What does an Engaged Employee Look Like?
We hear a lot about getting employees engaged, but what this means is often interpreted in the loosest of terms. Putting on training once in a while and having staff attend is not real engagement. Nor is having an annual barbeque and hoping for the best. It’s about much more. Employee engagement is about fostering a sense of worth among staff, who become more enthusiastic about where they work. It also has real benefits. Engaged employees feel a sense of belonging and they’re more dedicated to their jobs. A company where the workforce buy in to the goals and values, feel valued themselves and this can have real business benefits. So, how do you go about finding ways of getting your employees to be more engaged?
Communicate and Care
Lots of research has found that people view being appreciated at work as important as remuneration and in some cases more so. If you want to make sure that employees and the organisation have the same goals, staff need to be clear on what those goals are. They also need to know that they are central to the success of the business. Communication is key. Talk to your staff. Get to know them. Ask them questions. Get their feedback. Good business is built on relationships in and outside of the workplace. Let your staff know they matter and build trust. If you show that you care about a person’s work and contribution, they are more likely to care about the organisation. Talking and listening are the first steps to getting your employees engaged.
Things to Make Employees Feel Engaged
There are a range of things you can do to stop your staff feeling like a cog in a machine; things you can do to stop apathy and underperformance. Organisations with higher levels of real employee engagement see real benefit in success terms. Enhancing employee engagement is all about the culture you maintain in work and there are things you can do to foster enthusiasm and high performance among people.
- Recognise – when something is done well, congratulate your staff.
- Coach – mentor and coach your staff. Having guidance and encouragement can turn an apathetic employee into someone who feels they matter.
- Collaborate – working as part of a team can halt feelings of alienation at work. It can also bring out undiscovered talents.
- Be Clear – it’s easier for people to be fully engaged when they have a solid idea of what’s expected of them. Don’t let people second guess what the goal is. Tell them.
- Develop Talent – find out people’s talents and use them. This will benefit everyone.
- Update – if an employee has come up with a great idea, let them know that it’s being used and keep them involved in its implementation.
- Lead – If you want staff to care about the company, you have to lead by caring about staff. Show that they matter and that your style of leadership values people and the success they bring to the organisation.
Employee engagement is critical to the success of an organisation. You can’t afford to ignore it. You need your staff to be fully on board to reach your goals. You can’t do it without them. If you treat engagement as central to your day to day routine, you will reap the benefits in terms of reduced stress, higher output and a happier workplace all round.