How To Make Employee Engagement Work For You
It doesn't matter what you build, sell, or invent; your organization can't move forward without people. CEOs, company founders and managers the world over know that keeping their teams moving forward together in harmony means the difference between winning and dying.
Employees who are engaged in their work are likely to be motivated, to remain committed to their employer and to stay focused on achieving business goals and driving the organization's future.
Disengaged employees can drag down others and impact everything from customer service to sales, quality, productivity, retention, and other critical business areas.
Companies that nail employee engagement understand that motivating high performance and aligning talent with business strategy requires getting to the heart of what matters to employees. Let's look at 7 ways YOU can make this happen in your company.
Clearly Define Your Vision. Your vision is a roadmap for employees, and it should be very clear. While it's probably clear to you, how well do you think your colleagues and workforce know it? Try asking them – and don't be surprised if they're unclear or confused. Take time to write it down, show it to others and when it's clear and concise, post it in the places where employees can see important stuff like this.
Give Employees What They Want and Need. Put yourself in their shoes. Have you seen the reality show Undercover Boss? It's amazing how shocked some of these guys are at how hard the work really is, and how little their employees are provided to get that work done efficiently and effectively. Tools, training, support, and a sensitive understanding from supervisors – these are the things that employees expect. Don't presume they have any of these – go check personally. If and when you find they don't, correct that immediately.
Communicate Often and Well. What channels do you use to communicate your message? Written and distributed memos and letters, FAQs, newsletters, training classes, the Internet (do you have a portal and how often do your employees access it), regular meetings - all of these should be used to convey the vision of the organization. Spend time personally asking your employees what they know and think. If the responses show that they are unaware or confused, stop and redesign the messages and the ways you convey them.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Remember to say thank you in all kinds of ways. These don't have to be overly formal – sometimes a simple pat on the back goes a long way. You don't need complicated programs to give formal awards or recognition; just make whatever you do personal and from the heart. Catching people doing things right is a powerful philosophy and motivator.
Coach for Success. Everyone wants to do well and most want and need guidance to do that. Paying attention to the work that others do, giving them clear feedback and showing them how to be better when needed is very motivating. Don't wait for those annual reviews to do this – daily, in real time, is always better.
Give Respect and Create Trust. This seems like such a simple thing, and yet most employees in most organizations will tell you that they don't feel like their bosses respect them (and their needs and wishes). And when that's the case, it's awfully hard to trust the people you're working for. So respect and trust your team, and see whether they'll trust you in return.
Make Work Fun. We all have to go to work each day, but there's no reason it shouldn't be enjoyable. When's the last time you laughed at work, or encouraged your team to enjoy themselves, or did something playful? C'mon – lighten up, and you'll be surprised how much people can do when they're enjoying themselves. Employees who are enjoying themselves, and what they do, can and will be motivated to move mountains.
Money and company perks go a long way, but don't necessarily mean everything. Establishing a culture that's open, transparent, and enables employees to thrive is important for creating a more motivated, high-performing workforce. Whether it's participating in community events, celebrating co-workers or fostering more open communication, organizations that build a culture where employee involvement matters can nail employee engagement and create a great place to work.
What about your company? How do you create and foster employee engagement?