- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
If you are a manager, an important thing you might be focusing on is employee engagement. Right now, you’re probably thinking it’s a challenge, especially if you are new to a position of leadership.
Let us help you hit the ground running and apply some of the best employee engagement strategies you can find. We will also discuss how important employee engagement is and how it can be improved (and increased over time).
Every team must work together and achieve the goals that are imperative to succeed. It can’t be one person doing all the heavy lifting while the others do nothing. In today’s working world, engagement is more important than it has ever been.
What exactly is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is defined as the measurement of strength. Specifically, the strength of the connection between the employee’s work and their employer. When evaluated, it focuses on such things like motivation, referrals, morale and commitment. You should aim to have employee engagement strategies that focus on both internal goals and external rewards.
Why is employee engagement important?
When employees are engaged, it increases many areas across the board including work quality and productivity. If a core group of employees are engaged, this encourages the rest of the team to act in a similar fashion which is a dream come true for managers and directors alike.
Employee engagement also provides an organisation with higher employee retention. The happier an employee is, the more likely they will stay with their employer (even until the day they retire). One of the many things that managers want is to ensure that high employee turnover is not a regular occurrence. Putting employee engagement strategies in place will not only keep your employees loyal, but it will also save you money in hiring costs. Low employee engagement costs you more than valuable employees.
It’s no surprise that higher productivity can also pay off. According to research, increasing employee engagement can lead to higher profits per employee. Sure, time may be money, but productivity and happiness goes a long way. You want your employees to think that their job is more than just a pay cheque they take home every fortnight.
How to improve employee engagement
There are many ways to improve your employee engagement and it starts with someone who is responsible for making it work. If you are someone in HR, this responsibility will most likely fall on you. Therefore, it is important to create an environment that employees will be happy to work in day in and day out.
The things you want to focus on are motivation, trust, involvement and empowering your employees. This is often easier if you are part of a small company. It is still more than possible for larger companies, you will just need to get other key figureheads involved to engage as many employees as possible.
It’s important to start off by hiring people for the roles that are right for them. Be sure to give your staff proper training and the opportunity to professionally (and personally) develop. This will help them feel more confident in what they’re doing and more likely to achieve the goals of your organisation. This also includes giving employees work that they consider meaningful. Employees who do work that is meaningful will know that what they are contributing to the organisation is important and valued.
Check in with your employees as often as possible. Employees are looking for feedback way more often than the usual quarterly or half yearly review. The more often an employee receives feedback, the better they will make adjustments and work (rather than waiting in suspense to see how they are performing).
How To Increase Employee Engagement
First and foremost, it’s about giving individual attention to each employee. When this occurs, don’t expect every employee to give you the same answer. Ask them what they like about their work and what challenges they seem to be facing. Take note of any patterns as they may be ideas for improvement on the horizon.
You also need to ensure you are supplying your employees with the right tools. What tools and resources could help them improve their productivity and overall work quality? Even in the ever-evolving business world, you need to provide your workforce with top quality technology and resources.
To be an effective leader that your employees can count on, your listening ability is highly valuable. Listen to their likes, their challenges and other suggestions they may have to give you ideas on how to improve employee engagement and other areas of your organisation.
Lastly, go in with a servant’s heart. Even though you are the manager of these employees, the real question to ask is: how can you help them achieve their best? While your employees serve you, one of the best employee engagement strategies you can execute is somewhat of the reverse. What can you do for them?
There are many different strategies that you can apply to improve your employee engagement. Either way, it is important for your organisation to work on making sure that your employees are trained, confident, productive and heard. At the end of the day, you want your employees to be happy and stay on in the long run.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell