Every day we connect and interact with people. Engaging comes in all different shapes and forms, and it is on us to think about what kind of relationship we are about to build from that communication.
Now, when we think about how much of our time we spend at work with our colleagues and teammates, we realize that employee engagement is much more than just knowing whether someone likes their job or not. It goes beyond satisfaction and performance and far beyond productivity and a positive office environment.
If you are a manager, then ask yourself, how much do my employees genuinely care about what happens to the company's future?
Are they dedicated to helping it expand and be successful? If you're not sure of the answers yet, it's okay.
There are ways to determine the level of employee engagement between your staff.
However, if you're an employee, ask yourself whether you are motivated enough to work hard towards a common goal that is in line with the company's vision if the answer is yes, perfect! But if the answer is no, then ask again, why do you feel like that?
The level of engagement comes in 2 phases:
- One is the engagement with the overall company
- The other is the engagement that people have with their managers and superiors.
Did you know that employees with higher levels of engagement with their managers tend to feel they are getting direction on the work they do and feedback on their performance? Employees that have a mutual feeling of respect with their managers have a sense of being a valued part of the company. Additionally, when you have observant and caring managers, all aspects of your business increase. It allows for an increase in production, high customer satisfaction, and worker competency to be at an all-time high.
Engaged employees are likely to help increase profit revenues every year. A study by the Workplace Research Foundation has found that by investing in your employee engagement by merely 10%, profits can increase by more than $2000 per employee. The same study also found that employees who are highly engaged are more likely to increase their productivity, often as much as almost 40%.
Let's provide you with ten tips on how you can drive engagement in your company:
- Establish a people-focused culture
Creating a working environment that makes people feel valued, heard, and respected provides a balanced lifestyle between work and personal life. When you invest in people's success, you practically invest in your business sense. Fostering a workplace environment where employees feel supported and conduct their responsibilities within a team-focused atmosphere, is a winning mindset of a 'people first' company. Always focus more on their strengths and positive characteristics than on improving their weaknesses and try to figure out what they are naturally gravitating towards - what makes them excited and build a plan around it.
- Encourage collaboration
Collaboration is an alternative word for communication. To obtain a strong partnership, one has to start the discussion, but it takes two to tango, right? There is a reason why people gather and cheer around a particular sports club or music band/artist because when a group of people join their effort to win the big game, it almost becomes an infectious feeling that immerses everyone around them. It adds a sense of cooperation, consideration, and confidence in not only each other but in the organization itself.
- Mentor/train your employees
Not only should your employees understand the scope of their work, but as their manager, so should you. The managerial staff sets the tone from the beginning, and an excellent way to achieve a positive mood is to be more than their manager; be the best coach they could have. Allocate them with tools and devices where they can share, discuss, learn, and cross-train in between departments and without endless meetings. Think of online workshops, webinars, onboarding programs, and in-house training modules. When organizations provide continuous learning practices, they become less competitive and more engaged since they understand the bigger purpose.
- Set and clarify goals
There are times when employees get mixed up or confused with what their role is in the organization, which is very common. There are also times when employees feel mentally exhausted when they try to achieve the goal that they were assigned.
For those managers who haven't clarified their primary goals or struggle with pointing them out, don't worry, even the most experienced professionals in the world went through the same. But what you can, and should do, is think around practical everyday tasks or project goals and involve the people in your organization in 'discussion communication channels' on weekly meetings, planning sessions, and in one-on-ones with them. In today's digital world, people put an endless time of endeavor in advancing their careers as far as possible through informal education, workshops, and other enrichment courses. Encourage employees to attend seminars and conferences or even invite guest speakers relating to your industry to give your team talk.
- Promote honesty and transparency
Being an honest and transparent organization must start from somewhere. Usually, that happens when we feel comfortable enough to speak around our flaws freely without prejudice and admit our faults without fear of significant consequences. Only when the truth comes out, problems can be identified early and can be solved before it blows out of proportion. It may sound like basic common sense, but employees generally avoid honesty because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The management must initiate and adopt a policy and encourage employees to take ownership of their failures as well as their successes.
- Listen and act on employee feedback
Listening to what your customers or clients have to say is essential, but so is listening to your employees. Giving your team a voice is vital to the improvement of the entire lifecycle of the company while giving them a sense of 'belonging' for the 'big league.'
If there is a situation within the internal workings of the company that goes unnoticed or unaddressed by management, it sends an unfavorable message to your staff. If they know that management cares and hears their concerns, they will continue to maintain a high level of engagement instead of becoming despondent and disengaged. By creating surveys or employee satisfaction talks, you analyze and evaluate yourself as a manager, which helps you and your business to grow.
- Be consistent and have their backs
An article in Forbes magazine states: 'Leadership is about having each other's backs – especially those of your employees. Employees disengage when their leaders play mind-games and are inconsistent with their approach and style. Who wants to engage with a leader that doesn't have their back? Because of the mentioned above, is why leaders lose top talent all the time. They assume their employees will be loyal to them rather than recognizing that retaining top talent requires leaders always to be looking out for their best interests. Employees are vulnerable these days, not knowing who to trust, rely upon, or follow.'
Being a leader with a high level of emotional intelligence is an attribute that can move mountains.
- Allow them to grow
As a manager, you need to leave some room for your team to show their skills and abilities when working on an assigned task. Allow them the space to do their jobs the best way they know-how. Hovering and micromanaging is only going to result in added stress, and that's a condition in which no one can work well. If an employee comes to you with a pitch or an idea that may not be what you are looking for, then choose your words wisely, Respond in a way that you won't discourage them from continuing to try and develop other concepts. Offering encouragement and appreciation for their work is essential, even more so when you may reject their first pitch.
- Recognize and award their achievements
There is no secret when it comes to recognizing good work that a little 'thank you; it means a lot' goes a long way. Such a simple thing, yet so overlooked.
However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider rewards & recognition programs. Moreover, Gallup Poll showed that 68% of employees hadn't received any form of recognition for good work in the last year. The reasons why recognition programs are becoming so popular are numerous from engagement, productivity, customer satisfaction, and well-being. Also, 85% of HR Leaders say an employee recognition program has a positive effect on organizational culture, and 83% say that employee recognition programs benefit corporate values.
- Show them you care about their work and lives
We, as humans, are living beings who likewise plants that need some water and sun, we need good health and self-care. So being the most of our lives at our workplace correlates and influences our overall health condition and self-care by minimizing or maximizing it. In a perfect world, if we had a magic button that can enable 'do not bring your life at 'work mode,' we would have ended like robots and artificial machines.
But we are people, with emotions and feelings, with families and friends, with credit loans on our backs and priorities on our mind. So as a manager, acting as if you do care, does not make it better since it is unnatural and obvious and believe us when we say people can quickly notice that behavior. Being genuinely compassionate with 'being the bigger person' in tough times for your employees is what leaves a mark for your integrity and reputation as a leader.
If you got an epiphany while reading this, and you have the will to try and implement some of these tips, then take pride in your work ethic 🙂
If we all try to unite instead of divide, collaborate instead of resist, share instead of keep, and learn instead of neglect, then we might have an excellent chance to revolutionize how we work, learn, and see the world today and tomorrow!
Suddenly, being most of our time in the space, we call 'work' never felt so good!