There’s something special about this time of year as people’s spirits are lifted with the ambitions and dreams of fulfilling their New Year resolutions. As well as personal goals, Business Leaders may have been reflecting on New Year resolutions for their Business. If improving employee engagement is one of these resolutions, please keep reading as we’ll help you make the first steps. And, if employee engagement isn’t top of your list or if you haven’t considered it yet as a key to your business’s success, it’s even more important that you keep reading!
Employee engagement has been extensively researched by many in the last decade. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has summarised the findings and defines it as a win-win situation in the employment relationship for employees and their employers, where typically employees display discretionary effort, going the extra mile, whilst feeling valued and passionate about work. Isn’t this just what every Business Leader want from their staff?
That is exactly why we are passionate about employee engagement – it makes everyone a winner and produces good outcomes both in terms of the bottom line for the business and resilience and satisfaction within your teams.
Whilst the concept is easy to understand and agree with, the hard thing is to actually know how to do it. Next time a Senior Manager tells you to “engage” more with your staff or wants to know how engaged your team is, you will know exactly what to do and what you’re looking at.
Below is a list of things you can easily do to increase employee engagement within your team or company:
- Explain the strategic direction of the company, team and how the employee’s work contributes to it
- Always do as you say to gain trust – if you change your mind or new priorities come up communicate to your team before they hear of the change from someone else or waste time and efforts delivering on old priorities.
- Walk the talk, always…
- Invite people to input – they’ve been hired for their skills so let them come up with suggestions.
- Only offer advice when asked for it, you’re working with adults who have been hired to do their job.
- Listen to what people say – note that this doesn’t mean agreeing with all of it!
- Value what the majority says, not who shouts the loudest.
- Have difficult conversations, however difficult they may be.
- Thank people for their contribution and hard work when deserved.
- Explain your thought process around a decision and the considerations you have made; this will enable your team to apply the same logic to future decisions impacting them without your help.
- Work with people to achieve their goals for professional development.
- Respect the chain of command; don’t step in a few layers down.
- Encourage people to work together.
- Be flexible. Agreeing what people have to achieve is essential, however letting them come up with how will increase their contribution and feeling of ownership of their role.
- Acknowledge that what happens outside of work has an impact at work.
- Ensure pay is in line with the job market and fair within your team as this is a major distractor when people’s pay is low.
Armed with these tips you’re well on your way to improve employee engagement within your organisation. Regardless of the level you operate at, there is always something that you know and that your team will also want to know. The relationship that employees have with the company is mostly dependent on the relationship they have with their manager. A manager who does these things will have an engaged team even if there are other issues to fix within the business.