Ten ways to improve Employee Engagement
Organizations today expect more than (human) resources and expect employees to share the same vision and enthusiasm, as the company leaders. The thought is great as well as achievable with engaged employees. To engage employees while one can buy dedicated software or get a consultant to take care of this, employee engagement is all about building a positive relationship between employee and employer and hence cannot be achieved by anything materialistic.
Here are some tips to improve employee engagement. The appended points are a mix of a few that will show their impact directly on employees and a few which are required to be incorporated by the leaders and to be shown in their actions.
Understanding the concept better –
For a better action on anything, it is essential that you know the subject in enough detail. Other than knowing what it is, it is equally important to be able to clear off the myths. Understanding what employee engagement actually means, is the first step to improve engagement. There are plenty of books available on this subject that you can refer to or you could for starters read ‘what does employee engagement mean’. Once you know the concept better, you will realize how easy it is for you to be able to work towards engaging your employees and just not making them happy.
Be sure of the Business Value of the Engagement –
Don’t do it just because others are doing this or else the efforts won’t give the desired results and neither will sustain. You need to be convinced that engaged employees will help you in growing your business better. Leaving aside what research and studies indicate. The conviction that the better engaged employees will be beneficial for your business is essential as without this the whole exercise would crumble.
Define engagement as per your business
Once you have understood employee engagement, you need to tweak its actual definition a bit to fit it as per your business. What you expect from your employees and what an engaged workforce means to you needs to be specified. Even if your employees are dedicatedly working they may not be working towards the goal directly. Hence you need to define the below –
- Things your employees need to do to grow the organization in a competitive environment.
- Qualification of strategic initiatives would reflect the growth potential.
Multiply what is working –
As an organization, even if you are not putting efforts towards employee engagement, you will still have few members who are engaged and they stand out. Learn from these people to know what is ‘already working’. If it is their manager than you need to inculcate the same strategies in other managers. If these people are engaged as it is their nature and personality, then you know what to look at while hiring new members. So if something is working, the first step is to know what is and multiple that.
Clarity on the fundamental existence of the organisation –
Most of the employees drag themselves to work every morning. Along with other reasons they may have, one is the question of existence. Not knowing why their company exists and its goal makes them like a herd of sheep without a defined destination. An organization with a defined mission keeps its employees motivated as they have clarity about where the company is heading and their future.
The connection between employees and company’s mission –
It is imperative that the employees understand how they contribute to the organizations mission. Now this may have a couple of challenges like the ones mentioned below –
- A role doesn’t connect to the mission. If this is the case the same needs to be dealt separately and the required clarity needs to be given.
- While the role contributes to the organization it is not clear why the role or the person is important and hence the employee may thing they do not matter. In such cases it is essential to explain it to the employee about it as well as put it on paper.
Ensuring a right balance between work and life outside work is easier said than done. For each of your employee work-life balance may have a different meaning and need. Hence speaking to them individually to know what you as the organization can do help them maintain this balance is important. You need to be flexible to allow them ‘personalized flexibility’ to maintain the balance.
Quantification of engagement –
To know something is improving, you need to be able to measure it. Define an objective measure to see ‘actual engagement’. Post putting in a lot of effort going by ‘guts’ isn’t a sensible approach.
Make your Employees your Advisors –
Once you have defined the engagement that you believe will directly improve your business, ask your employees where to start from to achieve the right engagement as per them. Your employee can be the best person to ask what motivates them. Don’t assume that you can do this on your own. Speak to people who are on the ground to know what makes them engaged. You don’t have to follow any expensive rules and just note the opportunities to acknowledge their efforts and respect them as people, to start with.
Small but firm steps –
Don’t plan for something huge to start with. It is important that you sustain rather than start with a bang. Your continued efforts towards employee engagement is the first thing your employees will appreciate. Simple and quick to apply plans are important.