According to a Gallup Poll, the percentage of US workers engaged in their jobs rose last year to nearly 33%. That’s the highest rate of engagement in the last three years.
Why the uptick? Researchers think there may be several reasons. One, as the job market has become more competitive, companies are putting more effort into engaging their employees. They’ve set complacency aside and are working to motivate and engage.
Two, part of the rise may be due to the “honeymoon effect.” This comes from new employees who are often more engaged than those with tenure. Their excitement and engagement can set rates higher.
Since employee engagement is a key to your company’s success, we’re going to look at five steps for better employee engagement.
Step 1: Clearly Define Your Mission, Vision and Goals
To create an atmosphere of engagement, you have to first let your employees know what you believe so they can decide if they can support it.
Your employees need to clearly know and understand your mission and vision. They can then direct their efforts towards helping you achieve your goals.
Employees want to find purpose and meaning in their work, and your mission and vision provide that for them.
Your company’s mission, vision and strategic goals are a roadmap for success. When employees are guided by these shared principles and beliefs, they are more likely to be engaged.
Your employees need and want to feel good about the place where they work to be fully engaged.
Additionally, when they have a clear understanding of your goals, they know what’s expected of them. If your employees aren’t sure what you want and don’t know their own workplace goals, their engagement is likely to drop.
Most workers want to meet and/or exceed your expectations. But, don’t make them guess how to do that. Tell them and then provide the motivation to increase engagement.
Step 2: Hire the Right Managers
Bad leaders are one of the primary factors when it comes to a lack of employee engagement.
Some managers are great at leading teams and making employees feel valued and appreciated. Other aren’t. Make sure to train your managers so they know how to improve employee engagement.
This is good for your bottom line.
The best managers know that your company’s achievements lie on the shoulders of your employees. Thus, empowering them and engaging them is their best shot at success.
The right managers know how to highlight each employees’ strengths and boost their weaknesses. They empower employees and recognize their ideas while providing constructive criticism.
Your leadership team is directly responsible for engaging your employees. Hire carefully and look for unique individuals with a talent for management.
Step 3: Ask Your Employees
Consider asking your employees what you could do to engage them.
You’ll probably find that monetary rewards engage employees. But, there are other motivators. Here are a few things that have the potential of engaging your employees:
- Earned Time Off
Survey your employees to find out what is currently working to engage them and what you can improve on.
Be careful when crafting your surveys so that they motivate instead of create negativity. Make the surveys anonymous for the best results.
Then, evaluate your surveys to decide what you can do as a company for better employee engagement. Lastly, act on the survey information.
Step 4: Empower Your Employees
Engaged employees have a level of autonomy. They know you trust their ideas and their work. When you empower them, you show them that you value their work as it relates to the success of your business.
When possible, try not to micromanage your employees. Give them responsibility for their own work and hold them accountable. Employees should know you respect their work, but that you do know sometimes mistakes happen.
Employees who fear failure have a hard time engaging.
Step 5: Allow for Ongoing Feedback
Annual performance reviews are stressful for managers and employees alike. Don’t wait for these once a year reviews to give your employees feedback on their work.
Set up a schedule for informal discussions where you encourage open and honest discussions. Give them feedback on their work and suggestions for improvement. This lets them know where they stand on an ongoing basis instead of just once per year.
Allow some time for their feedback as well. Don’t ever hold it over them. Also, remember that your employees expect you to take an action when you solicit their opinions.
Engaged employees care about your company. They come to work each day willing to give their job full attention.
Employees who share your mission are engaged employees.
Engaged employees are dedicated to your business’ goals and values. They see your success as their success.
As a business owner and leader, it’s up to you to create conditions that offer your employees the chance to reach their full potential. They can only do this if they are fully engaged with your company.
Your engaged employees trust you and your leadership. They enjoy open communication with other employees and the leadership team. They are goal oriented, and they feel appreciated.
Employee engagement increases your profits because your employees give each day their all. They are committed to going the extra mile because they feel safe and valued in the environment you’ve created.
Lastly, encourage teamwork, listen to your employees and provide opportunities for regular feedback for better employee engagement.
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