employee engagement is key to a healthy business and is neglected too often. In recent years, the importance of employee engagement has been a growing focus among leaders and it has been the driving force behind many strategic initiatives undertaken by major companies.
Despite all this, one look at employee engagement scores in the workplace at large will show you that there is still a lot of room for improvement in most cases. So, what is a leader – looking for quick and impactful ways to boost engagement – to do?
1. Conduct Engagement Surveys
This may seem like a pretty obvious first step, but a surprising number of companies are not conducting these surveys. Among Fortune 500 organisations, as many as 96% are utilising these tools. However, among midsize companies, this number drops to just 65%. Not only are these surveys vital to understanding where you stand with your employees, the simple act of giving your employees the chance to be heard can have immediate impacts on your engagement overall.
2. Recognise Achievements
One of the fastest ways to lose the interest and attention of your employees is to let good work go unnoticed. You don’t necessarily need to build a formal employee recognition program (though that is certainly an option), but it is critical that you take the time to recognise and reward the accomplishments of your employees in some way. This will incentive them to keep making an impact and help ensure that they feel appreciated.
3. Provide Growth Opportunities
One of the biggest reason why employees leave their jobs is a lack of growth opportunities. When your workforce does not feel challenged, they will inevitably begin to lose interest. It’s not always possible to promote employees continuously, but it is important that you find ways to offer your key talents, projects which test their abilities, opportunities to learn new skills, and a variety of experiences to keep them engaged.
4. Offer Guidance
If you give your workforce, the chance to take advantage of mentor-ship – whether formally through a program or informally through access to great leadership – they will become a more engaged and better-skilled workforce overall.
There are a few steps managers and leaders can take to provide guidance (Brent Gleeson, Forbes 2017):
Make Sure Everyone is in the Right Role:
some people are better at some things than others and understanding your employees’ talents and strategically making use of it can only have positive results on their engagement.
Set The Team for Success:
provide your employees with the necessary tools and training to grow.
Make Their Work Feel Indispensable:
Nothing is more annoying than feeling that you are working for nothing. Make sure that your employees fully understand that their work contribution is meaningful and necessary to reach the company’s mission, purpose and strategic objectives. Also, make sure that the tasks dedicated per employee are clearly explained and fully understood.
Give Constructive Feedback:
without being abusive; you don’t want your employees feel like they’re constantly watched and policed behind their back. Provide your employees with regular feedback on their work so that they are driven by the chance to improve it. Once again, it will make them feel that they are working on something valuable for the company.
Hold Engagement Meeting:
be transparent in your focus on improving engagement and involve your employees in the process by brainstorming issues and possible solutions in meetings. Steer clear of having too much meetings; this might just have the opposite effect.
Employee engagement is multifaceted and complex but can result in better productivity and profitability. Engaged employees are emotionally invested in their work and use their talents, energy and added-value to serve the business. So, working on implementing the four tactics above can go a long way in making a positive impact within your organisation. When you take the time to listen to your employees’ concerns and provide them with appropriate recognition, development, and mentor-ship opportunities, you lay down the foundation for an engaging workplace culture. And after all it’s a win-win situation, your employees are happy and so are you!