Keeping employees happy and motivated is (or certainly should be) one of the primary goals of any organisation, because it is one of the primary factors behind organisational success. Engaged employees are also more likely to comply with workplace regulations, policies, and legislation, especially when they understand how compliance benefits both them as individuals and the company they work for.
Organisations looking to improve compliance can start by reviewing employee engagement and motivation.
That's not really news, of course, and you don't need to be an HR specialist to understand the importance of employee satisfaction and engagement. But it's a very broad area, and one where ideas seem to pop up all the time. There is no shortage of "top tips" and inspiring case studies. When you take a step back, however, most of those tips and ideas fall into one of four basic categories, which all reflect basic human desires: recognition; a sense of belonging; work-life balance; and a positive environment.
This tops the list because studies constantly show that being valued and making a genuine contribution is often a greater incentive than money when attracting and keeping good people. It's not just about providing career pathways. Genuine satisfaction comes from knowing where you fit into the bigger picture and that your contribution is valued and your achievements recognised. That can be as simple as a thank you from the boss at the right time, or an inhouse celebration to mark a particular success. Recognising and rewarding compliance plays a key role in this, since it encourages desired behaviours and sets the example for other employees. This can help build a culture of compliance.
2. A sense of belonging
Culture ties in with the sense of belonging, a concept that goes beyond simply liking where you work and the people you work with. Successful modern organisations are open and transparent with their people about overall goals, strategy, finances and future direction. This builds trust and loyalty and brings great rewards in terms of employee motivation and input. When employees feel connected to their employer, they are more likely to comply with requirements because they understand the importance of compliance to the business’s overall performance.
3. Work-life balance
Work-life balance is an increasingly hot topic, and the discussion usually focuses on providing more flexibility in terms of working hours and working from home. Some organisations or teams go further, however, by planning the year around what else will be happening in people's lives. Ask them what their work, family and personal goals are for that year and what demands they will be facing. This creates motivation for employees to comply with the regulations and policies required of them, especially when they’re aware that the organisation is doing its best to accommodate their work-life needs. There is a natural reciprocity that kicks in.
4. A positive environment
The work environment is important because people want to come to work each day in a place they enjoy, with likeminded people and a culture they respect. Part of the positive environment is physical, and there is plenty of advice to be had, from the importance of natural light, uncluttered spaces and chill-out areas, to allowing individuals to customise their workspaces or even work from home.
For a positive work environment, it's also important to try to break up routines, add some spontaneity and fun and let people bring a bit of their own personality into the workplace. But the real key is communication and social connections. Encourage people to get together, and get employees involved in what information is passed around, and how. When they feel a sense of ownership regarding this information, they’ll also be more likely to comply with directives and requirements.