Engaging your employees should be a priority for your business. It’s been shown that companies with engaged employees are more productive and profitable, have lower levels of staff turnover and are able to recruit and retain top talent.
Employee engagement should never be an afterthought or just another thing on your to-do list. To make it meaningful, it should should be incorporated into your business’ processes, and management at all levels should be practicing it.
Studies have found that less than a third of American workers are engaged in their jobs – an alarming statistic.
Like most organizations, there’s probably a lot of room for improvement in yours… but where do you start? These are our top rules for employee engagement.
1. Show genuine concern
Employees can tell if you are being sincere or not and tend to view things cynically if they have felt neglected and then suddenly you seem to be taking an interest in them. If you are not showing genuine compassion and empathy for your employees, you’ll not engage them, but push them further in the other direction.
Keeping employees informed about the goings on inside your company can help them feel connected and valued. When people feel as though they are being kept in the dark – even if it isn’t intentional – they can be frustrated and resentful. Discuss what is going well for the company as well as areas for improvement.
3. Live your company values
If you have company values as part of your organization’s mission statement, you need to live and breathe these values and lead by example. It’s no good just having them on a piece of paper. All staff from management down should incorporate these values in all their actions both internally and with external clients and stakeholders.
4. Survey your staff
Getting feedback from staff is critical if you want to make improvements within your company, and it can also help to boost engagement. But only if you do it properly. It can’t be a hollow, meaningless effort. Once you survey your employees, you need to follow up on their feedback/
5. Give staff learning and development opportunities
Your staff work for you for a number of reasons, and not just for financial ones. They want to develop their careers and skillset. When they feel as though there are no professional development opportunities, they can start to look elsewhere. Investing in professional development of your staff is a win/win – the organization also benefits from improved skillsets and morale.
6. Reward and recognize
Take time to recognize and say thank you for good work done by your employees. The return on investment can be enormous if done properly. A 2015 report found that as well as boosting engagement levels, recognition programs have been shown to produce a 21 per cent higher retention rate, 27 per cent higher profits as well as 50 per cent higher sales.