This video will highlight the 7 areas of focus and offer tips for building engagement.
- Can you honestly say that your employees are fully engaged when they're at work? Do they give you their heart and soul every single day? For most companies, the answer is no. If you want that kind of dedication from your employees, here are seven areas to focus on. First, employees must feel valued. They should know exactly how their job, and how they perform in their job, affects the company. They must also feel like their opinions are heard, and that they are appreciated for what they bring to the table. One of my favorite old bosses was great at this.
If you had an idea, he made time to hear it, and sometimes he'd say it was a great idea and go do it. Other times he'd ask for more information, and other times he'd say the idea wouldn't work, but the key is that he'd tell you exactly why, so you felt heard rather than dismissed. Second, the work itself drives engagement. Help employees feel autonomous and satisfied with their job, and give them some flexibility, and employees want to feel like they are challenged. Boring work and micro-management doesn't do anyone any good.
Consider working with employees to create stretch goals. Find out how they want to grow, and work with them to set goals that are a little out of their reach. Then the employee can stretch themselves, learn something new, feel challenged to reach for something, and a positive attitude when they succeed with your support. Third, relationships at work are important. Do employees feel they are part of a team? Do they trust each other? Empower teams to make their own decisions, and ensure departments are working with their employees as a team to accomplish goals, rather than as individuals doing their own individual parts.
Also train managers on how to give positive constructive feedback, and think about communication skills. If one person is engaging in aggressive communication, I promise it's affecting the team. Address it immediately. A fourth area to think about is whether leadership and managers are trusted. Employees have to feel like managers are transparent, do what they say they will do, and have the employees' best interests at heart. For example, a friend of mine told me that his HR team sent out an e-mail that they were going to start doing bagel Mondays.
He didn't eat breakfast that following Monday because a bagel would be at work waiting for him, but there was no bagels, and there never have been. They just never brought bagels, and they never mentioned it. It's not that there aren't any bagels on Mondays that makes my friend annoyed, if not even a little angry. It's that HR said they'd do something, and they didn't, and this isn't the first time. If bagels can damage engagement like that, think about how much damage is caused when trust is lost over something that's actually important. The fifth area to focus on is the environment.
This category refers to the workplace culture, pace of work, and pride in the company and what it's doing. I once did some training for an organization whose mission was to rid the community of mosquitoes. On a break, I asked a group of employees to tell me more about what they did, because all I knew was that they killed mosquitoes. One woman replied with, "That's pretty much it." Another employee piped up and said to his coworker, "Is that all you think we do here? "We are saving this community from West Nile virus." Which employee do you think was more engaged? Sixth, focus on professional development opportunities.
If employees feel like they have the opportunity to advance professionally, learn something new, be innovative, and set goals and achieve them, then they will be more engaged. Adults like to be challenged by their work, and to feel like they are growing towards a better version of themselves. It's human nature. Finally, employees must feel rewarded for their hard work. This might be through monetary rewards such as bonuses and raises, acknowledgement with some type of award, and could even just mean a thank you on a fairly regular basis.
In the end, if employees sense you don't care about their happiness, then they sure don't care about the company's success. Engagement doesn't just happen because you create a cool new product, or because you pay your employees a pretty penny, it happens because you and your leaders put a lot of effort, strategy, and care into creating a workforce full of engaged employees.
- Tying HR to your company's vision and mission
- Strategic planning
- Measuring training program success
- Building engagement
- Creating culture