The success of a company depends on the people who work for it. Motivated, engaged employees are the foundation of successful organisations. Get your employee engagement right and you could significantly boost the productivity of your workforce.
But how do you go about improving employee engagement? Our top five tips are a good place to start.
Ask them the right questions
Asking your staff how you can get them more engaged is a great first step. They are the ones familiar with processes, systems, products and customers. As the experts, it makes sense that they will have the best ideas for improving engagement.
Carrying out a survey is a great way to get honest feedback. Ask questions that reveal specific, relevant data that you can respond to. Focus on engagement at departmental and organisational levels.
When you ask employees for their opinions, they will expect action to follow – so make sure you address their comments. When you respond to their suggestions, your staff will know that you listen to their concerns and take them seriously. This will make them more likely to give feedback in the future and create a better working experience for everyone.
Use the right managers
The best managers understand that their success and that of the organisation both rely on the achievements of their employees. They understand the strengths of those in their team, and seek to use those strengths. Leaders need to be inspiring, listen attentively and recognise the impact they have on their staff. Being a good manager needs a specific skill set, and is a unique role.
Conversely, a manager who doesn’t care about success – whether their own, the department’s or the company’s – will ultimately have a demotivating effect on their staff. Regardless of how talented your employees are, they will never flourish under an apathetic manager.
Train your managers
That brings us on to giving your managers the skills they need to be accountable for employee engagement. Companies should train their managers to take an active role in developing engagement plans with their employees. Managers’ progress can then be tracked, and they can focus on continuously engaging their employees.
Bring engagement to life
Remuneration is important to employee engagement, but pay alone won’t make them high performing. It’s the culture, values and leadership that tend to encourage employees to stay in an organisation.
To bring these to life, leaders should make engagement goals meaningful in the day-to-day experiences of their employees. Managers should discuss engagement at weekly meetings, project meetings and one-to-one meetings. This way, engagement becomes part of daily interactions and activities in teams.
Two-way communication is vital to improving employee engagement. The process will evolve as messages are repeated and new approaches found. For a leader to be listened to, they need to be consistent in their behaviour as employees are keenly aware of a lack of authenticity.
You also need to take the time to ensure employees can share their opinions. How about organising informal lunch sessions with the management where employees are picked at random to talk about issues they’re facing? To engage employees fully, the leadership team should itself engage in consistent and regular communication.