they probably joined the team.

Inspire teams to speak up

Create a workplace environment where employees embrace a speak up culture. Now more than ever, team members want a say – whether it’s in operations or workplace training. Feeling confident and knowing they have a valued voice is crucial – in fact our research shows it’s a top priority for staff when considering new jobs or roles.

Whether you’re a start-up or a more established business, there are ways to make it more comfortable for team members to speak up – about their concerns, new ideas, or feedback. For example, here at SafetyCulture, we have an AMA (Ask Me Anything) channel on Slack that encourages direct dialogue with our CEO. It’s simple, yet effective. Or choose technology that empowers anyone to capture and report issues instantly to the right people.

Whichever method you choose, now is the time to put the power in the hands of your start-up team members. A start-up that encourages people to speak up can help leaders to be proactive about any potential problems and also inspire teams to have the confidence to solve their own issues.

It starts with founders and leadership – start listening more and making small changes and you’ll empower and inspire your teams to do their best work every day.

To learn how to empower your team, download SafetyCulture’s latest research.