Statistics about worker engagement make sobering reading. As reported by Forbes , 51% of workers have admitted to being unengaged; 17% said that they were actively disengaged. While it isn’t always easy to discern how to relieve these issues, collaborative working does provide a clue.
If your workers often spend hours at a time tied to their desks, this could be hindering their social interaction with colleagues and as a result, blunting productivity. Here are some insights as to why.
Staff need to be included in decision-making
You may be responsible for regularly making crucial decisions, the effects of which trickle down to how your staff work. For this reason, it seems only sensible that your staff should be given a say on those decisions – even those concerning the organisation’s overall strategic direction.
This is advocated by the mental health charity Mind, which explains: “When staff feel involved and well-informed about what’s happening in the organisation, it increases motivation”.
You should also seek feedback from staff when managing organisational changes, such as the implementation of new work content and technology.
If your employees raise any issues, you should also act to address them. Mind further explains: "When employees are involved in finding solutions, they feel ownership of the final decision and morale and productivity levels are less likely to be affected."
Workspaces should be designed to encourage collaboration
To foster a collaborative spirit in your workplace, you should encourage your workers to move around rather than stay tethered to their desks or cubicles. You can create a suitably inviting environment by increasing the number of naturally-lit collaborative spaces and meeting rooms.
As your workers move around the workplace more often, they can improve both their physical and mental conditions. It might have escaped your knowledge that, in an eight-hour workday, workers should sit for a maximum of only two hours as a means of achieving optimum health.
The biochemist Jack P Callaghan, PhD, has revealed that employees should, in the long term, aim to stand more than they sit. Workers who do act on this recommendation can be rewarded with improvements in both their postures and the ease with which they can collaborate.
Employees can feel mentally revitalised in the wake of either a walk or insightful interactions with a colleague. You could even take inspiration from Google, which has gone as far as fitting a huge rock climbing wall where workers at the search giant’s New York headquarters can de-stress.
Implement an efficient Employee Assistance Programme
While an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a standard inclusion in many companies’ wellbeing drives, there may remain a major question mark over such a scheme’s effectiveness.
Traditional EAPs tend to be utilised by less than 5% of eligible employees, who need to reactively ask for help before the EAP is even put into effect. However, a modern EAP, such as the Employee Assistance Programme from LifeWorks, can be enacted proactively to support 100% of employees. This can render it useful for measuring the long-term health benefits of collaborative working.