“Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Managers everywhere can help solve this problem – and reap the benefits of higher employee engagement.”
Employee engagement is very critical for any organization’s success. Most managers and leaders struggle with engagement. They want to ensure that their employees stay focused and motivated and driven to give their best every day.
What makes employee engagement so crucial?
Simply put, engaged employees are hard working, innovative and are a driving force towards their organization’s progress. They are always willing to go the extra mile and work with tremendous passion. Why? Because they feel they have a profound connection to their company.
There are two types of disengaged employees – the actively disengaged and the not-engaged.
Actively disengaged employees are set out to damage your company. Not only are they unhappy at work, they are also intent on expressing their unhappiness. They monopolize manager’s time and resources, and drive away customers. Worst of all, they also undermine the work of employees who are actively engaged and bring them down.
Not-engaged employees are not as dangerous. In fact, they perhaps offer the greatest untapped opportunity for businesses to improve their performance and profitability. They might be difficult to spot for you, as they are not too loud or visible – only sleepwalking through their day, doing exactly what is required from them. With the right approach, such employees can be transformed into actively engaged employees. This is where the critical role of managers come in.
It is important that each employee feels engaged when they come to work. Knowing that they are respected as individuals at work can have a significant impact on how employees view their overall lives. An employee’s potential is not just restricted to his/her job description but also how his unique set of talents, beliefs, goals and life experiences can be best harnessed, and tapping that leads to his/her own growth and well being.
Hence, managers and leaders should know their employees by who they are and not just by what they do. Every interaction with an employee has the potential to influence employee’s idea of his work and contribution to the company.
Now that you know the kind of employees in your organization, probably you are categorizing them in your head as per these divisions. So, if you do feel your employees are not engaged enough, you can solve this problem and reap the benefits of higher employee engagement. Let’s find out how.
1. Conduct relevant surveys
Most of the times, the biggest mistakes that organizations make is to take irrelevant employee surveys, which are followed by no actions. As such, employees feel like their opinions don’t matter which can lead to them losing interest gradually. Hence, it is very important that survey data be specific, relevant and actionable for any team at an organizational level. Aprticipation in surveys can also make employees feel valued as they are asked for opinions and suggestions.
2. Focus on engagement at the local level
If there is change that you want, you will have to start at the highest level. Real, long lasting change can happen only when the leaders set the tone from the top. Managers who know and understand their teams well should be motivated and engaged enough to drive them towards their best. Cumulative efforts as such can take the company to greater heights, making employees feel respected and a true part of the organization they work for.
3. Select the right manager
Being a good manager requires talent. These are people who should understand that success depends on each individual employee’s performance and dedication level. Great managers care about people’s success and hence always motivate their employees to move forward by recognizing and valuing their contributions. Businesses should, hence, be very careful about the managers they hire and treat their role as unique, with distinct functional demands that require a specific talent set.
4. Train managers and hold them accountable for employee engagement
Research has shown that managers are primarily responsible for employee engagement. Hence, companies should train managers to play an active role in building engagement plans with their employees. Companies should also hold managers accountable in case of employee disengagement and track their progress in terms of how successful they have been in creating a strong and engaged workplace.
5. Set realistic engagement goals
To bring engagement to life, leaders must make engagement goals meaningful to employees’ day-to-day experiences. Whenever goals are set within teams, it is always a good idea to describe what success looks like using powerful descriptions and emotive language. This helps employees to give meaning to their goals and builds commitment within a team.
Ensure that your managers discuss engagement on a weekly basis, in action planning sessions as well as in one-on-one meetings with employees to weave engagement into daily interactions and activities, and to make it a part of the workplace culture.
Is Robust Communication The Key?
The best companies understand the importance of having actively engaged employees, for which they strategically align their engagement efforts. They find ways to communicate the effects of engagement with their employees all the year round as well as share the best practices across the organization. They do not miss out on any opportunity or communication channel to actively engage their employees, as the benefits include not only overall growth, but also less turnovers and absenteeism among employees.
Hence, if employees are truly who drive a company, leaders and managers should actively focus on the best ways to keep them engaged. Such practices will drive workers to bring out their best at work every day. There are several success stories around the world where companies have proved that fruitful engagement techniques are what have been driving their growth.
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