Employee engagement is enough to send most employers over the edge. It seems so straightforward and simple, yet all of your efforts seem to fall flat. That doesn’t mean that you’re doing everything wrong, in fact, you might have some great ideas but you have some wrong things that are pushing the balance the other way.
Imagine, if you will, an old house that is falling apart… simply painting over it is not going to fix all of the problems. With anything, you have to deal with issue from the foundation up to actually change things.
We’ve provided a list below and if you find yourself in violation of these principles then you will find yourself in trouble. Warning: you are probably already in violation, because no matter how bright a manager you are, it’s simple to slip into these foibles.
1. No matter how tempting it is- prizes and gimmicks have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. While it might provide an initial improvement, it is essentially tantamount to being a parent who spoils and bribes their child into behaving a particular way. Engaging your employees requires work experiences that are intrinsically rewarding.
2. Every single interaction that you have with an employee can improve employee engagement, or destroy it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a face to face conversation, drafting an email, or leaving a note. It is built or destroyed one interaction at a time.
3. If you don’t care about your employees why on earth would they care about your business goals? There is a fine line between being too involved and not being involved enough with your employees. It’s important that they know about who you are as a person, and it’s important that you know about them and their families. That doesn’t mean you have to invite each over for dinner, but you should show an interest in them as a person.
4. It’s important to remember that you’re not in the social work business. We are all humans at the end of the day and while it’s easy to say: leave your problems at the door, it isn’t always as simple in practice. That doesn’t mean you can’t show empathy, but you should create an atmosphere of professionalism. You are, after all, a business and you are a manager, not a therapist. This is something that you should consider when recruiting, too, you want to hire people that will fit into your business comfortably.
5. By creating jobs that allow employees to take control of situations on a daily basis you are empowering them. You don’t have to go out of your way to make them feel like they matter, because they can see that through the role they play in your business.
6. Poor communication does one thing: breeds uncertainty. When people don’t actually know what they are supposed to be doing, or working towards they just worry. So ensure that communication is clear and to the point.
7. The best way to improve employee engagement? Is to engage your employees by actually asking them how they feel. Whether that means holding a listening group with groups of employees until you’ve spoken to everyone, or if you want to use a survey system. Whichever method you decide to use the most important thing is that you actually listen to the feedback and use it. Asking for input and then ignoring it will only make matters worse.