Employee engagement is when your employees are committed to your organizations goals and values. They are motivated to contribute to it’s success with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.
Instead of starting off with what it is and why we want it, let’s get right in to some examples of what you can do. Are you hungry for information? It’s meat and potatoes time!
Meat and Potatoes; Employee Engagement style…
- Try to be flexible in their schedules. I know not all company’s can let people change their start/stop times but if you can, then do it. Give clear guidelines and deadlines for projects and you might be surprised that they get the job on time and correct! When you give them the freedom to finish things at their discretion, you are treating them as the adults they are.
- Encourage your team members to volunteer, or better yet come up with an idea and volunteer as a team. Some employers set a side a day of volunteering with specific projects in mind. Ask your team members for suggestions, I bet you will get quite a few!
- Build trust with your employees. When you are open and an authentic manager you will build trust and remove the need for them to hide things from you. When they feel they can come to you without retaliation, they will respond better and engage themselves more in the department.
- Make sure your team receives their breaks and lunch times. Uninterrupted. Another nice thing to do is if you see an especially stressed out employee, give them a chance to take five to care for themselves. They may have just had a rough experience and need to compose themselves. This shows you care for their well-being.
- Ask for feedback from your employees without fear of criticism or judgement. This doesn’t mean you have to implement everything they suggest but make sure you try to choose one idea to put into effect so they continue to share ideas. After all, they are the ones in the trenches making it happen.
- Play office games to get them to know each other. Have group fun events like a pizza party or karaoke after work on a Friday night. This breaks the monotony and allows some fun down-time for the team as a whole.
- Promote honesty; Build relationships; and show gratitude regularly.
The main way to engage employees is to get leadership buy-in and action. If the executives don’t lead by example the trust is never built and engagement fails.
How do I do this?
Provide your employees with tools for success. If they don’t have the computer, or training, or office supplies necessary and feel like they have to provide all those things themselves, they won’t stick around because they don’t think you care.
Communicate the goals of the organization. Make sure you have regularly schedule meetings with the team so they know the “why” of what they are doing. Let them know where the company is headed and how their contributions are getting them there.
Give them as much autonomy in their roles as you can. I hear it regularly during the hire process that employees want to be valued for their expertise and to have managers just let them do their jobs without hovering. You hired this person for a reason, let them shine.
Recognize their hard work. Not everyone likes open public recognition or a gift card, but telling someone how well they are doing with a “great job” once in a while can move mountains!
Get to know your team. You don’t have to become best friends with everyone and as a manager I don’t suggest you do that at all anyway. However, you can find out about them, what they like, their hobbies, what is important to them, or their charities. Asking about things other than work is another way to show them that you care.
How do I increase Employee Engagement?
Simple. Train them. Give them meaningful work. Make sure they are in the right role. Check in with them often.
What are the benefits of Employee Engagement?
I’m sure you all know but here they are:
- Higher employee satisfaction
- Lower turnover
- Higher productivity
Engage with your team and work with all of your managers and supervisors to create the atmosphere that stops people from pushing the snooze button multiple times and makes them want to jump out of bed and come to work!